We all love our wagyu. But with the myriad of types and grades of Japanese beef out there, it can all get a little confusing sometimes. Here are some of the more unknown cuts (with some more regular ones thrown in) you should know about and where you can try them in Singapore.
Unlike regular wagyu prized for its marbling (intramuscular fat), Toriyama wagyu places emphasis on umami, or how savory it tastes. At Ikyu, Chef Takuma Seki charcoal grills Toriyama beef with very little marination. He believes that the wagyu is very flavorful as it is, and the robata style allows for the natural flavors to shine.
Wagyu from Japan’s Saga Prefecture is known for its fine-grained marbling known as tsuya-sashi, or glossy marbling. For Bōruto’s Chef Angus Chow, he uses buttery Saga beef striploin to create his favorite dish, the gyu tataki, where he tosses thinly sliced Saga wagyu with salted kelp and saffron to create an aromatic dish.
Ohmi beef is regarded as one of the top three wagyu in Japan, and rightly so. While ohmi beef is not as fatty as other premium wagyu, it does carry a distinct sweetness, which Chef Ray Phun of Jin Fine Dining brings out by lightly pan-frying the beef with a little garlic oil, salt and pepper. Try it as part of his premium set available for both lunch and dinner.
We all know A5 is the highest possible grade given to wagyu. But it is not easy to find A5 Gunma beef especially in Singapore. At Kacyo, which sources for premium beef on a rotational basis, you can try A5 wagyu from Kobe, Kagoshima, Miyazaki and, of course, from Gunma, which features melt-in-your-mouth marbling and intense umami.
Of all the wagyu types, Ozaki beef (sourced from a single farm in Miyazaki Prefecture) is the only one named after the owner of the cattle used rather than where it came from. Chef Hirohashi Nobuaki serves it in his kaiseki menus with each plate featuring a 50g striploin cut along with mountain wasabi from Hokkaido. The rich and flavorful beef is sweet yet not overwhelming to taste, meaning you can eat lots of it without feeling irked.