Shiki: Gyu Tataki

IMG_1498Dish: Gyu Tataki
Restaurant: Shiki
Location: Brookline, MA

After having been in the Boston area for several months, I finally made my way up to Brookline’s Shiki with two new acquaintances I’ve made in the Japanese class I’m currently taking.

Once I got there, I ordered the Gyu Tataki (牛たたき), which is seared beef served with thinly sliced vegetables and ponzu sauce.

The beef was exactly how I like it: cooked pink. That and the beef’s thin slicing resulted in a very, very tender beef dish. The ponzu sauce added a nice citrus flavor while still remaining in the background as the beef took center stage.

I found it interesting that one has to order rice separately for an additional $2.50. I guess not everyone wants rice with their meal.

The two Japanese girls I was with gave their stamp of approval in that Shiki was very authentically Japanese. The restaurant was Japanese-owned; I spoke to the wait staff in Japanese the whole time. I’m always skeptical of the authenticity of Japanese restaurants in the US, such as Fuji Restaurant in Quincy, which is operated by Chinese people, or the Korean-owned Miyake in Ithaca, but I know Shiki is for real.

Another good part? This meal at Shiki was probably the most affordable one I’ve had in the Boston area. Between the three of us, the tab came out to less than $40. Naturally, if alcohol was ordered (and they do serve it), it would’ve driven the price up; however, my Gyu Tataki was $11, and that was one of the more expensive items on the menu. The ambiance was a bit fancy, but Shiki will fit into a guy’s budget fairly easily.

I will go as far as to say Shiki was simply the best Japanese dining experience I’ve ever had so far. Brookline is an area that has a Japanese-American population. Ostensibly, they would want some real Japanese food to eat, and I’m glad that is the case. If you happened to live in the Boston area and want real Japanese food, then you should definitely check out Shiki.

The verdict: The Japanese-est Japanese restaurant I’ve ever been to.

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