Take note on American beef steak created by high-quality dry aging technique of Japan
Take note on American beef st...

Take note on American beef st...

Take note on American beef st...

Take note on American beef st...

Take note on American beef st...

Take note on American beef st...

Take note on American beef st...

By Aya Ota

In the Williamsburg district of Brooklyn, stylish and innovative stores are appearing one after another, and you find something new every time you visit. People think that this town is most sensitive about the newest trends. In such a town, extremely stylish exteriors draw your attention. Once you step inside, a sophisticatedly designed interior space opens in front of you. It is “Salt + Charcoal” restaurant. Until recently, this place had been running as a popular robata-yaki izakaya restaurant mostly for local customers, but in March of this year, the menu was completely renewed to kick off a new concept, “Japanese Style Steak House + Brasserie”, and is gaining a lot of attention.

“Salt and charcoal are the basics of cooking,” says the owner, Teruyuki Takayama to explain how the name of the restaurant came about. He has a unique background as a producer/CEO of a film production company. When he became 40 years old, he felt like challenging himself to a completely different field, and started a restaurant business. It took him 2 years to open the restaurant as he struggled through issues including finding real estate, undergoing various building construction problems, experiencing difficulty in obtaining the license to use charcoal, etc. Then, 2 years after the opening, he decided to renew the menu with the change of the chef to make a new start. The concept of cooking with charcoal stayed the same, but the robata grill using Bincho charcoal was removed, and instead he installed a customized charcoal specialized grill with which they offer dynamic dishes of meat and seafood.

The menu renewal was especially focused on the steak section. The new Executive chef, Tadaaki Ishizaki, is a meat expert. Not only had he been displaying his expert skills in a steak house in Japan, but he also has a long career in the sites of meat production, processing, and sales. He has the title of “Japan Dry Aging Beef Promotion Board Certified Cook”. He says, “Compared to America and Europe, Japan has a shorter history of dry aging. However, after studying enthusiastically, Japan now holds a very high standard technique which, I can probably say, has progressed and become No. 1 in the world”. Mr. Ishizaki continues representing his passion - “I would like to serve the best meat dishes by appropriately using high-quality American beef and wagyu beef with the reimported high standard technique cultivated in Japan.”

He is very particular about selecting the meat he uses. He goes to the contracted meat seller to select fresh meat by himself. He then insists on having the meat age for a month. “Porterhouse Steak using such dry aged beef is his proud menu item. The menu has a wide variety of dishes. Other steak menu items include Kumamoto wagyu, T-Bone, NY strip, etc. Besides beef, there is also duck, lamb, salmon, branzino, octopus, lobster, etc. Each ingredient is grilled in the most appropriate way, and served with the best matched sauce. You can also order extra house sauces ($1.50 to $2 each) to differentiate the taste. There are more than 15 different kinds, which makes you feel like trying them all. The unique sauces accentuated by Japanese spices include “Balsamic butter soy sauce”, “Miso garlic butter, “Green onion ponzu chili oil”, “Sansai (mountain vegetables) mayonnaise”, etc.

Other sections of the menu such as appetizers, raw bar, sushi (rice), salad, etc. also contain dishes full of imagination. It would not be easy to skip to the steak menu. “Uni Truffle Pudding” ($16) is a sumptuous item using one whole sea urchin combined with truffle oil, truffle salt, and truffle foam. “Whole Shrimp Croquette” ($21) is a unique dish deep-fried using Kadaif as the coating. The custom-made tartar sauce goes perfectly well with it. “Wagyu “Yukke” Tartare” ($26) is delivered to the table in a bamboo container, and then, your server mixes the ingredients in front of you. Its spicy taste eaten with dried seaweed or potato chips makes you want to drink more sake. Chef Ishizaki has worked for “Joel Robuchon”, a top-notch French restaurant. The elegant and gorgeous presentation he creates, using full knowledge and technique of French cuisine, takes your breath away.

The majority of the customers are locals, and 95% of them are non-Japanese. The renewal of the menu was targeted to invite many new customers by accommodating the local needs. On the other hand, due to the price increase, there is a risk of losing the regulars who have been enjoying the old casual robata-yaki izakaya style. The former popular menu items such as karaage and yakitori are gone from the dinner menu.

Despite of the risk, I can also smell success. I cannot take my eyes off of the new start and the future development of “Salt + Charcoal”.


おしゃれで斬新な店舗が次々と登場し、訪れる度に新しい発見があるブルックリンのウィリアムズバーグ地区。今、ニューヨークで最も流行感度が高いと言われるこの街で、ひときわスタイリッシュな外観に目を奪われ足を踏み入れると、洗練されたデザインの空間が広がる――ここ『Salt + Charcoal』は、これまで炉端焼き居酒屋として、地元客を中心に定着してきたが、この3月からメニューを一新、「Japanese Style Steak House+Brasserie」という全く新しいコンセプトを打ち出して、注目されている。



前菜やローバー、寿司(ライス)、サラダなどのセクションも、創意工夫に富んだ料理が並んでおり、うっかりステーキにたどり着けないのではないかと思うほどの充実ぶりだ。「ウニ、トリュフプディング」(16ドル)はウニを丸々1個分使い、トリュフ油・トリュフ塩・トリュフ泡を組み合わせた贅沢な一品。「海老のクリームコロッケ 」(21ドル)は、カダイフを衣に使い揚げたユニークな一品。特性タルタルソースとの相性が抜群だ。「和牛タルタル」(26ドル)は、具材が竹製容器に盛り付けられてテーブルに運ばれた後、サーバーが目の前で混ぜてくれる。海苔や店特製ポテトチップスに載せて食べると、思わず酒が進んでしまうスパイシーな味付けだ。石崎シェフは一流フランス料理店『ジョエル・ロブション』でも勤務した経験がある。フレンチの技術や知識も存分に活かした、優雅で華やかなプレゼンテーションにも目を奪われる。


リスクは伴うがすでに成功の予感がする『Salt + Charcoal』の再出発――今後の展開から目が離せない。

Salt + Charcoal
171 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Tel: 718-782-2087