Tsukasa Beef Tongue Restaurant
Best tongue in town.
As you get out of the east exit of Sendai station, you may see a long line of hungry beef lovers coiling around a corner. They’re all waiting for the chance to bite into a regional juicy delicacy you might not have tried before. And, oh my, it’s so good! So good that it has been even recommended by popular Japan YouTuber Chris Broad of the Abroad in Japan channel.
Sendai, the biggest city in the northern Tohoku region, has a lot to offer tourists looking to explore outside the Golden Route, and in terms of food culture, one must-try is the tenderly grilled beef tongue. One popular restaurant to try this is Tsukasa, which seems to always have a long line in front of it. Don’t worry, though, the line moves quickly.
Tsukasa (as it is called for short, but Gyutan Yaki [grilled beef tongue] Senmoten Tsukasa is the official name), was first opened in 2006 and quickly gained popularity among locals. Today it has several other locations in Sendai and even opened up a Los Angeles store in 2013.
As you enter the restaurant, all the staff members shout “irasshaimase!” (welcome), which is a common Japanese practice, but the bustling atmosphere inside the restaurant makes it all that more of an experience.
Compared to other shops, Tsukasa may seem a bit pricey, but the quality is worthwhile.
You’ll truly understand the magic of Tsukasa’s beef tongue once you have a bite. The menu is simple, you can choose to have the beef tongue grilled, stewed or in soup. You can get it separately or as part of a set menu with rice and oxtail soup. The beef tongue pieces are one-bite sized, and if you can’t have enough of the regular size, you can even order a large portion.
Unlike other typical beef tongue dishes, Tsukasa beef tongue bounces back as you chew, but doesn’t take much jaw power. Tsukasa claims to only use top-quality beef from Australia and America and only serves the soft parts of the tongue — not the tip. Plus, the meat is marinated before grilled over charcoal from the nearby Iwate Prefecture, which locks in the flavors of the meat when grilled over high heat. The richness of the meat is balanced out by rice produced by top-ranked farmers in Miyagi and Tochigi prefectures.
Compared to other shops, Tsukasa may seem a bit pricey, but the quality is worthwhile. Plus, they have a plentiful drink menu to add to your savory meal in the heart of Sendai.