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Smart preparation keeps beef grill's prices low

By Ye Jun (China Daily)

09:32, March 07, 2013

One of Kanpai's signature dishes is the short ribs. (China Daily)

Many Chinese know Kobe for its great beef. It is said that Kobe cows are raised in luxury: listening to music, drinking beer and enjoying massages, which results in the beef's marbled patterns, great taste and texture.

Two Chinese-Japanese spent more than 10 years studying meat at a top beef grill restaurant in Kobe, Japan. Now they've come to Beijing to realize their dream - opening a grilled-meat restaurant of their own: Kanpai.

They found that most grill restaurants in China depend on top-quality imported meat, making them really pricy. So they are trying a different approach: to deliver quality at a lower cost without the super-premium labels of beef.

Their method is to marinate excellent beef in clay jars with more than 10 seasoning ingredients, including Japanese soy sauce, sake and fruit juice. It's then grilled over white charcoal.

When served, the meat is paired with Japanese grilled-meat sauce, miso sauce and a special sauce that looks like bean curd. Short ribs marinated in the jars is one popular entree. But there are many other good choices, such as fried chicken and assorted vegetable starters.

Kanpai has nine imported beers and 40 different drinks to choose from. The restaurant serves Asashi beer on draft.

Customers who can finish one jar of beer within 20 seconds can get a free meat platter with five different products, such as beef tongue, beef rib and short ribs.

The interior decor is designed in Japanese style: There are ordinary tables as well as tatami rooms and a Japanese-style bar.

Tables have an inset grill so that customers can do their own grilling, but they can also have their meat grilled for them. It is a great place for lovers of quality meat and beers.

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