Japanese Beef; Wagyu and or Kobe

BarbJ
Bento-ing from: Cupertino › California › USA
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 24 weeks ago.

The recent post by Maki about Fugu got me thinking about the other really expensive Japanese restaurant meal. Kobe beef.

So who here has had this delicacy and what did you think of it? Was it home cooked or restaurant.
Is it really worth the cost?

I was thinking about it also because my husband and I went to a very fancy restaurant here for our anniversary, which is one of the few outside of San Fransisco to serve this beef. It's called Alexander's steak house and is a asia/western fusion place with a big emphasis on beef.

You can get three or four types of beef here, USDA prime aged 25 days, Australian beef and Waygu and Kobe beef. The cost goes up in this direction also.
(We had the USDA Prime and it was delicious!! 6oz filet mignon about $50.)

One dish they serve is (I think) four-5oz steaks,one of each kind. They are not labeled and it comes with a little chalk board that you are supposed to write down your guesses on and compare with you dinner companions. It's $150. a la carte.
Just a straight Kobe beef steak is about $250 for an 8oz piece, also a la carte.
I heard that people eating the whole 8 oz by themselves can get a stomach ache because it's so rich and it's suggested by some to share that much.

So any one here had this meat? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

____________________________________

BarbJ
http://barbsblab.blogspot.com/

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 12 weeks ago.
Re: Japanese Beef; Wagyu and or Kobe
BarbJ wrote:

The recent post by Maki about Fugu got me thinking about the other really expensive Japanese restaurant meal. Kobe beef.

I guess this seems like a minor quibble, but you wrote:
"... about THE other really expensive Japanese restaurant meal" rather than "... about ANother really expensive Japanese restaurant meal"

Vegetarian gourmets get to empty their wallets too - don't forget the not so humble matsutake mushroom!

Sorry I can't answer your meat question, the only time this kind of beef was on my menu I asked for it to be substituted by a fish dish.

I did find that matsutake, for those who get to eat enough of it, can have an intriguing side effect - one I have never seen mentioned (this disclosure may be an English language internet first). The fragrance of the fungus ends up coming out of your pores so that your skin smells of it and even tastes of it. I'm pretty sure I understand now why matsutake is considered an aphrodisiac...

BarbJ
Bento-ing from: Cupertino › California › USA
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 24 weeks ago.
Re: Japanese Beef; Wagyu and or Kobe

Oops! Sorry! My prejudices are showing!

They do have an interesting veggie dish at this same restaurant called "Field of Dreams". Cute eh?
I'd like to try that Matsutake mushroom someday too. I do love mushrooms!!

BTW, I hope no one thinks I'm trying to brag about this restaurant. We've never gone to a place that expensive before, but it was our 25th wedding anniversary so we wanted to splurge. I may go again someday as it was really good, but yeah, it was way too expensive a casual dinner.
I just was curious if that beef was worth a price like that, taste wise.

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Japanese Beef; Wagyu and or Kobe

Congratulations on your 25th anniversary, a marriage lasting that long is definitely deserving of a splurge.

I certainly have no personal experience with different grades of beef. I think it is much like any other food item, a less expensive cut and/or meat can taste just as well as or better than something more expensive and cooked poorly. And honestly I have not met anyone who has found there to be all that much difference, they thought that more expensive meat was good but they were not overwhelmed by its greatness.

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 12 weeks ago.
Re: Japanese Beef; Wagyu and or Kobe
BarbJ wrote:

BTW, I hope no one thinks I'm trying to brag about this restaurant. We've never gone to a place that expensive before, but it was our 25th wedding anniversary so we wanted to splurge. I may go again someday as it was really good, but yeah, it was way too expensive a casual dinner.
I just was curious if that beef was worth a price like that, taste wise.

That's wonderful, BarbJ!
Many congratulations! Sounds like the perfect excuse for some true indulgence.

I'm curious about these 'marbled' beefs also. I've imagined they are different to other prime cuts of meat in the way that tuna belly (toro in Japanese or ventresco in Spanish) are different to what have traditionally been considered the prime tuna cuts, or jamon iberico with its intricate layers of fat is different from leaner jamon serranos or parma ham.
It is curious how interest in this beef has taken off. In the 80s few British people had any interest in jamon iberico, the white fat it had was a real turn off (not that you could purchase it legally in the UK at the time, there were strict import regulations) but those Brits I did see in Spain who were lucky enough to be offered it more often than not would push it aside or pick off the white parts - parma ham was considered a far superior meat to most at that time.
And, funnily enough, the majority of Spaniards, as well as the rest of Europe, didn't appreciate toro either. Marbled tuna belly has always been part of fishermen's recipes - historically fishermen always chose the tastiest unpopular cuts for their dishes and stews. Of course, it was demand from Japan which changed this. Toro has become ANother expensive food. I've heard of some restaurants putting high price tags on hamburgers which combine toro and Kobe-style beef. In Spain, ventresco is now a speciality dish sought out by gourmets.
From my perspective, Japan has made the West re-evaluate the importance of fat in meat (and fish).

So how was your beef? Did it practically melt in your mouth (as toro can and good Kobe beef is supposed to) or was it more like a very high end regular steak?
If the California cow rearers are anywhere near as good as replicating the Japanese domestic product as some of the Californian japonica rice growers have been, Wagyu/Kobe beef is going to become available to a lot more people.

BarbJ
Bento-ing from: Cupertino › California › USA
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 24 weeks ago.
Re: Japanese Beef; Wagyu and or Kobe

Well I don't know how it was, cause I was too chicken to pay the $250. price tag! ^_^

We did have the $50. USDA Prime beef and it was absolutely delicious!! They age their own beef and it was tender with really nice marbling throughout. Prime is a grade that usually only restaurants can get, so it is better than your average supermarket beef.
Someday I'll try the Kobe beef though. Probably share it.

And thanks for the congratulations everyone!!

evapple
Bento-ing from: Sydney NSW 2000 › Australia
Joined: 17 Nov 2008
User offline. Last seen 3 years 47 weeks ago.
Re: Japanese Beef; Wagyu and or Kobe

I had wagyu beef at a lovely little Japanese restaurant behind QVB, Sydney. It was served sizzling on a hot volcano rock, with pretty condiments and sauces and a bowl of sushi rice. My fiancé and I had 6 thin slices to share between us! This was a 50AUD dish! so it was pretty exp. But it was our first time with the famed meat.

We had our flrst slice without any flavourings. And it was very tender, but the rich buttery flavour of the fat confused my tastebuds, for a second I thought I wasn't eating beef! But then the aroma of the sizzling meat comforts ones senses. ^^

I would say its definitely worth trying, but I don't think I could eat it on a daily basis, its just too rich.

____________________________________

rolling them over, one onigiri at a time.

Re: Japanese Beef; Wagyu and or Kobe

I'll preface this comment. I am an American and I have to say that Japanese beef is the most delicious thing I have ever had in my life. There is one place in particular, it's called Dai and located in Fukuoka. If you are ever down in that area, you NEED to have dinner here. They serve up 100% Saga Gyu (basically the same, I think better than Kobe beef. Kobe beef just gets more PR and marketing dollars spent to advertise their crap). But this beef just melts in your mouth. It's a tenpan restaurant and so seats are limited. I think the restaurant has a total of 15 seats, so make reservations. The prices are around 7000 yen. Actually the website is completely in Japanese, but I did find one website that has a listing for this restaurant with Photos, reviews, and contact info. I had forgotten the name, but finally found it in my bookmarks: http://www.findinjp.com/restaurants/358/dai-chuo

I go here everytime I visit Fukuoka, it's heavenly!

anon.
Re: Japanese Beef; Wagyu and or Kobe

I'm not much of a beef eater, but I do know that there are some distinctions between all the meats.

Wagyu laterally means "Japanese cow" and is a family of cattle. The interesting thing about wagyu is that, besides being more tender and marbled than American breeds (tenderness and concentration of flavor is one of the major reasons prime steaks are aged), it is actually lower in saturated fat than US breeds and contains more healthy fats (e.g. omega 3). However, in the US, any cow that is at least 1/4 (I thin k?) wagyu can be marketed as wagyu beef. As somebody mentioned before, Kobe beef is more of a regional marketing thing, kind of like champagne or Parma ham.

Not completely sure about Australian cattle breeds (although I've had Australian kangaroo - yum!), but I believe they have a history of crossing with wagyu. I know there are a lot in New Zealand, so it only stands to reason.....

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

New forum activity since your last visit

TitleAuthorAnswersLast Postsort icon
Sesame salad dressing Supertaster91 year 7 weeks ago
Authentic paella? maki101 year 8 weeks ago
IMPORTANT: If you have a blog on JustBento... maki21 year 11 weeks ago
Shiso - uses for this herb Loretta01 year 13 weeks ago
Fuki (Japanese Butterbur) Tsukemono Recipes kumo51 year 13 weeks ago