Kaikagetsu, at 162 Orchard Street in Manhattan, is a space of dark woods, lanterns and woven bamboo. In ambience and menu, it is a simple shrine to Hida, a city in Japan’s Gifu prefecture that I visited last summer famed for its mountains and marbled beef, aka Hida-gyu.
Beef lesson: Gyu means “beef,” and so Hida-gyu means simply “Hida beef.” Similarly, Wa means “Japan,” which is why Wa-gyu translates to “Japan beef” and refers to any beef from Japan.
As a place to eat world-class beef with Japanese single-malts, Kaikagetsu has been a great addition to the Lower East Side’s “Little Tokyo” assemblage of Japanese commerce since opening in July of last year. The three-chef team serves Hida-style cooking built around (but not exclusively consisting of) authentic, melt-in-your-mouth Hida-gyu following the mold of the two Kaikagetsu locations before it, both in Japan. Complementing the food is a drink list rotating sake, whiskey, wine, and a surprising beer or two.
Inside Kaikagetsu for the first time last month, I took the hefty, eight-course Getsu menu ($220) beside my girlfriend at a lantern-lit table in the back. A smiling man named Hiro delivered my first bites of Hida-gyu since my time in Hida amid the fattening black-haired cows, and there was no mistaking it: The beef at Kaikagetsu, as in “Hida beef toban yaki on a Hida stove” and “Hida beef sushi,” was memories-of-Japan good.
What qualifies as Hida-gyu? According to its website (!), Hida-gyu must come from black-haired Japanese cattle fattened in Gifu prefecture for at least 14 months by certified farmers. It must also later be given a grade of three or higher by the Japan Meat Grading Association.
The non-beef dishes on the Getsu menu were tasty, too, and in fact included maybe the best thing I ate the whole night: the “Simmered black cod in soysauce flavor,” which today appears available on the a la carte menu as “Black cod saikyo miso” or at least the brother to that dish. The beer I opened the meal with, a Japanese IPA from a brewer I will never recall, was great for washing it down, as later were my fingers of single-malt.
Beyond the Getsu menu, the ways of eating well at Kaikagetsu include via three smaller tasting menus of five ($50), six ($70) and seven ($90) courses and a slim but excellent a la carte menu. And in the weeks ahead, the kitchen is pushing out a special Restaurant Week menu of five courses. You can grab it “from July 18” for $42, and you can see what’s on it, and all the most current menus, here.
Hida-gyu is the biggest reason, but not the only reason, to visit the newest Kaikagetsu location. Give it a look this Restaurant Week!
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.