Have you ever wondered why wagyu is so delicious with its melt-in-your-mouth texture? The deliciousness of its meat is the result of a rigorous procedure of breeding and feeding particular breeds of cows, which results in the lovely marbling of its meat.
Although it is more expensive than conventional beef, you will undoubtedly get your money’s worth from the culinary adventure that its complex taste will take you on.
The phrase translates to Japanese (wa) cow (gyu) and has soon become a favorite among foodies who enjoy the simple yet full-bodied flavors of Japanese cuisine. After all, any wagyu or other discerning steak fan understands that when meat is pared down and minimally seasoned, its textures and flavor profiles shine through.
Wagyu beef is derived from many native cattle breeds such as Akage (Brown), and Mukaku (Polled), Kuroge (Black), and Nihon Tankaku (Shorthorn). The most popular brands from these breeds are those from Kobe, Matsusaka, Miyazaki, and Omi.
What distinguishes Japanese wagyu from others? These breeds are lavishly pampered and raised in their particular surroundings, resulting in meat high in fatty acids and a little sweet aftertaste.
Aside from the brand, look for cuts that fulfill the high criteria of marbling, color and brightness, texture, and fat quality when evaluating the quality of Japanese meat. The best wagyu beef is thought to bear the grade A4 or A5, or grades awarded on two counts: fat quality (1 to 5), and meat yielded (A class to C class).
Below are the greatest locations in Manila to eat Japanese wagyu.
1| THE FIREPLACE
The luxurious steakhouse on the fifth floor of the New World Manila Bay Hotel, previously the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Casino, is best renowned for its delightful spin on international favorites like fresh seafood, burgers, and, of course, steak, particularly Japanese wagyu.
Welcome to the home of the A4 Wagyu Steak from Saga Prefecture Japan, as well as dry-aged USDA and long-fed tomahawk steaks. Each steak is topped with café de Paris butter and can be ordered with a variety of “steak upgrades” such as foie gras or scallops. It also serves sauces for its premium beef cuts, such as mushroom-garlic, Béarnaise, and Tomari soy wasabi.
2| HOUSE OF WAGYU STONE GRILL
For all steak things, the House of Wagyu Stone Grill is a crowd favorite. The dry-aged wagyu rib eye is their flagship product, having been cured for 40 days with humidity and air flow controlled by an ager. This procedure is supposed to reduce the meat’s weight by more than 30%, bringing out the rich, nutty flavor of the wagyu.
The Saga Rib Eye Grade A4, which is served rare on the restaurant’s signature stone platter, is another famous steak. To appreciate the unique taste of wagyu, heat only the slice you want to consume for 15 to 30 seconds, then turn it over to roast, season, and dig in.
3| WAGYU STEAKS OF MELO’S/ CARMELO’S
Carmelo Santiago, in 1987, opened the first steakhouse in Manila to serve Certified Angus Beef, the pioneer’s personal favorite and the house specialty. Melo’s has now become the go-to not only for Angus Beef but also for its wagyu variety, which is sourced by an exclusive supplier from Japan’s Saga and Kagoshima Prefectures.
The same menu is served at Carmelo’s Wagyu Steaks, which is run by Santiago’s daughter, Cristina Santiago Rivera. When eating at the Santiagos’ steakhouses, request the steak cart so you can select your chosen beef cut and thickness before it is grilled with a special marinade. Enhance your steak with a round of oysters, which are served fresh or a la Rockefeller or Florentine.
4| MIYAZAKI GYU
If you’re unfamiliar with the Taguig neighborhood, you might miss this BGC restaurant, but just look for a few landmarks, it’s sandwiched between a prominent coffee shop and a 24-hour convenience store, and you will be on your way to a delicious steak experience. Miyazaki Gyu, the home of ruby-colored wagyu, is chef Kensuke Sakai’s, of Iron Chef renown, and Santi Araneta’s response to Manila’s burgeoning demand for premium steakhouses.
You will discover imported Miyazaki wagyu beef graded A4 and up here, indicating that its wagyu selection is not only top-notch in terms of quality but also meticulously picked from Japan’s second-largest kuroge producer. Its steak can be ordered separately or as part of a set, which includes a soup, salad, and rice. If you want to add some diversity to your supper menu, try surf and turf with garlic butter prawns or fried scallops.
5| WAGYU JAPANESE BEEF
Don’t allow the dim and steely exterior of Wagyu Japanese Beef fool you about the sort of food it serves. Top quality wagyu brands with a soft, buttery aftertaste can be bought here. Chef Takayuki Hayano is the one behind this BGC stop, which he co-owns with business partners Lexington Chua and Clar Chia Siy. Chef Taka, a registered wagyu importer, is also the chef behind the now-closed Japanese Wagyu Beef in Makati.
Wagyu brands like Saga, Omi, and Kagoshima are available in a range of cuts in his tiny shop, including tenderloin, ribeye, sirloin, chateaubriand, chuck roll, and top round. You can also acquire these quality cuts to go, and the staff will gladly show you how to prepare them on your own turf.