Like Elvish honey from Turkey and Shattell Chocolate from Peru, Wagyu beef is a luxury delicacy for many. In fact, reputed restaurants would go the extra mile to source for the most exquisite and freshest ingredients to showcase their best culinary skills and finesse.
Beef lovers in Malaysia would be thrilled to know that the world’s highest-grade Miyazaki Wagyu A5 – Nakanishi Premium Wagyu – is now available in The Olive Restaurant at Resorts World Genting. Wagyu beef has been associated with the likes of black gold caviar or hand-rolled chocolate truffles. Dining with wagyu is also considered as a status of symbol and luxury – highly-sought after for its extraordinary quality and taste. And seeing the term ‘wagyu’ alone stirs up lots of excitement and anticipation.
The Miyazaki beef, has been proven to be the best of the herd. The three-time “Wagyu Olympics” champion has emerged the top of the pack in the National Competitive Exhibition of Wagyu (Zenkoku Wagyu Noryoku Kyoshinkai) – a revered affair held every five years to select the best cattle in Japan in a tourney of sorts, where almost 500 cattle from 38 prefectures compete for the title.
Some of the important criterions include the meat colour and brightness, the delicious taste, the firmness and velvety texture, fat distribution as well as the marbling on the meat, which is also considered a form of artistry in cattle cultivation.
And for the past 10 years, the Miyazaki “Champion” beef (winner of the 2007, 2012 and 2017 competitions) is officially recognised as the highest quality beef in Japan, even higher than Kobe’s.
One of the best ways to savour this beautiful beef is to have a sirloin prepared over a robata or charcoal grill or simply by searing it. A mere 10 seconds on each sides, would be the best to get the perfectly pink centre and a slightly charred exterior. The fats, which has a melting point of 16 degree Celsius, gets lightly caramelized on the outside and is meltingly flavourful within.
Unpretentiously delicious, the Miyazaki beef should be served without fuss, complemented by a touch of salt of choice. And the melt-in-your-mouth texture accompanied by a certain fresh taste makes you wonder – how is this piece of meat so different from other wagyu?
It is very important to know where your food comes from. And with the Miyazaki beef, the cultivation process is extremely next level. The owners of the farm are aware of every detail that goes into each cow; from the amount of food they consume to the way each animal behaves every day.
So how do you farm the best cattle in the universe? – One thing’s for sure, the process of cultivating the Miyazaki beef is definitely a special one.
“I started the farm 43 years ago, moving from Kobe in the Kansai region to Miyazaki. I brought with me 30 cattle and the knowledge of how to create the best beef that I learnt from my father,” reminisces Nishinoharu Farm owner, Norihito Nakanishi.
And let’s not confuse wagyu with Kobe beef. All Kobe is wagyu but not all wagyu is Kobe. Since “wa” means Japanese and “gyu” translates to beef, wagyu is simply beef from Japan and there are several types that are of high quality. The quality and grades have been closely associated with the way the cows are raised.
The second-generation Nakanishi remembers: “When I saw the land, I knew immediately that Miyazaki would be the perfect place to raise the perfect cattle. With fresh mountain spring from Kirishima Mountains, our cattle feed on a diet of wheat, corn and grass for at least 900 days.”
Norihito explains that the cattle are butchered between 28 to 32 months, which is almost 8 times longer than other commercial beef. And each time, they harvest four cattle at most; a low-intensity method that ensures the best care for each animal. The cultivation is truly a story on its own as Norihito explains his affection to all his mooing ‘babies’.
“I can recognise all my cattle and they recognise me. They are well taken care of, and happy animal produces a meat that will make people happy,” he muses.
Still, there is still a lot of confusion because a lot of these terms can be super-detailed and technical – down to the percentage of genetics to the pristine Japanese meat grading system. But if you’re dropping RM500 for a piece of steak, you want to know what you’re getting into.
Miyazaki wagyu will be served at The Olive, Lobby Level of Genting Grand hotel as part of the a la carte menu priced at RM450 nett per 150 grams.