Members-only meat restaurant opens in Tenmonkan Kagoshima Yokocho, first outside Tokyo

PUBLISHED Mar 29, 2022

Mr. and Mrs. Yoshimitsu, managing the restaurant

On March 29, 29ON (Nikuon) Kagoshima, a members-only restaurant specializing in low-temperature cooking, opened on the third floor of Temmonkan Kagoshima Yokocho.

It is the first outlet outside of Tokyo, and the 29ON chain, which operates four outlets in Tokyo, manages it directly. The restaurant specializes in “yakiniku without grilling,” cooking meat at a low temperature (60 to 63 degrees Celsius) for 3 to 4 hours. It accepts customers on a membership and reservation basis, with an annual membership fee of 14,300 yen. Kenichiro Yoneyama, the president, says, “By charging membership fees, we can offer our customers better value for money and more meat dishes.” He explained, “In most restaurants, only 30 percent of the price of each dish is spent on ingredients, but at our restaurant, we spend 50 percent.”

The couple entrusted with the management is Kota and Maika Yoshimitsu. Both were born in Kagoshima and have experience at local restaurants and Kagoshima Yokocho. In preparation for the opening, they received training at the Ginza branch and guidance from the president. Kota is in charge of cooking, and Maika, the hall. The 20-square-meter “Third Floor Special Room” is equipped with four tables.

The restaurant offers only the Omakase Course, or Chef’s Choice Course, (5,500 yen). Examples of dishes include thinly sliced sirloin, thick slices of beef tongue and duck, stewed Kurobuta pork, and two-beef tasting dish with Kagoshima black beef and Tokyo Beef, a type of Japanese Black beef only 50 head shipped annually. Each time a dish is served, Maika explains how to enjoy it, and in the two-beef tasting, Kota cuts the meat in front of the customers.

The restaurant is also particular about pairing meat dishes with sake. They consider sake to be “a finishing seasoning that brings out the umami of both the meat and sake.” Through pairing, the restaurant aims to “recapture the fine flavor of eating meat and white rice together.” Meat Lovers Only, a sake the chain specially developed for pairing with meat, is also available.

The course is served from 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., with a maximum of eight people per time. Members are required to make reservations, and only the member and accompanying guests can enter the restaurant.

Memberships are usually offered on the crowdfunding site Makuake as a supporter of the project, but since the campaign held in early March achieved more than 300% of its target amount, it is now closed. In the future, applications will be accepted via the Membership Request Form on the 29ON website, and applicants will be given priority as soon as the slots for membership are available.

  • Third Floor Special Room of Tenmonkan Kagoshima Yokocho

  • Omakase Course dishes

  • Carving meat

  • Training