Shinpo Co., Ltd. (Nagoya) has the No. 1 share of smokeless Yakiniku grills in Japan

Kanpai Classic, Shanghai, China

"From the movement I heard about the publication of the Shanghai Edition of the Michelin Guide, we set our sights on achieving that great distinction."

Mr. Hwang,
General Manager (35 years old)

"From the movement I heard about the publication of the Shanghai Edition of the Michelin Guide, we set our sights on achieving that great distinction. Each day, as we welcomed customers into our restaurant, we imagined that each one was a potential Michelin inspector." (Michelin inspectors do their jobs anonymously.)

"When we entered the China market, it was my dream that all the employees working within the Kanpai Group would duplicate the great success we achieved in Taiwan. We were convinced that the people of China would come to appreciate our Kanpai cu lture and Kanpai service."
We opened our first Kanpai Classic premium yakiniku restaurant in Shanghai's Bund (Wai Tan) District, one of the city's most popular and prestigious spots. This location was to be our company's showcase in China. Around the same time, the Michelin Shanghai Guide was being put together. Within the Kampai group, we had created an environment of excellence that would appeal to such a prestigious organization. Thus, it was natural that I would set my sights on winning the Michelin Award for outstanding general manager.
How we strategized to win:
  1. "For starters, we requested that the Kanpai Group provide us with their top chef to spearhead our efforts. The president of our organization, Mr. Hirade, obliged us by sending master chef Ishihara." (40 years old)
  2. "Then we brought over a large number of Taiwanese staff who were highly trained in customer service. We felt that it was important to have outstanding employees who could explain the high quality of our Wagyu beef, and the way to eat and fully enjoy yakiniku."
  3. "Although the use of frozen beef is commonplace in Shanghai, we felt it was important to use chilled M8-M9 Wagyu beef from Australia which had never been frozen. Because we are direct importers of high quality beef from Australia, we could control the entire process. As a result, we are able to be highly selective, and offer the choicest cuts of beef at the peak of their flavor."
  4. "To showcase the quality of our beef, we installed a large refrigerator by the entrance of the restaurant. This was so that customers could appreciate and understand the quality and beauty of our Wagyu beef. Beauty enhances taste."
  5. From the start, we focused on beauty and artistry.
  6. We designed the interior of the restaurant in the Japanese style. We made certain that there would be no smoke or odors escaping into the restaurant's environment. This was an absolute requirement in order to attract business customers.
  7. We treat our guests like family and friends, and they can feel our warmth. This is one of the key values of our Kanpai culture.
Mr. Hiraide
Chairman, Kanpai Group

"When the announcement of the awards ceremony was made from the honorable mention, 'recommended' restaurant, and we did not receive a call, I had to pinch myself. This meant that we were definitely going to win a Michelin star! The 'children' truly exceeded their parents.

In September of 2016, we unexpectedly received an invitation from the Michelin Guide to attend their awards ceremony. There was no mention of why we were invited. They said simply that the chef should wear his uniform, the men should wear suits, and the women should wear dresses. That was it. Naturally, we were excited, but the Michelin people made no mention of the type of award we might receive. To tell the truth, at that point, I had no idea how happy I should be.
The award ceremony was preceded by the announcement of the group of honorable-mention 'recommended' restaurants. We were happy once it was all over, however we were a bit unnerved when Kanpai Classic was not in that list of 'recommended' restaurants. Nevertheless, that meant that we were going to be awarded a Michelin star! Being the recipient of a Michelin One Star award was more than I expected. All of the 'kids' (our young staff) working under the general manager really pulled together; and for this, I am extremely grateful. We exceeded the expectations of our founding member 'parents.' The effort and dedication put forth by our employees to achieve the Michelin award was substantial. I am so proud of the entire team.
I am not certain of the exact reason why we won the award. Perhaps it was the Australian Wagyu beef served in combination with our sashimi and kaiseki dishes which pleased our Shanghai customers. This award has inspired me to keep striving to provide future Kanpai customers with the most delicious beef experience possible.
Chairman Hiraide holding Volume One of the Shanghai Michelin Guide along with Mr. Tanaka, president of Shinpo Co., Ltd.

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