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Kobe Beef FOUND!!!!

  • b

Hello fellow hounds!!!

a month ago i posted a message looking for Kobe Beef in toronto. Thanks everyone for your responses.

I have finally found Kobe beef in toronto, except from the last place i expected, online... strange as this sounds it is definitely worth it. i was recommended to contact the guys at ebutcher.ca (they're an online butcher shop with delivery service similar to grocerygateway) They carry a pretty big selection of Kobe beef by far more then I expected.

The price is high for this type of meat BUT definitely worth it. I ordered two 300gm striploin steaks which totaled $105 but they were delectably tender and succulently juicy. This was because the steaks had ALOT of marbling mmmmmmm and even without marinating the steak still melted in my mouth.

I hope this is helpful to anyone looking for Kobe Beef.
Yours truly - Beef Couture

Link: http://www.ebutcher.ca/toronto/Beef.p...

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  1. To anyone who is appalled at this price, when I was living in Japan in the early 90's it used to cost about $50-$100/lb. from the local foodhall. So not outrageous if this is what you are after.

    1. According to the website, their butcher shop is located at Eglington and Dufferin. Did you try and go in person?

      1. Site says it is: Cut from Canadian Wagyu/Angus Cross. so it is not true Kobe...

        7 Replies
        1. re: Wilson

          True! How can they do that? Buyer beware!

          1. re: ex-customer

            I've tried Kobe beef before and what i had from these guys tasted no different then previous experiences if not better. BUT you still raise a good point.

            I called them back to research further, and once again they were very helpful. The kobe beef they sell is from a company called Kobe Classic Beef.
            They have to say on their site in the legal description that it's "Cut from Canadian Wagyu Angus Cross. Kobe Classic Beef" because that’s what it is, Canadain raised kobe beef, and because of laws on importing their not allowed to import beef from Japan (this is where Kobe originates) The only way to get Kobe from Japan into the country is in a suit case, which also is illegal. In my opinion this is the closest to Japanese Kobe beef you’re going to get in Canada.

            Also they provided me with Kobe Classics Beef web site to research further.(i've included this link below) From there it explains "the product we sell originates from Japanese Wagyu sires and predominantly Angus cross females to create a high quality marbled beef product. Comparing our product to regular beef is like comparing beluga caviar to cheese spread - the taste and quality is simply unmatched!"
            And i strongly agree!!!

            If there's anything that can be said about this experience it's buyer aware these guys are honest helpful and sell great tasting kobe beef.
            AND...i'll be ordering a Kobe classic rib-eye roast online from ebutcher.ca for a dinner party on the weekend!!!

            Beef Couture

            Link: http://www.kobeclassic.com/index.htm

            1. re: Beef Couture

              Originally, in order for wagyu beef to earn the "Kobe" designation, it would have to come from Kobe, Japan.

              However, beef production houses in Kobe have been contracting out to other producers to custom raise their cattle for them. They have the cattle raised to their Kobe standards, making them legally "Kobe Beef" even though the cattle were actually born, bred and fed somewhere else.

          2. re: Wilson

            betcha didn't know that some ``official'' kobe beef sold in japan is actually raised in north america. as long as the cow spends the last 3 months of their life in kobe prefecture, it's still considered kobe beef (assuming, of course, that all the other rules in terms of feed, etc. are followed. which they are in the case of the supplier the original poster mentioned).

            1. re: tuqueboy

              So what's the diff? It probably tastes the same, or at least it is worth nowhere near price of true Kobe beef.

              1. re: Negaduck

                Its not just the name or the breed! Real Kobe beef from Japan are from animal that are being fed 'beer' daily and receive massages by their handlers. Therefore the meat are ultra tender and tasted 'sweet?!'

                1. re: Charles

                  charles, i hate to disagree, but the massage stuff doesn't really happen all that much any more. most of the wagyu produced in north america is exported to japan anyway, either as cows which are raised in kobe for the last few months of their lives, or as cuts of beef. either way, japanese customers aren't inclined to accept inferior quality beef. the wagyu stuff produced here is outstanding. also, i would almost guarantee that any restaurant in north america claiming to serve ``kobe'' beef is in all likelihood serving north american wagyu.
                  but in any case, this wagyu/kobe debate is probably best for another one of the boards.

          3. St. James Butcher (Parliament and Winchester) now has Kobe beef. They have two cuts, rib-eye steaks for $55/pound and Top Round roasts at about $15/pound. They get it from Alberta, but it is Waygu. I opted for the later and roasted it rare with a crust of coarse salt and pepper and I almost wept it was that good.

            1. I passed by Cumbraes on Church over the weekend and noticed their sign that they, too, have Kobe Beef at the moment.

              3 Replies
              1. re: czthemmnt

                They told me a couple of weeks ago that they would be carrying Wagu, not Kobe, and it would be ready for sale about now..
                I was excited because they were aging it themselves.
                Would love feedback if anyone has purchased it.
                Needs to taste like the money spent!

                1. re: erly

                  According to a Toronto Star article on Cumbrae's website, the Cumbrae beef is a Red Angus/Wagyu-cross that they breed at their Jarivs, Ont. farm.

                  The article states that the cows are cross-bred because "purebred Wagyu cattle tend to be neglectful mothers."


                  1. re: grilledcheese

                    a regimen of massage and beer would do that to anyone! too bad the meat on market in yorkville isn't nearly as fatty.

              2. FYI - the ebutcher service is no longer available.

                1. Akasaka Teppanyaki is claiming they have A5 wagyu beef from Japan, $18 per oz. I have not tried it though.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: skylineR33

                    At about $3000.00 per piece plus a six piece minimum. I doubt many other restaurants are willing to pay that COD bill.

                  2. Atellier Thuet has true Japanese Kobe beef right now for $165/lbs.

                    1. Summerhill market usually has Kobe-style beef in their butcher case (I believe it is Canadian Wagyu).

                      Usually around $50/lb...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: carpetman

                        Took a look at it today.
                        It seems to have less than 50% of the marbling as appears on the Barberians thread picture (Pusateri's also has the high marbling).

                        In my experience there's a significantly different taste sensation between "Kobe" and "Wagyu' (although I haven't compared the sources available in Ontario). 'Genuine' Kobe almost feels like foie gras in the mouth - IMO you only need a very small portion. And ideally needs to be paired with a tannic red wine. (I didn't try a sweet white which is often recommended with Foie).
                        The Wagyu is much more like a very tender steak (or a super filet mignon). I prefer Burgundy (or Pinot Noir) with it. And the best I've had was simply grilled and served with FRESH grated horseradish. Still my best overall steak experience. But it's DEFINITELY nothing like 'real' Kobe.

                        1. re: estufarian

                          Totally Agree, that is why is scares e a bit that Barbarians seems to be serving "full" canadian size portions of their Japanese Wagu - "Double Cap on Ribeye" for two.

                          1. re: estufarian

                            All Kobe beef "神戸牛" is Wagyu "和牛", but not all Wagyu is Kobe. Kobe is just a well-known region which produces high quality Wagyu beef. This is probably why many people refer all these kind of beef as Kobe beef or for convenience.

                            There are other kind of Wagyu beef in Japan like Matsuzaka beef "松阪牛", which is more superior to Kobe beef. The "A" factor determine the degree of marbling (which give you the melt in the mouth feel) with A5 the highest and A1 the lowest. I have not tried Matsuzaka beef in Japan before, hopefully may have a chance to try it soon... hope this is clear now.

                        2. I would like to help clarify a few things about "Kobe Beef".

                          First of all "Kobe Beef" refers to "Wagyu Beef" produced not in Kobe, but in Hyogo Prefecture (Kobe is a city and it is the same thing as saying raising cattle in Toronto - Hyogo Prefecture would be the same as the Province of Ontario).

                          This "Kobe Beef" is in fact raised from a breed of beef cattle known as "Wagyu".

                          "Wagyu Cattle" are originally from Japan and were imported into the Western World via USA and was something that was very difficult to do. There was great opposition from the Japanese Government, the farmers in Japan and was only possible from the political pressure applied by the US Government. There have been only a handful of 100% Wagyu Cattle that have every left Japan (less than 200 head total). There will possibly no additional "Wagyu" cattle to ever leave Japan.

                          There are in fact four different "breeds" of Wagyu Cattle in Japan known as the "Japanese Black", "Kochi Reds", "Kumamoto Reds aka. Aka Ushi", and the "Japanese Polled". The Japanese Blacks account for over 95% of the total registered Wagyu Cattle in Japan with the remaining 5% made up by the other three.

                          The reason why "Wagyu Beef" is priced higher than regular beef is that the animals are raised completely different than any beef produced.

                          The North American system of raising beef is to do so economically - grow them as fast as they can using the cheapest feedstuff available. Typical slaughter age of beef animals in North America is done when the animals are 18 months of age.

                          "Wagyu" cattle are raised completely different. First the animals are fed over a longer period (typically 27 months of age up to 48 months of age). The idea is to limit the daily gains to less than 1 kg a day, let the animals reach maturity (important in the production of marbling fat, and are fed the best feeds available.

                          Different feeds are fed during different times - for example "corn" is fed as an energy / marbling (too much will result in an undesirable fat color), "barley" is fed for fat color, "hay" for the development of the digestive system, "soybeans" for meat texture, etc.. When you feed, how you feed, the quantities you feed effect the final quality of your finished product. There is a fine balance.

                          Therefore your cost of production is quite higher due to the longer feeding time and higher quality feeds.

                          The feeding and production of Wagyu is very difficult and is an "art form".

                          The actual genetics (father and mother of the animal) accounts for 70% of your finished product while the remaining 30% is what you feed, how you feed, and quantities you feed.

                          Alberta feeding programs are largely based on a heavy diet of barley - the problem with this is that the meat texture is too "lose" and lacks the "firmness". Idaho feeding programs feed a lot of "potatoe" and or "potatoe waste" which also effects the meat texture and taste.

                          Most "Wagyu" produced in North America are only half Wagyu blood with the other half made up a domestic beef breed- whereas "Kobe Beef" is 100% Wagyu.

                          Since there are very few 100% Wagyu cattle outside of Japan and the prohibitive cost to purchase animals themselves, many people opt to produce 50% Wagyu. There are only a very small handful of producers that work or feed with 100% Wagyu Cattle, such as myself.

                          SkylineR33 is correct on quite a few facts, however the following is correct:

                          The A5 Grade of beef refers to:

                          A - Yield Grade - % of Red Meat Yield (there are also Yield Grades B & C)
                          5 - combination of meat colour, fat colour, amount of marbling fat and meat texture
                          (there is also 4, 3, 2, 1 - with one being least desireable)

                          Therefore A5 would be the highest grade with C1 being the poorest.

                          Yield Grade is not important factor when it comes to your steak (as a steak from an A5 would be the same quality as the B5). Yield is only important to the producer getting paid by the total Red Meat Yield.

                          To produce a 5 Grade - genetics (of both the mother and father) and feed is very, very important!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Kurosawagyu

                            North American Wagyu is a cross of Japanese Wagu (95% of which are black) and Aberdeen Angus (black unless it is red Angus). The Wagyu in Japan is a direct descendant of Aberdeen Angus black cattle imported from Scotland 200+ years ago.
                            The Angus crossed with Wagyu is used in North America because they are hardier and they are better mothers. But they all come from the same original Scottish breed.
                            And as you say, that is 70% of the finished product.
                            It is just a matter of time until North American producers will have enough black Angus Wagyu to bring the price to a reasonable level.

                          2. Hey could anybody recommend a place in toronto canada to pick up some of this kobe meat?? any websites that sell it online??

                            would like to buy some for my father for his birthday..lol

                            1. Just tried the ebutcher.ca link and received the following...
                              Dear Customers,
                              The ebutcher.ca service is no longer available.
                              Any ideas??

                              20 Replies
                              1. re: BooMan

                                If you want real Kobe beef from Japan, Pusateri's has it flown in. Saw it at the Yorkville location today, at $150 per lb. 2 vaccum packed pieces, one was a steak at $244. The other was a whole slab at over $1700, but the guy said it can be cut.

                                1. re: Teep

                                  FYI, The one at Pusateri's are wagyu beef from Gunma, not Kobe.

                                  1. re: Teep

                                    Where is the best place (or shops) in York region today to buy Kobe beef? I haven't checked the Bayview Village Pusateri's location yet. How about some online retailers?

                                    1. re: BDD888

                                      People who claim to have 'authentic Kobe Beef' for sale in Canada are in fact 'borrowing' the name 'Kobe' and selling Wagyu beef instead. One cannot get 'real' Kobe beef outside of Japan!! Period!

                                      The reason being the city of Kobe and its vicinity does not have any processing/packaging plant that are approved by the Japanese government to allow the final 'meat' product be exported overseas!

                                      If you would like the real McCoy, head to Kobe. A few 'steak house' there are serving them 'teppenyaki' style at $700 for a 14 oz piece! Enjoy! BTW, they should go well be a bottle of 1982 Petrus! Ha!!!!

                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                        No doubt some high end restaurants sell true Kobe beef imported from Japan.
                                        Certificate of authenticity should accompany it. There is a strict tradition in Hyogo Prefecture Japan where the Wagyu are raised. There are "Kobe style" beef sold
                                        here where the Wagyu is crossbred with Angus cattle. This is done in order to
                                        meet the demand here in North America.

                                        1. re: Rayz

                                          I've done some research on this myself and I believe Charles is right about 'true Kobe' not being available outside Japan. Last I heard, the Japanese have banned beef exports out of Hyogo. Maybe as a ploy to drive demand even further through the roof?
                                          Anyways, don't get discouraged; Wagyu from around here or Australia still rocks.

                                          1. re: graydyn

                                            So where in York region would one find Pseudo-Wagyu beef sold? Pusateri's Bayview location? Any other shops? E-retailers?

                                            1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                            1. re: BDD888

                                              Believe it or not, Loblaws had it on sale this past week (finished now) at $19 a pound.

                                              1. re: Helen

                                                I don't believe it!!! :) :) Which location? :) Of all the places and at $19 /lb?? Must be a blend. 1% Wagyu.

                                                  1. re: BDD888

                                                    It was featured in the Loblaw butcher display cases, at $19.99/lb. It didn't look any better than AAA at Costco so I passed. It sold out in two or three days after the flyer, so someone here must have tried it.

                                                    1. re: jayt90

                                                      I saw the Loblaws Wagyu today (Sourced from a US farm) at the Lower Jarvis location and it was disappointing (for a Wagyu) to say the least. They had two cuts strip loin and rib. The Strip Loin had even less marbling the other non Wagyu strip loin they were selling :) The rib cut looked better especially the vacuum sealed one. I think if I want to indulge I will buy an Aussie Wagyu. Both were priced at 19.99$/lb.

                                                1. re: BDD888

                                                  Both McEwen and Bruno's sometimes have the striploin or ribeye at $75 per pound. Safest bet is the place inside J-Town!

                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                    +1 for the butcher inside J-Town. I have also seen Aussie Wagyu at the Maple Leaf Square Longos. Other Place I found is that sells Wagyu from Japan as well as Australia is Famu.ca which sells via online order (I think they supply J-Town) have never tried them though so maybe other Chowhounders can chime in.

                                                    1. re: elvisahmed

                                                      Ok thanks people!!! :) I've never been in J-Town. Ate the the buffet in front of it a few times though. Took a peak in the window of J-Town. Didn't take the shop seriously. So to find out they sell pure Kobe Wagyu....from Japan...news to me. And I'll check farmu.ca.... Have a good Canada Day!!

                                                      And being that Famu.ca is next to J-Town...might as well check both locations during the same trip. I wonder if Famu.ca will tell me they supply J-Town's butcher shop.

                                                      Had McEwan's shop website bookmarked. :) Have yet to visit. Will probably pickup some Parmigiano Reggiano. I know they carry it. Along with Old Amsterdam brand Gouda. LOOOOVE Gouda!! :) (there is a Dutch shop that sells OA Gouda in RH on West Beaver Creek too). I believe they said it was $40 /lb.

                                                      1. re: BDD888

                                                        Please share your results with us wherever you buy the Wagyu (especially from Famu)

                                                        1. re: BDD888

                                                          Afaik, Famu doesn't sell Kobe beef. You can get Japanese wagyu (when they have it), or Australian, but not Kobe. Their prices actually aren't awful and the quality of their meats can be quite good. They also have pretty decent pork.

                                                          It's actually located in J-Town.

                                                          Old Amsterdam is available nearly everywhere, including Loblaws. Probably a bit cheaper than McEwan's.

                                                          1. re: tjr

                                                            I thought it was already established that Kobe Beef is not sold outside Japan and we were referring to Wagyu Beef which can be from a Japanese source. I have seen some of Famu cuts at J-Town which had an amazing amount of marbling (more than the one's I have seen at other store fro sure) The price was pretty amazing as well :) BTW has anyone tried the Loblaws Kobe Style?

                                                            1. re: elvisahmed

                                                              I was clearing up the misconception above: "pure Kobe Wagyu....from Japan"

                                      2. True Kobe beef is not available anywhere anymore. You can still purchase Kobe "style" beef which is probably what you had.