Mention wagyu and chunks of meat seared till the outsides are caramelised while the insides remain a blushing pink in all its resplendent juicy glory come to mind. These cuts are prized for their fat content seen in the marbled quality of the meat. Indeed, there’s certainly no lack of restaurants where you can have Japanese wagyu beef in KL. Even so, there’s a catch: not all cuts and even cow breeds are created the same.
For starters, Wagyu hails from Japan, where its name means ‘Japanese cow’. It refers to four specific breeds: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, and Japanese Shorthorn.
These original breeds were then exported to other cattle-rearing countries like Australia, US, Canada and the UK where they are crossed with indigenous breeds. For that reason, those looking for quality wagyu should just go straight for the Japanese cuts.
One way of distinguishing Japanese wagyu from that of other countries is to note the letter and number in front of the beef. This ranges from A1 to A5, where A5 denotes the fattiest cut.
So the next time you flip open a menu to dig into some delicious wagyu beef, be sure to look out for these numbers. Here are some restaurants to head to.
Fincch Sushi Room may be a sushi eatery that focuses on bringing in the freshest sashimi, but their Wagyu Shioyaki is a dish worth trying too. Here, the meat is grilled to perfection and served with simple side of salt that enhances its natural flavours.
Fincch Sushi Room, 134, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2011 6611
Omakase may be their main concept, but you can choose to have just the wagyu beef that’s available on their lunch and dinner menu. For lunch, there is the grilled wagyu steak lunch set while the dinner menu offers wagyu shabu-shabu so you can swish your beef in a steaming pot of broth to your desired done-ness.
Sou Omakase Dining, G247, Ground Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 58000 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2202 1133
Japanese BBQ has always been a crowd’s favourite meal. This eatery does not only do that but they also serve premium wagyu beef all the way up to Grade A5 that will escalate your dining experience. There is also authentic Saga beef from Kyushu island, best eaten raw.
Gyukingu Japanese BBQ, 28-2 Jalan PJU 5/17,Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, +603-6143 7750
Located on the lower lobby floor of PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur is this Japanese fine dining establishment that serves a good balance of meat and seafood dishes. While the sashimi prepared are one of the freshest in town, the wagyu dishes listed on the menu are plenty to choose from. Choose between: sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, or grilled.
Kurata Japanese Fine Dining, lower lobby, PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2110 0226
Babe serves Japanese-accented tapas in a fun dining setting. Their menu changes every season, giving Michelin-starred Chef Jeff Ramsey many opportunities to explore but one thing that always remain as an ingredient in their menu is wagyu beef. The sukiyaki of Kagoshima A5 (the finest wagyu from Kagoshima prefecture) with Truffled Onsen Egg which is on their a la carte menu is a must try.
Babe, 11th Floor, Work@Clearwater, Jalan Changkat Semantan, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2095 8599
Chefs Akira Yonomoto and Kasuga Heiji aim to produce only the most authentic Japanese dishes in KL. Along with their air-flown seafood, they serve the premium meat in various dishes: shabu-shabu, teppanyaki-style, and sukiyaki, but the dish that has us salivating is their A5 premium wagyu sushi that is a hit among diners.
Hanarae Japanese Restaurant, Ground Floor, THE INTERMARK MALL, Ground Floor, 348 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2164 2133
The demand for halal Japanese wagyu beef has always been there and restaurants including this one are starting to bring that into their menu. The Tokyo Restaurant’s A5 halal wagyu beef is from Tokushima prefecture, served with mashed potato, myoga salad, wasabi, and garlic chips.
The Tokyo Restaurant, LOT 10, 50, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2119 2622