During my Tokyo 2015 trip, one of my main attractions was to visit “Billy The Kid” steakhouse run by tokusatsu legend Tetsuo Kurata, who played Kotaro Minami in “Kamen Rider Black” (1987-88) and “Kamen Rider Black RX” (1988-89). He later returned in “Kamen Rider Decade” (2009) and the movie “All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker” reprising his role as Kotaro Minami. Tetsuo will once again reprised his role in 2015’s “Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3”.
Upon entry, I was overwhelmed by the intense mouth-watering smell of steak and wild west decor as staff greeted and promptly seated me.
A kettle filled with cold water was brought to my table as I looked at the menus, which were entirely in Japanese with only a few small pictures.
There were two items that immediately caught my eye: Kamen Rider Black steak and Kamen Rider Black RX steak. Being a tokusatsu fan, of course I was adamant on ordering either one of these but had trouble deciding which one I wanted to try. I ended up going with Black RX since I liked that series and its villains more.
As I sat there waiting for my food, I was processing the fact that I was here in Tetsuo Kurata’s restaurant. 😛
The meal included a salad to start off. Salad was sweet and sour but had a horrible aftertaste due to the garlic. Despite that, it was not bad but nothing special either. Very reminiscent of those salads served as a small appetizer at Japanese restaurants back home in Toronto.
Then came the entrée… Kamen Rider Black RX steak was served on a sizzling plate decorated with Black RX logo in yellow dijon mustard, Black RX’s dark green suit colour represented with dried seaweed, and two small pieces of green bean acting as antanae. The steak was quite delicious and succulent albeit a little rough in texture but the incredible explosion of flavour compensated for it. A bowl of rice was also served.
After my meal, I was brought a cup of coffee to end the meal with. The server joked that it was “BLACK coffee…” ~Hardy har har! Funny! 😛
I’m not Captain Janeway though so I don’t like my coffee black and asked for some cream and sugar.
In between sips of my coffee, I told the staff that my hotel called the other day asking about Tetsuo Kurata being here tonight because I wanted to meet him. To my utter disappointment, it turns out there was miscommunication and Tetsuo Kurata was not present that night. They told me he was still in Indonesia (for a convention, as I later found out online) so I ended up having to visit again the next night for dinner. While I was disappointed that this resulted in me having to go twice, it did allow me to try both Kamen Rider Black steak and Black RX steak on the menu.
So I ended up going back again the next day for dinner enroute from Odaiba, after getting confirmation from my hotel that he was there for sure this time. It turns out Billy The Kid was quite close to Odaiba and was somewhat along the way back to my hotel in Ueno anyway so I was relieved it was not that big a hassle to revisit. When I spotted Tetsuo in the kitchen cooking, it was reaffirming to know that it wouldn’t be another boondoggle.
I ordered the Kamen Rider Black steak this time. Along came the salad first and coffee later just like the previous night and of course, the main dish: Kamen Rider Black steak. It was very much the same as Black RX steak with the addition of red ketchup accompanying the yellow mustard for the Kamen Rider Black logo, and there was less portion-wise.
After my meal, I told the staff (different from previous night) that I was the one my hotel called on behalf of and if I could meet Tetsuo Kurata to which they initially told me he was busy cooking in the kitchen. Considering I came all this way across the world, there was no way I was going to allow one of my main objectives to be compromised so I pleaded and asked if it would be possible when Tetsuo has a little break in between cooking and fulfilling the restaurant orders. They allowed it and I waited patiently at my table until he was finally available. I took out one of my shikishi that I purchased the other day at Tokyu Hands for him to sign and prepared my camera in the meantime.
Finally, the moment came and Tetsuo Kurata walked towards my table. I was still processing the fact that a Kamen Rider legend was standing in front of me. He greeted me, we shook hands, and he signed my shikishi. We did not say much due to the language barrier but he thanked me for coming (from I could understand) and I thanked him back.
We also took another photo with Tetsuo’s collection of Black/Black RX memorabilia in the background.
In addition to steaks, they also sell Black/Black RX t-shirts with the Billy The Kid logo on the back. Alas, they were 5300 yen each so I decided to pass on them considering the outrageous price for such a simply designed shirt as well as the fear of buying the wrong Japanese sizes.
Overall, I give Billy The Kid Steakhouse a rating of 3 stars. Food is great but I felt my dining experience was a bit overpriced. Unless what I had was wagyu beef which I doubt, I can’t help but think the Kamen Rider steaks were probably tourist traps targeting the tokusatsu fans who visit. It was definitely worth ordering at least once for a photo op though but if I were to eat here any other day like a local, I would opt for the non-themed options that seem relatively economically priced. Regardless, it was still a delicious meal and I’m glad I dropped by to meet Tetsuo Kurata as I have always wanted to meet a Kamen Rider – plus, I got to enjoy a meal cooked for me by Kotaro Minami himself!
Nerd Emperor’s Rating: ★★★☆☆
Address: Tokyo, Koto, Toyo, 3−14−7
Hours: Mon-Thurs 18:00−25:00 (6pm−1am), Fri-Sat 18:00−27:00 (6pm−2am), Sun 17:00−24:00 (5pm−12am)
Website: http://www.billy-the-kid.co.jp | Toyo-cho Store
Access: Kiba Station (Tokyo Metro Tozai Line)
Notes: There are multiple Billy The Kid steakhouses across Tokyo so if your main objective is to meet Tetsuo Kurata, the Toyo-cho store is the one to visit.