Have you ever wondered what distinguishes different types of wagyu from each other?
Wagyu is a term used to describe premium Japanese beef. While wagyu is synonymous with high-quality beef, there are several varieties, each with their unique characteristics.
FOR instance, Kobe beef is perhaps the most famous variety, hailed for its tender texture, rich flavor, and intricate marbling, attributed to the unique feeding and care techniques used by Kobe beef farmers. However, there are several other types of wagyu, such as Matsusaka beef, Omi beef, and Saga beef, each with its own unique qualities and taste.
Matsusaka beef comes from the Mie prefecture in Japan, and like Kobe beef, it is famous for its high level of marbling and tenderness. However, Matsusaka beef is known for having an even richer flavor than Kobe beef due to its high concentration of oleic acid.
Omi beef comes from the Shiga prefecture in Japan and is known for its well-balanced flavor and marbling. Unlike Kobe beef, which is typically fed beer and massaged, Omi beef is raised on a specific diet that includes locally grown rice straw.
While all types of wagyu are renowned for their high-quality meat and unique flavors, the differences in their breeding, feeding, and care techniques give each variety its own distinct features.
One variety worth exploring is Saga wagyu, which hails from the Saga prefecture in Japan. This type of beef is known for its exceptional marbling, texture, and rich flavor. Saga wagyu is often compared to Kobe beef due to its similar qualities, and it is one of the most prized varieties of Japanese beef.
Okura’s Chef Dinner Saga Edition
HOTEL Okura Manila recently held its Chef’s Dinner The “Saga” Edition event, which showcased the masterful use of Saga Wagyu by Hotel Okura Manila’s chefs and Hiroki Samata, Chef, Master Butcher and Faculty Member of the Federal Meat Academy of Japan.
The event started with an amuse-bouche prepared by Jerrymie Tamayo, Yawaragi’s chef de cuisine, featuring Saga Wagyu Tartare Croutons and Mentaiko with Egg Yolk Flakes. The dish consisted of well-seasoned diced cut Saga Wagyu Rib eye and crispy croutons topped with Pollock roe and Japanese sea salt-cured egg yolk.
For the appetizer, Hiroki Samata prepared a dish called Sliced Saga-gyu Chuck Eye Log with Clam Jelly and Mustard Cream. The dish featured slow-cooked roast beef made with Chuck eye log, served with clam gelée, seasonal salad, Japanese mustard cream, and parsley oil. This dish was paired with Amabuki Junmai Ginjo “Sunflower Yeast”.
The salad course, prepared by Jerrymie Tamayo, featured Rei Saga Wagyu Shabu Sarada. The dish consisted of lightly blanched thinly sliced Saga Wagyu with Japanese baby leaves, Kyoto carrots, Amera Tomato, and Kaiso seaweed salad. It was served with roasted sesame dressing and Yuzu Shoyu dressing, and was paired with Amabuki Junmai Ginjo “Strawberry Yeast”. This particular Sake accentuated the sweetness of the fresh vegetables.
Chef Jerrymie also prepared the soup course, which was Consomme and Tororo Konbu Suimono with Sudachi. The dish featured concentrated clear stock and dried shaved kelp soup served with Japanese green citrus fruit.
The entrée course was prepared by Keiichiro Fujino, Yamazato’s Japanese Executive Chef, and featured Saga Wagyu Rib Eye Loin Salad Style with Sakura Feeling. The dish included Ikura, sea urchin, cherry blossom, half-boiled egg, colorful vegetables, potato paste, and shiso, and was paired with Shichida Junmai Daiginjo.
The main course, or the star of the show, was prepared by Chef Fujino and featured Rice Straw Smoked Saga-gyu Chuck Flap with Arima Pepper Red Wine Sauce. This dish consisted of smoked Wagyu chuck eye fumé à la minute with fragrant rice straw, served with Arima-sansho Japanese pepper and red wine sauce. It was paired with Shichida Junmai.
To end the meal on a sweet note, Vi Serrano, the pastry chef of Hotel Okura Manila, prepared Hinamatsuri Mochi. The dish consisted of mugwort rice cake, peach rice cake, and strawberry. The dessert was nothing short of a masterpiece. Its beauty was so exquisite that it almost felt like a loss eating it. However, the dish’s stunning appearance was matched by its equally exceptional taste, making the experience ultimately worth savoring.
Overall, the Chef’s Dinner at Hotel Okura Manila showcased the masterful use of Saga Wagyu by the hotel’s talented chefs as well as the guest chef from Saga prefecture, resulting in a truly unforgettable culinary experience.
Hotel Okura Manila is a luxury hotel situated within the first integrated resort in the Philippines, the Newport World Resorts complex, in Pasay City. Epitomizing the essence of elegance and refined Japanese hospitality, combining Japanese omotenashi with Filipino warmth, the hotel offers 190 spacious rooms and suites, and a variety of dining options, including its signature Japanese fine-dining restaurant, Yamazato, and international restaurant Yawaragi.
With its prime location, luxurious amenities, and exceptional dining options, Hotel Okura Manila is the perfect destination for both leisure and business travelers seeking an unforgettable experience in the heart of Manila.