1-8-2 Kitanagasa Dori, Kobe
Take a Hankyu or JR train to Kobe's Sannomiya station. The restaurant is right across from the "Hankyu Sannomiya" train station on the north side (NOT the "JR Sannomiya" train station), street level.
During our Autumn 2009 trip to the Kansai region, Kobe was not on our itinerary on places to visit. Afterall, we had our schedule full with planned trips to Kyoto, Osaka and Nara over a pathetic 8 days (which includes a day at Arima Onsen). But the call of the Kobe Beef was way too strong. Kobe was an hour's ride from Osaka, and we decided, Samurai T and I, that for the sake of eating authentic Kobe Beef in Kobe, it was worth a 2-hour travel and we would somehow squeeze time out from our packed itinerary.
Apparently, once you arrive at the heart of Kobe City (Sannomiya), there are restaurants after restaurants along the streets advertising their delicious Kobe Beef, obviously the number 1 tourist attraction in town. Fastidious researcher that I am, I made sure that we would patronise a certified restaurant and not be conned into eating some BS wagyu. Thanks to one of my favourite Japan related travel blogs where I got most of my tips from: http://paulstravelpics.blogspot.com/2008/07/kobe-beef-in-kobe-step-by-step-photo.html, I decided on Steakland Kobe because 1) it is near the train stations; 2) they serve certified Kobe beef; 3) price is very affordable, and 4) they have good reviews (duh!).
Actually you can read a very detailed review from Paul's Travel Pics blog above, but nevertheless I will add my 2 cents worth. The restaurant has a very Western setting, with the chefs dressed in spiffy white uniforms and chef top hats. We chose to sit at the long counter where we can observe the chefs in action (and so that I can take pictures too).
Samurai T and I ordered a tenderloin and a sirloin steak set (medium grade Kobe Beef). The sirloin set, being slightly more expensive, had additional squid (which I hate) and a plate of salmon sashimi (yums but not the highlight). Of course there was the traditional soup, salad bowl, rice and drink. And do not forget the best fried garlic chips I have ever tasted in my life! But most important of all, was the beef up to mark? Did it live up to my expectations?! Just pop a slice in your mouth which melts deliciously and you are instantly in beef heaven. (I wonder what would happen if I had ordered the top grade beef.) For the two of us who had our stomachs stuffed to bursting point, the bill came up to about 9000 yen, which was only a cheap ass SGD150! (yes, cheaper than my Tsunahachi tempura, I know.)
Mad cow disease? Hand, foot and mouth disease? Bah, they can all move aside. Just give me the damn beef anyday. We are mad cow lovers. :D