Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Japan >
Jan 17, 2013 06:06 PM

Dons de la nature cost

Can someone help translate the cost of steak at dons? I know it's about Y30,000 for a 400 gram portion. What if we go with three people? Could we order a 600 gram portion and would it be Y15,000?

Is there a cost per 100 grams of steak?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. how do you order more beef for less money unless I am mistaking something here?

    1. There's a minimum of 400g which is needed to prepare the steak correctly. You can share one 400g steak with another person, but if you're 3, I suppose you'll have to order two 400g steaks.

      14 Replies
      1. re: babreu

        No, I don't think they would have to order two steaks at 400g. They can order a 600g steak at 30,000 yen for 400g minimum plus the extra weight (i.e., 45,000 yen for a 600g steak). In other words, exactly as the OP says, unless Dons de la nature have changed the way they do things.

        The 400g is the minimum per steak, not also the maximum.

        1. re: Asomaniac

          Exactly, 600 grams for three is just right... 800 grams of that meat for three people is just too much, even if you think you're used to big steaks...

          miltronix - Don't forget you're also expected to order apps and sides, as well as wine from the very expensive and very bad wine list.

          1. re: Gargle

            Sorry - I forgot to include "another" before the 15k.

            Gargle - Are they pushy about the apps, sides and wine? We honestly just want to try the steak. Does the restaurant have a snobbish attitude if you don't order those things? I can understand buying a side but I don't see any reason for an app since all accounts I've read say the steak fills you up due to its fattiness. We also plan to hit an izakaya later in the evening...

            Would we be better off going somewhere else to try top quality meat? Not sure if Gorio or Ukai Tei might be better options (I know that Ukai Tei gives a piece of steak, not a large portion like Gorio and Dons).

            1. re: miltronix

              miltronix -

              No, they don't push anything, and they do not have a snobbish attitude at all. If you don't want wine, don't have it.

              This place is expensive but the steak really is unbelievable. Don't have the fillet, have the sirloin. I would not compare the steak at Dons to the meat at places like Ukai Tei, the steak is on a different level.

              If the steak is the top priority, the only reason I would go to Ukai Tei ahead of Dons is price. And to be fair, that is a big factor: I last went to Dons four years or so ago, when I was paid in British pounds and the exchange rate was 250 yen to the pound (it's 140 now). I no longer go because there are so many incredible restaurants in Tokyo for that sort of money or less, and I do not want to spend this sort of money on a steak.

              However, if money is no object and you want to try a beyond belief special steak, then you can't go wrong at Dons. Having said that, some people on this board may know steak restaurants in Tokyo which offer the same quality for less - I would be curious to hear their recommendations. To be clear, there are many, many places with top notch wagyu in Tokyo, but I always thought that Dons was a cut above.

              By the way, when I last went the steak really killed me. To be fair, I had 500 g of meat (shared a 500g sirloin and a 500g fillet with a friend) so more than you are about to have, but the fat from the sirloin nearly killed us! It was beyond belief tasty, but also absurdly rich. We were just sitting there for an hour after dinner, drinking cognac to try to cut through the fat, totally defeated. My friend summed up our mixed emotions at the time quite well: "This was one of the best meals of my life, and I wish I was dead".

              1. re: Asomaniac

                @Asomaniac: I have never tried Dons so I can't make a comparison. But since you are curious for other steak recommendation, I will recommend Shima. Never had such a tender steak before. Its tabelog review and rating:


                1. re: FourSeasons

                  FourSeasons: Good to hear from you again, it's been a long time! Hope you are well, and planning further trips to Japan

                  Thanks for the tip - will check it out. How expensive is it in comparison to Dons (just for the steak)? I see tabelog says 20,000 - 29,999 yen, which presumably is for dinner rather than just the meat, so certainly cheaper than Dons, which is great. But do you recall how much just the steak is, of comparable size (ie 450g)? Or do they do smaller steaks?

                  1. re: Asomaniac

                    @Asomanianc: I went there for lunch. Certainly the bill isn't in that range, my recollection is that the meal is slightly above 10,000 yen per person including salad, crab croquette, french onion soup and 200g steak.

                        1. re: FourSeasons

                          Do you know what days and hours they serve the lunch meal? I can't seem to get google translate to work on tabelog right now.

                          Also, how did you make the reservation? Would I be able to make a reservation in English?

                          1. re: miltronix

                            Based on the info at tabelog, Shima is closed on Sunday, lunch is opened from 12 to 1pm (last order). I requested the hotel concierge to make the reservation for us. But the owner chef speaks fluent English so I assume you maybe able to make a reservation in English.

                            1. re: FourSeasons

                              Thanks for the help FourSeasons! I'll see how we can squeeze it into our itinerary.

              2. re: miltronix

                It's kind of expected.

                Gorio is fine too, but same story. Overall I've concluded that it's not a good format (subjectively, for me) for eating beef that seems to be over 50% fat, but you should try it once. I'm amazed that Asomaniac is still alive after taking in 500 grams of it :)

                1. re: Gargle

                  To be fair, I was only barely alive, and wishing I was dead.

        2. Does anyone know the price at Aragawa, or if it accommodates single diners? Michelin says Y42,000 for a set menu -- but i have no idea if this is reliable.

          I'm surprised their website doesn't say:

          It looks like Gorio has an "afternoon lunch" course for single diners for Y21,000 for a steak that is 75% the size of one for two people:

          pricing at kawamura looks pretty transparent:

          with menus from Y12,000 to Y28,000

          i'd assume these menus accommodate single diners, given they don't say anything about not doing so.

          17 Replies
          1. re: Dustin_E

            I ate at Aragawa's Kobe branch alone (which incidentally, is considerably cheaper than the Tokyo shop). I assume the same applies to the Tokyo branch.

            1. re: CWFOODIE

              >> I assume the same applies to the Tokyo branch.

              sorry -- what did you mean by "the same"?

              do you remember how big the portion you were served was? do you know if it was it 75% the size of that served to a couple?

            2. re: Dustin_E

              looks like aragawa is booked solid for the week i'm there in early june.

              i had no idea that place was so popular -- most reports i've seen of the place have made it sound pretty empty.

              1. re: Dustin_E

                Japan is offering a 25% discount across the board. Everybody loves a bargain.

                1. re: Uncle Yabai

                  oh, good point. i had thought early june would be an easy time to make reservations, but i guess weak yen more than makes up for that.

              2. re: Dustin_E

                I went there first week of April, and it was about $700 for 16 oz steak which was the smallest cut they offered. The sides like the shrimp cocktail and smoked salmon were $50-70 (I think). And the crab meat was about $110-120?

                I know the King (biggest cut) is over 1k+, not sure of the exact amount, but obviously that's too much for one person since I could barely even finish mine!

                I don't remember seeing a "course" menu while I was there... :/

                1. re: sparkerly

                  interesting -- thanks. so about 2x the price of dons de la nature.

                  do you remember if there was a choice between "premium" and "super premium" beef?

                  i've only seen the "course" menu referred in the michelin guide -- so not reliable.

                  1. re: Dustin_E

                    Oh yes! I forgot about that haha. Basically, it was just super premium (fattier) and premium (fat). I chose the super premium, might as well go all in...but I think i'd be happier with just premium because there can be "too much" of a good thing.

                    I just realized you're from the bay area as well! :)

                    1. re: sparkerly

                      yep -- also from the bay area :-)

                      have you tried any of the japanese beef offerings at alexander's / 5a5 / harris'?

                      i haven't, but i'd be interested to hear how they compare if you have.

                      also, did aragawa have a menu, or did they verbally tell you items / prices?

                      1. re: Dustin_E

                        They had a very simple and straight to the point menu at Aragawa :)

                        I tried the $250 beef from Alexander's years ago. Totally a disappointment and not worth it.
                        As for Harris, my friend (he's actually the one who took me to aragawa) tried the japanese beef there, and said it was a waste of time.

                        How about you? Besides those places, have you tried others and how do they compare? :)

                        1. re: sparkerly

                          I suspected that would be the case, so haven't tried much japanese beef in sf. i tried a ~$70 kobe-style steak at bourbon steak -- not great. also tried ~$30 kobe-style beef at juban (yakiniku) in japantown -- okay for the price.

                          I do like "regular" steaks in sf a lot though -- alfred's, harris', cotogna, bobo's, etc.

                          i had a japanese beef dish at the late alex in the wynn in vegas a couple years ago -- it was very good. i remember it being at the same level as the kobe beef course at kanda in tokyo.

                          i've also tried yakiniku jumbo in tokyo -- i thought it was good, but not really materially better than the "regular" steaks i've had in sf.

                          do you remember if they had caviar on the menu at aragawa, and if so what it was priced at?

                          1. re: Dustin_E

                            Ooooh, I'm always disappointed with steaks here in out of the places you mentioned, where should I go for a regular delicious steak? :)

                            I don't believe they had a caviar menu actually... haha gee! going all out huh? one of the world's most expensive steak plus wanting caviar?

                            1. re: sparkerly

                              well, i couldn't get a reservation, so i can assemble whatever hypothetical menu i choose, right? :-)

                              but yeah, i was interested in a caviar, crab, beef meal with a nice bottle of bordeaux -- i thought that sounded pretty awesome. no idea if i'd really be willing to pay the price for it, though.

                              cotogna probably has the best steak in sf, but certainly not cheap at $95. it is for 2 or 3 people, but i was able to finish it alone (but just barely, and the staff there were pretty surprised).

                              alfred's ribeye @ $55 is the best value -- also big enough for 2. the creamed spinach goes well with it.

                              harris' has nice steaks -- probably porterhouse ($55) medium rare is your best bet. i strongly prefer the lounge over the dining room -- the live music is nice. lamb chops there can be decent too. i've been here more than any of the others.

                              bobo's can be a fun place. food is good, not perfect, but good starters/sides/desserts if you don't think too critically.

                              i also like house of prime rib, though i fear by mentioning this place i might just be implying low standards :-)

                              also enjoyed a veal chop at bob's steaks+chops -- it is worth a try, though i'm sure it doesn't hold up particularly well to some of the top french places in europe or asia.

                              slightly off topic, but chez panisse downstairs on a night when they are serving lamb can also be very good. similarly, i've had a nice composed ribeye / eggplant dish at keiko's nob hill.

                              i haven't had many steaks in other cities, so don't have too much a basis for comparison, though. plan on trying places in my travels though, so if you have suggestions, please let me know.

                              have you had japanese steak at other places? or just aragawa? if other places, how did aragawa compare?

                              1. re: Dustin_E

                                ah, I was slightly surprised you weren't able to snag a reservation...well, on the bright side you saved $$$! hahaha although, the caviar, crab, and beef sound amazing ;)
                                the ultimate happy ending for me.

                                I've been meaning to try cotogna as it is highly recommend here, and I absolutely love italian food. Thank you for mentioning the steak is for 2-3 people since I eat alone nowadays. Barely finished? Hahaha that reminded me of my friend at Aragawa...he finished the king cut and everyone there was in absolute awe.

                                Harris -- you just reminded me about their lounge and live music! I've been there once, but it completely slipped my mind about their lounge area.

                                Honestly, I like HOPR as well hehe. :P
                                I've only been there 3 times though (need to visit the city more!) Have you tried The Grill on The Alley in SJ? I've been there once on a Sunday for their prime rib, and I was pleasantly surprised! I wasn't expecting much, but I remember really enjoying the prime rib. (unless it was the wine making me feel that way...) Hmm, you know what -- don't go. I don't want to be responsible if you don't enjoy the prime there hahaha (plus i've only been there once)

                                I absolutely love lamb so thanks for the tip on chez panisse!

                                hmm suggestions...let's should try Keens in NY for an experience of the very "aged" taste of meat. Unfortunately, I haven't really tried much steaks in other places either and SF for that matter so thank you very much for typing all that out -- it's really helpful!

                                I've only been to Aragawa for a real Japanese steak experience. How about you? Maybe you can suggest places for me in that department as well! (although, I feel a bit guilty we kind of took over this topic but oh well) :-)

                                1. re: sparkerly

                                  cotogna is definitely a good steak -- better than any i've found at steak houses. finishing it alone at least could be an adventure. i enjoyed it, and would consider doing it again.

                                  farina has better pasta than cotogna, but their meat entrees are not as good as those at a steak house..

                                  harris' bar is perfect for dining alone. bobo's bar is also okay for dining alone, but more just for interesting/fun sides.

                                  i'll give keen's a try next time i'm in nyc.

                                  i don't make it to san jose often, but i'll keep it in mind if i'm down there and craving prime rib.

                                  i was also surprised i wasn't able to make a reservation at aragawa a month ahead of time. my concierge might have been incompetent, though. i might try with a different one.

                                  regardless, i'll report back on what steak house(s) i end up at in tokyo.

                                  1. re: Dustin_E

                                    Since you're in the Bay Area too, I was wondering where you ended up for a steak in Tokyo. I did a quick search, but I didn't see any thread with report from you.

                                    I'm thinking of going to the Aragawa in Kobe, but if Kawamura, or some other place in Japan, is that amazing (and can somehow justify the ridiculous cost), I might have to included it when I go in the fall.

                                    1. re: W42

                                      I went to Gorio, which is the more downscale branch by Aragawa. I had the ~$200usd lunch special, which was a steak "for large appetites", and was all-inclusive with soup, salad and sides.

                                      The salad including some of their famous "smoked salmon" -- which was indeed very good. more strongly flavored than another favorite, the dry-smoked stuff at swan's oyster depot in sf.

                                      The rest of the sides were generally not particularly good, i'd say a noticeable notch less good than so-so sides at the chain steakhouses in sf. (morton's or ruth's chris) I want to be clear -- these were not just good simple, unexciting sides. I like simple food, like that served at traditional sf steakhouses, or tadich or hayes st. grill. these sides were not good and simple -- they were just very mediocre.

                                      All of which would be fine -- i came for the steak.

                                      But, surprisingly I found the steak to be way too fatty to be enjoyable, and had a very hard time finishing it.

                                      I've been eating a lot of steaks in sf over the past couple years, and i enjoy them all a lot -- which is why i was so surprised at how i didn't enjoy this one.

                                      It could be the cut I received. It could be that i wasn't drinking wine with the meal (though i usually don't), or that i was exhausted from other dining by this point. But i think it was just i don't like japanese ultra-fatty non-dry-aged beef served in this form.

                                      will i ever try another japanese steak again? probably at some point i'll check out dons de la nature.

                                      a couple days later i tried shabu-shabu on the 7th floor (i think) at mansei. the meal was $100. it was served in a somewhat rundown room. but i thought the meat was , and made me think "okay, this is why shabu was invented, as this style suites japanese ultra-fatty beef so much better. surprisingly, my mansei meal remains a top-5-in-japan meal for me.

                                      i'm sure there are other, better shabu places than mansei, and on future trips i'll probably check them out.

                                      here's a link to my full trip report:

              3. I've just posted a full review of this restaurant, hope it helps.