The beef cattle of Ishigaki island have been raised in the wide, open pastures of Okinawa, Japan’s only region with a subtropical climate. If you’ve come all the way to Ishigaki Island, you really must try Ishigaki beef, which has been raised by the sun and wide, open spaces of the great Okinawan outdoors. The meat has a texture that is not overly fatty and a sweetly fragrant and rich taste, making it popular among diners of all ages, from small children to senior citizens. This edition, we will feature Ishinagi-Ya, one of Ishigaki Island’s most well-known specialist Ishigaki beef restaurants.
Just a ten-minute walk from the Ishigaki Ferry Terminal, Ishinagi-Ya also has on-site parking, making it convenient for tourists in rental cars as well. We were met at the entrance by the restaurant manager’s beaming smile.
Inside the restaurant, there is a variety of seating arrangements suitable for various size groups. Solo diners can enjoy a relaxed meal at the counter, and there is a spacious area with low tables over a sunken floor, recommended for families with small children. There are also large tables that seat up to eight diners. The tables are spaced well apart, so diners can enjoy their meal in comfort, without worrying about the table next door. The restaurant has a no-smoking policy, so cigarette smoke is also not a concern. (There is a smoking area outside the restaurant.)
Ishinagi-Ya looks after the entire process of producing Ishigaki beef, from breeding the cattle to selling, and serving the meat. The beef from Ishigaki cattle raised on pasture at Ishinagi-Ya’s own ranch is delivered to diners’ tables without ever being frozen.
For diners who want to enjoy different cuts of Ishigaki beef, yakiniku (Korean-style barbeque) is the recommended option. The Ishigaki Beef Recommended Five-Cut Assortment (¥3,350), which includes short rib, short rib, choice short loin, short loin, and choice top blade, is the most popular choice.
The beautifully marbled meat has a fine texture and rich flavor that is irresistible. If you want to try something even more special, choose the Prime Selection Ishigaki Beef Assortment (¥4,980).
Take the opportunity while on vacation in the leisure resort of Ishigaki Island to relax and enjoy an alcoholic beverage with your meal. As well as local beverages such as Orion Beer, local boutique beers brewed on island, and awamori, Okinawa’s local spirit, Ishinagi-Ya also has an extensive range of wines, including sparkling, red and white varieties. Japanese whiskey has become popular of late, and a nip of Yamazaki, Yamazaki 12 Years, or Hakushu, which are just some of the Japanese whiskeys available at Ishinagi-Ya, is sure to add a touch of luxury to your holiday. Non-drinkers and children have not been forgotten, with a variety of tropical drinks and soft drinks available. In addition to the yakiniku barbeque, Ishinagi-Ya’s steak options are recommended for diners who want to savor the full flavor of the beef itself.
Of course, Ishinagi-Ya would love all of its diners to enjoy a Ishigaki beef steak, but it also offers Yaima beef, a more affordably-priced wagyu option. Just like the meat served as yakiniku, Ishinagi-Ya’s steaks come directly from its own butchers, ensuring that the steaks are at their very best when delivered to the table. Yakiniku and steak can be enjoyed at the same table, so if dining in a group, why not order both and share?
In recent times, there has been an increase in the number of tourists visiting the island on cruise ships. Often, these tourists have only a limited time to eat. For diners who are short on time, we recommend the Beef Bowl, a popular item that is quick, delicious and affordable! Beef Bowl is a fun and delicious way to enjoy Ishigaki beef that is that little bit different from yakiniku or steak.
The beef topping features a generous helping of Ishigaki beef, braised in Ishinagi-Ya’s home-made sauce, giving it a distinctively fresh sweetness. It pairs beautifully with the bed of rice that soaks up the delectable sauce! With such a delicious flavor at such a low price, Ishinagi-Ya’s Ishigaki Beef Bowl continues to be a highly popular choice. The Ishigaki Beef Hamburger, served with a choice of demi-glace sauce or Japanese-style sauce, is another hidden gem on the Ishinagi-Ya menu. “I really want to eat Ishigaki beef yakiniku!” If this is you, don’t worry. Ishinagi-Ya also offers a sumptuous “Yakiniku Lunch Set.”
Did you enjoy this feature? At Ishinagi-Ya, you can savor Ishigaki beef in a style that suits your tastes and budget, from yakiniku barbeque to steak and affordable lunch sets. Ishigaki beef is famous and popular all over Japan, so be sure to take plenty of photographs of your meal and show it off on your social media?