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Kobe Beef in Kobe (2 of 3)

Posted: 01/04/13

Kobe Beef in Kobe (2 of 3)

Restaurant: Japan Setsugetsuka

Nelson @ Kobe: Beautiful isn't it? Notice the amount of even marbling throughout the meat. On the bottom is a mere 100 grams of Kobe Beef Tenderloin. On top is 120 grams of Kobe Beef Sirloin. Beautiful.

Kobe beef is raised in a certain part of Japan and raised and processed in a very specific way. Each cut of meat comes with a certificate with the serial number of the cow it was cut from and details on where/how it was raised. The beef you get in North America called "Kobe Beef" simply is a fraud as there are export restrictions which make it very difficult (but not impossible) to find outside of Japan. That and lax restrictions in North America about what type of beef can be called "Kobe" means that true Kobe beef is best had in Japan. The Japanese are serious about their beef.

But first, we were served the Foie Gras. When the chef brought it out to cook, I couldn't identify what it was because it was such a large piece. Cooked simply on the grill, it was garnished on the plate with black currant. It was the best foie gras I have ever had. I've described it many times, but it so fatty in a pleasant way, it melts in your mouth, has such a depth of flavour and surprisingly not too salty either. That first taste was pure joy. Black currant is good complement as it adds a bit of sweetness and sourness that add to the natural flavours of the foie gras.

Ok, back to the main attraction, the Kobe beef. Although not captured in pictures, I took video of the cooking process which I will describe and link to. First they cut off the chunk of fat on the sirloin, cut it into smaller pieces, cook it on the grill until the oil comes out (click for video) and use it to cook the rest of the steak. The oil can't get beefier than that!

Then the chef cooks the whole steak on all outside surfaces(click for video). More Maillard reaction, means more flavour, right?

After adding salt and black pepper and then cooking it a little longer in a dome, the chef cuts the steak with a sharp knife. Since he knew we were splitting it, he browned another side before serving it to us on separate plates (click for video)), but left one side uncooked for visual appeal.

The steak is garnished with garlic chips and optional charcoal salt and horseradish mustard. We also had a bowl of ponzu (not pictured) that I didn't like very much.

The tenderloin was incredible. It was so tender with fat evenly throughout the meat. Almost like eating a piece of fat but with a meaty texture. It melted in my mouth. Incredible.

The sirloin was a little fattier, a little stringier and not quite as well marbled, but still better than anything else I've had. It had fat throughout and lots of it, much more than the tenderloin. Once again an incredible taste, just slightly behind the tenderloin in my opinion.

It was dark in the restaurant and I wish this shot was a bit better, but I was trying to show the insides of the Kobe next to the each other.

The other chef made some vegetables for us. At first we were confused when it was served to us from the other side. Nothing too special, but I did like the tofu the best. The top left is some sort of squash.

Onions go really well with steak and this batch also included sprouts/greens all cooked with some beef fat (can you spot the chunk?). The flavour was buttery and beefy with a hint of wine. Can't get any better for veggies.

Lastly, we were originally going to order some red wine, but all the patrons were drinking beer and that is also what the wait staff recommended if we interpreted them correctly. So some Suntory Premium Malt went along splendidly with our steak.

I'll be posting the rest of the meal tomorrow, but the Kobe beef was by far the best beef I have ever had.


Categories: Beef,  Drinks,  Duck,  Fine Dining,  Japanese,  

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