Food & Drink | TOKYO FOOD FILE

Meating at Anis: Monthly gatherings for carnivore connoisseurs

by Robbie Swinnerton

Special To The Japan Times

Nobody in Tokyo cooks meat like Susumu Shimizu. Whether it’s beef, pork, lamb or poultry, he prepares it all over a plancha — basically a hot plate with super-sensitive controls — in his chic little restaurant, Anis, on the western edge of Shinjuku.

He slowly, patiently rests the meat for hours over a low heat, adjusting the position and temperature with the expertise of a true master. The results are spectacular: tender but still rare, with all the flavor and nutrition still perfectly locked in. Fans come from near and far for his signature dishes.

Once a month, Shimizu holds special dinners that he calls “Meating at Anis,” featuring half a dozen kinds of meat and fowl. The mix of ingredients differs each time, but the quality is consistently superb.

Last month, he steamed dainty quail legs over green tea leaves, followed by tender calf with seasonal vegetables and an entire beef tongue served with grated sudachi citrus peels. He roasted a whole duck covered with savory shoyu lees. And his finale was the finest lamb shank you are ever likely to taste in Tokyo.

Shimizu keeps the numbers down for each Meating, to ensure it is intimate and relaxed. For that reason, it is essential to book well in advance.