Good steak place in Kobe?
I'll be heading to Kobe in about a month and am eager to eat some beef! I'm not adverse to dropping some money on a meal (I realize good beef is expensive, period), but I'd like to go someplace authentically Kobe, and not some overpriced tourist trap. A hole-in-the-wall place would be grand.
Shopping mall, Crowne Plaza Hotel building
Near JR Shinkansen Station
Tenderloin dinner is expensive, but worth every penny.
Been there twice; check out their website.
My favourite wagyu place has always been Lapin in the Okamoto area of Kobe. it's one or two stops from Sannomiya by express train on the Hankyu Line (maybe around Y200? and 10 minutes?). It's strictly teppanyaki, and it's foreigner friendly (sometimes they have English speaking staff, and they may even have an English menu) if that's important to you, but it's primarily frequented by Japanese. The staff are extremely kind and friendly, especially the owner (who, after I fell in love with the cups with leaf-shaped saucers, generously ordered some in for me!).
They serve only wagyu, and IIRC, none of their courses is greater than about Y8000 (that's for 100g beef, but I used to only get 80g which was always more than enough for me). So it may not be top top top quality wagyu, but it is very good. And if you get the garlic rice (which is very good and I think is an additional Y200 or so), you will be served it after your meal, not during.
And (again), if they have the oyster side dish, get it. They grill oysters ever so lightly with a bit of butter, soy, and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. I used to go there almost once a week when oysters were in season, just so I could get a side of oysters (and sometimes when they were out, I would be so disappointed that they would comp me the ones that were too small to serve as a regular side just because they felt sorry for me).
It's a small place, so make reservations if you want to go, and they only take cash.
I'll second A-1. It's relatively cheap at about 8,000 yen to 9,000 yen for steak sets, which compare quite well with pricier places I've been to. They cook steaks a bit differently than I've seen elsewhere, grilling over fire on skewers, then put on a steel plate where they're flambeed in "secret wine."
I personally have been to Wakkoqu Steakhouse a handful of times and was introduced to it by a local however I am not sure how it compares to the other places since I've never been. Wakkoqu has an English menu with the option of having Wagyu beef (which is cheaper) or the official Kobe beef.
Anyways, you may want to also consider maybe having Kobe beef for lunch to save yourself money. You basically get the same amount of food but at half the price. So for lunch at Wakkoqu the Wagyu beef lunch set is 2500 yen - 3500 yen and the Kobe beef lunch set is 5000 yen. All of these teppanyaki places do lunch by the way.
Kobe-gyu *is* wagyu.
That Wakkoqu prices Kobe-gyu higher than other types of wagyu makes it more of a tourist place, in my opinion. Many Japanese feel wagyu from other areas is better quality than Kobe-gyu. Wakkoqu's non-Kobe-gyu is likely just lower quality beef than their Kobe-gyu (i.e. a lower grade).
Of course, having never been there, I could be wrong.