Ikinari Steak opens standing-room only outlet near Fifth Avenue in New York

JIJI

Popular Japanese restaurant chain Ikinari Steak has opened a fourth outlet in New York, near Fifth Avenue.

At the latest branch, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, customers stand while they eat — a style the chain adheres to as part of its mission to serve high-quality meat economically.

“It’s very delicious,” said Japanese former slugger and New York Yankee Hideki Matsui during the restaurant’s opening ceremony Friday.

Matsui gobbled down a 450-gram rib eye served with a soy sauce-based topping. The retired baseball star expressed hope the new restaurant will be successful and compete well with the nearby steakhouse run by the Yankees.

Pepper Food Service Co., operator of the Ikinari chain, has been opening stores in the United States at a rapid clip since its first U.S. outlet, also in Manhattan, debuted in February last year.

“New Yorkers are strict about prices. I hope to offer something valuable at a low price,” said Kunio Ichinose, Pepper Food Service’s founder and president.