When I left Moriyama after lunch for a long bike ride by the shore of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, my goal was to get to Nagahama city early enough to secure a table at Marusa, a popular yakiniku restaurant. All I can say, the reward was worth the super windy 70 km bike ride.
The area around Nagahama city in Shiga prefecture is famous for its Ohmi beef, a type of Japanese wagyu similar to the famed Kobe beef. Marusa is located a few minutes from the old center and it has the distinction of being a butcher shop and a really classy yakiniku restaurant.
We got there a little bit before 18h and the restaurant was already half full. We were seated to my great viewing pleasure at the counter. The top of the counter was lined with jar of alcohol with fruits in them and the chefs were busy slicing meat right in front of me.
A metal container was placed in front of us, the meat at Marusa is grilled over charcoal which is a very nice touch.
A huge daily menu was brought to us on a black board, the restaurant has menu set menus, but we decided to order everything separately.
We first ordered tongue which was sliced pretty thick. They came sprinkled with salt. Great texture and we dipped them in fresh lemon.
As a side, we got a plate of mixed kimchi. The cucumber was particularly delicious. We also ordered some gigantic garlic cloves cooked in butter.
Our second meat dish was tiny cube of beef coming from the back area of the beef. Small and super tasty.
Regular kalbi came next, just fatty enough and very soft taste.
I know this is not for everybody, but our third dish was an amazing plate of horumon or offals. These horumon were extremely fresh and the liver tasted like it had been butchered the very same day.
We ended this gargantuan meal with a plate of roast and a plate of the finer wagyu.
The roast was quite good.
The super marbled wagyu was too much for my wife. The fat content was really high and the meat melted like butter. It’s nothing like you will ever find in America or Europe.
The service at Marusa was really good, it’s almost like they read our mind.
Marusa is not a cheap place, our meal came up just shy of 10 000 yen for two but it was well worth it. If you decide to go super high quality, you can easily double this price. Their lower cut of meat all came from the same animal and the butchers are masters at presenting their meat, so don’t hesitate to order lower cut and I can promise the taste is not influenced by the price.
The meat at Marusa is treated like fine sushi and is presented almost in the same manner. The higher priced cut of meat are served on the same type of wooden slate used in fine sushi shop.
If you visit Nagahama or bike around Lake Biwa, don’t forget to make a stop at Marusa. Biking around Lake Biwa might help you burn all these calories!
If you know any good places around Lake Biwa, please suggest them to me, I really want to go back there.
MARUSA Ohmi Beef