Ikinari Steak, the Japan-based standing steak restaurant will open its first New York City and U.S. location at 90 East 10 Street (between Third and Fourth Avenues.) on February 23. Owned by Chef and restaurateur Kunio Ichinose, Ikinari Steak opened in Tokyo in December, 2013, and now has over 100 locations throughout Japan, including over 60 locations in Tokyo City. The idea behind Ikinari Steak is to serve “super thick” high-quality meats quickly and economically, therefore people stand while consuming their steaks. It’s a fun, interactive, communal, and brand new experience for New Yorkers.
Upon arriving guests are shown to their spot at one of the counters where they order drinks and side dishes. At each station is a number which the diner takes to the chef’s butcher station where they order from the menu of three cuts of meat: ribeye, sirloin, or filet. For customers to most enjoy their “super thick” steaks, the minimum order is 200 grams (7.1 oz) or 300 grams (10.6 oz), depending on the cut. Guests can choose to add weight to their steaks at an extra cost per gram. Therefore, any number above the minimum is possible, as all steaks are cut to order and weighed in front of the guest. The steaks are cooked on an open-fire, served with a daily vegetable, and presented sizzling on a cast-iron platter, which continues to cook the steak, and is why it is suggested to order cooked to rare. Once prepared the steak is delivered to the guest. It is suggested to drizzle the Japanese soy-based signature steak sauce over the meat to heighten the flavor. This is what is called “J-Steak” (Japanese style steak), a phrase coined by, and being introduced to New York by Ikinari Steak. The Choice beef comes from Aurora Angus Beef in Illinois, and is wet-aged for at least 40 days. Daily soup, salad and rice are also offered. At lunch, a set meal of a 300 g (10.6 oz) Chuck Eye Steak with salad, soup and rice is offered for $20.
The restaurant, designed by Idea+ Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, and Goodspeed Architects in NYC, has 40 standing stations and 10 table seats; there is also a small backyard which will be used as a waiting area in warm weather. The same loyalty program, so popular in Japan, will also be offered in New York. It’s a “beef mileage card” app that allows diners to track how many pounds of steak they’ve eaten and ranks them against other regulars. If the response to Ikinari Steak NYC is anything like it is in Japan, people will wait up to 45 minutes for a coveted spot, and consume mass quantities of beef.
Ikinari Steak promises an unparalleled restaurant experience, as it is the first of its kind, and where else to showcase it than in the dining capital of the world, New York City.