Yakiniku ZENIBA’s Sumptuous Wagyu Surf & Turf Bowl Is a Feast for the Eyes and Palate

Located in Tokyo’s vibrant Shibuya district, Yakiniku ZENIBA (hereafter referred to as ZENIBA) distinguishes itself as a culinary landmark, celebrated for its exceptional A5-ranked Japanese wagyū beef.

Featuring lightly seared, nearly rare sirloin, sea urchin, and salmon roe, the restaurant’s signature dish, the Namaiki Don, has taken social media by storm with its visual allure. The namaiki in the name is a clever play on words: usually meaning “brazen” in Japanese, it’s tweaked here to also hint at the genuine quality of the ingredients.

生粋な牛トロ雲丹いくら丼, Namaiki Don 2,728 JPY (tax included)

“生粋な牛トロ雲丹いくら丼,” Namaiki Don 2,728 JPY (tax included) 

The Namaiki Don is crafted with exquisite sirloin from Kuroge (Japanese Black) wagyu sourced from female cattle. Compared to male cattle, the meat from females boasts a finer texture, making it exceptionally tender. Additionally, the fat’s lower melting point ensures a luxurious, melt-in-the-mouth experience.

Upon encountering photos of the Namaiki Don on social media, Umami bites writer Bensky was so captivated that he knew he had to try it at least once. So, we promptly paid a visit to ZENIBA.

Deliciously daring: The Namaiki Don that brought Bensky to tears

While Bensky had previewed the dish on social media, seeing it in person made all the difference. “Honestly, the pictures just didn’t do this justice. It’s even more amazing up close,” he said, visibly excited and on the verge of drooling.

After soaking in the dish’s eye-catching presentation, he finally gave in and took his first satisfying bite.


This combination of wagyu, sea urchin, and salmon roe is something else. So many amazing flavors hitting my tastebuds all at once. It’s beyond what I expected. I’m actually getting emotional here…

The next-level deliciousness of the dish must have worked some kind of magic on his tastebuds because Bensky was actually getting teary-eyed!

While the Namaiki Don is already plenty delicious on its own, adding wasabi is also recommended.

When you add wasabi to the juicy, umami-rich Kuroge wagyu sirloin, you can enjoy a refreshing aftertaste.

The “Wagyu sushi roll” steals the spotlight at ZENIBA

The raw meat offerings at ZENIBA are all fresh and delicious. Still, some might feel uneasy about eating raw meat.

As of 2023, there are strict standards set by the Japanese government for serving raw beef. Of course, ZENIBA meets all of them, ensuring the safety of their raw meat dishes.

It’s not just the Namaiki Don that’s popular at ZENIBA; their meat sushi is also a hit.

For example, the “Wagyu sushi roll” has become a must-try for many patrons. Imagine a base of perfectly seasoned rice, crowned with succulent sea urchin and salmon roe, all enveloped in a blanket of raw Kuroge wagyu sirloin.

For the ultimate experience, it’s advised to savor the roll as is, skipping the soy sauce to truly appreciate the unadulterated flavors of the premium ingredients.

Once you take that first bite, the symphony of textures and flavors—ranging from the tender wagyu to the creamy sea urchin—creates a moment of sheer gastronomic bliss.

生肉の軍艦, Wagyu sushi roll, 2 pieces 1,760 JPY (tax included)

“生肉の軍艦,” Wagyu sushi roll, 2 pieces 1,760 JPY (tax included)

In addition to the “Wagyu sushi roll,” their “Wagyu sushi” featuring sirloin and sea urchin is also a popular meat sushi option. For those who want to fully revel in the flavors of raw meat, it might be a good idea to order both the Namaiki Don and their meat sushi offerings.

Savoring sirloin yaki shabu on a sizzling lava rock plate

As the name Yakiniku ZENIBA suggests, the restaurant is a master of yakiniku (grilled meat) dishes. To ensure that customers savor the exquisite taste of Kuroge wagyu to the fullest, ZENIBA employs lava rock plates sourced from the Mount Fuji region for grilling. This method guarantees that the succulence and flavor of the delicate meat is preserved throughout the cooking process.

Using plates made from lava rock sourced near Mount Fuji

Using plates made from lava rock sourced near Mount Fuji

Bensky opted for the “Sirloin with ponzu (Shabu shabu)” from the menu. In contrast to the traditional method of shabu shabu, where the meat is swished in hot water, yaki shabu—the technique preferred by ZENIBA—takes a different approach: it’s grilled to perfection, offering a unique and delicious twist.

サーロイン焼きしゃぶ, Sirloin with ponzu (Shabu shabu) 1,848 JPY apiece (tax included)

“サーロイン焼きしゃぶ,” Sirloin with ponzu (Shabu shabu) 1,848 JPY apiece (tax included)

The premium sirloin is carefully positioned on the lava rock plate, heated to approximately 230°C (446°F), for just a few moments. After a quick flip, it’s expertly cooked to perfection and then served with ZENIBA’s house-made ponzu sauce and freshly grated daikon radish.

Eaten with a special ponzu sauce made with yuzu and coarsely grated daikon radish

Eaten with a special ponzu sauce made with yuzu and coarsely grated daikon radish


The meat is so tender it almost melts in your mouth. I also love that refereshing ponzu sauce with a hint of yuzu which goes so well with the sirloin!

After savoring the one-of-a-kind delight of premium wagyu grilled on a lava rock plate, distinct from the more common Japanese grilling techniques of teppanyaki (commonly known as “hibachi” in the U.S.) and charcoal grilling, Bensky had high praise for ZENIBA’s yaki shabu.

In addition to the dishes we’ve covered in this article, the restaurant offers a range of courses with various cuts of wagyu, including a Chef’s Special course designed for international tourists featuring meat sushi, yaki shabu, and an exquisite A5 wagyu sirloin steak.

When everything on the menu looks so tempting, making a decision can be a delightful challenge! In such cases, opting for a course meal might your best bet.


Store name 焼肉ZENIBA 渋谷店
Yakiniku ZENIBA Shibuya
Address GEMS Jingūmae Building 10F, 6-19-17 Jingūmae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access Shibuya Station(SBY)3-minute walk from Shibuya Station Exit B1
  • JR Yamanote Line(JY20)
  • JR Saikyō Line(JA10)
  • JR Shōnan Shinjuku Line(JS19)
  • Tōkyū Tōyoko Line(TY01)
  • Tōkyū Den-en-toshi Line(DT01)
  • Keiō Inokashira Line(IN01)
  • Tokyo Metro Ginza Line(G01)
  • Tokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line(Z01)
  • Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line(F16)
Phone number 03-3486-1029
Reservation line
Reservations Accepted
Phone, Tabelog
  • Cash
  • Credit cards(American Express・Diners・JCB・Master・VISA)
  • Transportation-related electronic money(Suica, etc.)
  • Electronic money(iD・nanaco・QUICPay・Rakuten Edy・WAON)
  • QR code payment(PayPay)
Service charge/Table charge Private dining room fee 300 JPY (tax included)
Hours 11:30-15:30(last order 15:00), 17:00-23:00(last order 22:30)
Closed No fixed holidays
Unscheduled holidays
Seating 54 seats
44 table seats, 10 private dining room seats (private room limited to parties of 8 or more)
Smoking All seats are non-smoking
Official website https://zeniba-shibuya.com/
Other information
  • English menus are available
  • Please ask staff about allergy-friendly and halal menus; however, there may be cases in which the restaurant is unable to accommodate your request; vegan and vegetarian menus are not available
  • Not wheelchair-accessible
  • Take-out and delivery service are available
  • Luggage storage is available
  • Wi-Fi is available
  • Posting of food photos and videos on SNS is allowed
  • Separate billing is allowed

※Menu contents, prices, store information, etc. are current as of October 2023.