This “sukiyaki” restaurant, which is located in Yushima, opened in 1875. In its refined, traditional Japanese-style house built 60 years ago, visitors can enjoy sukiyaki made with Japanese black beef in “gyunabe” (beef hot pot) style. Originally, Katsujiro Echigoya, a farmer from the Niigata region, started the restaurant as a beef hot pot restaurant. He initially sold rice and beef in the Hongo area, and gyunabe was born as a delicious dish using those ingredients.
A unique feature of Echikatsu is the not-overly-sweet “warishita” stock, popular among Tokyoites. The secret to its good taste is to make a large amount of warishita stock in a big pot and to heat it quickly to remove the bitter flavors. The warishita stock is made according to the original recipe created when the restaurant first opened more than 140 years ago. The recipe is the restaurant’s most closely guarded secret and is passed down only to the “okami” (proprietresses) (or to the next managers, owners, etc.) of the restaurant.
The beef, which is the main ingredient of the dish, is carefully selected by the chef from the beef delivered by the meat wholesaler every day, and only the best meat on each day is used. Rather than sticking to particular brands or production areas, the chef determines the quality of the meat and provides it to the customers with the thickness and type of cut that best brings out the characteristics of that particular meat. The beautifully marbled beef is cooked lightly and then dipped in the beaten egg before eating. The fatty part of the beef melts in your mouth. A nakai remains at the table to assist visitors in knowing the exact best cooking time at which to eat the beef.
The restaurant’s refined building, where great literary figures of the Meiji era, such as Yasunari Kawabata, often visited, is a must-see site. The restaurant has 17 private Japanese-style rooms, and visitors can enjoy their meal in a private space near a beautiful Japanese garden. Fully experience the service, food, and atmosphere that can only be found at long-established restaurants.