Ikeguchi Meat Shop is a very popular meat shop that we can even say there is no one in Fukuyama City who doesn’t know about it. The shop quietly opened in 1982 in a residential area far from the station. Since that time, they have been very particular about their Wagyu (Japanese) beef, and only carry meat that they believe is “truly delicious”. They also produce their own processed products such as croquettes and minced meat cutlets, and are now very popular not only with the people of the town, but also with the customers of their online shop and department stores. Thanks to the growing reputation over the past 30 years, instead of being a “quiet” store, it is now so popular that the line continues all the way to the outside on weekends. The store that once started out as a family business eventually expanded the number of employees and its factory, and the small store is now filled with staff and customers visiting non-stop. The secret of the popularity of Ikeguchi Meat Shop, of course, lies in their integrity towards meat, and their challenging spirit.
“As for our main product, the Japanese black Wagyu beef, I pick them based on my intuition and get beautiful lean meat with just the right amount of marbling, regardless of the grade like A4 and A5. After I buy the meat, we wet-age it to bring out its best flavor,” says Masamu Ikeguchi, the managing director and the eldest son of the current president. At Ikeguchi Meat Shop, butchery is done by only a few numbers of “meat professionals”, and Masamu is one of the leading professionals there. He says that the beauty, texture, and flavor of meat can only be achieved by professionals who understand the characteristics of meat inside-out. Ever-smiling and gentle Masamu’s face turns serious and stern when cutting meat, and it is such uncompromising mastery that preserves the tradition of Ikeguchi Meat Shop.
Take a bite of this spicy and juicy sausage. The coarsely ground meat is well spiced and it will make you want to have alcohol….
The key to making sausages, they say, is to ask yourself what you can do to make it even juicier. The results are evident from the first bite. The sausages from Ikeguchi Meat Shop of course go well with ketchup and mustard, but even without them, they are good enough – we mean, “more” than just good enough! We were simply impressed by how sausages can turn out when butchers go full-on.
When we asked about the secret behind the deliciousness, we were told the sausages are actually made by hand, from the preparation of the meat to the seasoning, smoking, and packing. Small bones and tendons are carefully removed from the professionally selected meat, stuffed in the casings, and heated and smoked to enhance the flavor and aroma. Finally after they are cooled, they are cut and vacuum sealed. Requiring approximately a whole week to become complete, it is only through the skills of the professionals that they finally become “the taste of Ikeguchi Meat Shop”.
The challenges of Ikeguchi Meat Shop spread fast and furious into the town. They are currently considering starting an adjoining Korean barbeque restaurant at their Fukuyama Ekimae store (by JR Fukuyama station), which opened in 2020 as a butcher shop, to make it a place where customers can fill their stomachs as well as their hearts with meat (food).
“I want to create a place that is not just ‘a place to eat meat’, but also a base for the local community, a place where conversations spark and unforgettable memories are made through delicious food, and where the taste of meat fills your heart. I want to create a place like that.” Masamu shared his ideas while his eyes sparkled with enthusiasm.
And that is not all. In the near future, he plans to use quick freezing technology to further improve the freshness of ingredients and develop new products that have never been made before. We can’t take our eyes off of Ikeguchi Meat Shop, which continues to take on new challenges one after another.
We serve hot dogs using garlic pepper and plain sausages from the ‘Ikeguchi butcher shop’ at the ANCHOR BAR. During breakfast, the sausages are boiled so that it isn’t too heavy for the morning and during the evening they are grilled to enhance the spiciness.
Enjoy the flavors of the pork and chicken chosen from experts and the aroma from smoking cherry blossom and beech chips along with a drink or a cup of coffee.
Ikeguchi Meat Shop 5-31-39, Shingaicho, Fukuyama-shi, Hiroshima, 721-0955, Japan / TEL.084-953-9799View website