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Kobe Beef

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  • CapeCodChowGuy Jun 15, 2006 09:42 AM
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Where's the best place to enjoy Kobe Beef in Boston? Or, who makes the best dish with Kobe Beef?

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  1. You don't seem to have gotten any replies, but...

    Kobe Beef (from Japan) is banned in the US. You're looking for "Kobe-style" Wagyu beef.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Luther
      s
      Sgt. Snackers

      Is that true? I thought the ban had been lifted - check the site below.

      Shabu-Zen in Chinatown has both 'Kobe beef' and 'Mishima Beef' (the latter being even more expensive) on its menu. The 'Kobe' is excellent -- sliced very thin, served raw so you can cook yourself (IMHO, very rare is the way to go).

      Link: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/fs...

      1. re: Sgt. Snackers

        Is the Kobe beef at Shabu-zen the real deal? We had lunch their a couple of weeks ago, I thought it couldn't be from Japan considering the price.

        1. re: Chaumiere

          I had the "Mishima Kobe" special at Shabu-zen too. While it was luscious, I would very very surprised if it actually were Mishima, which is rarer than Kobe and more expensive. My understanding is that some Wagyu is marketed under the Mishima name, but it's not truly Mishima. Just like most of the "Kobe" we see here is actually Wagyu. Kinda makes you respect the Frence A.O.C. and other such systems, eh?

          1. re: Chaumiere

            YOUR RIGHT ITS NOT REAL KOBE BEEF, REAL KOBE NEVER LEAVES JAPAN, It could be real wagyu, but it would be $40. an oz. Clio, and oishii in Boston are serving it

        2. re: Luther

          Boneless Japanese beef, including Kobe, is once again allowed to be imported into the US. The ban was lifted in 2005.

          Is it legal to call American Wagyu beef- Kobe? Can restaurants simply call it Kobe or is only Wagyu beef from Kobe Japan allowed to be called Kobe, like only blue cheese from Roquefort-sur-Soulzon France allowed to be called Roquefort? I'd hate to see lesser quality beef called Kobe, like some restaurants calling imitation Crab/"Krab" just "Crab".
          Does American Wagyu Kobe-style taste the same as genuine Kobe beef? Any experts out there who have done a taste comparison?

        3. I've seen a kobe beef appetizer on the menu at Oga's Japanese Restaurant in Natick. I haven't tried it but it sure sounds good.

          Link: http://bostonchomps.blogspot.com

          1. I'm a big fan of the Kobe Beef 'Steak Fritti' at Grotto. You can check it out here:
            http://www.bostonchefs.com/clients/Gr...

            1. kobe beef miniburgers at toro on washington st.

              1. The prime "American" Kobe rib eye steak at Davio's for $49.00 and worth every penny of it. If it was "real Kobe" you couldn't get anywhere NEAR that price nor could any other restaurant in town.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Harp00n

                  I the Kobe Rib Eye at Davio was amazing.

                2. Friend had a great dinner at Clio last Tuesday night and commented that they had a Kobe entree for $120 that night. A bit above my pay grade but sounds like it may be what you are looking for. The chef at Clio, Ken Oringer, is in the group of Boston's best.

                  1. the word "wagyu" means cattle in japanese, and kobe is the city in which the specifically indulgent method of raising it became famous.

                    even in japan, the beef sells for about $50 a pound, and here, domestic wagyu fetches about the same. if it seems too cheap, i'd be surprised if it's not something else. i've had authentic imported kobe -- it's amazingly tender, but the flavor is too mild for me.

                    uni and clio have it sometimes. call ahead and ask.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Cattle is kachiki in Japanese. Wagyu means Japanese Cow, and is a specific Japanese breed (just as Longhorn or Angus would be). However, you are right in saying that Kobe beef comes specifically from Kobe and is certified as such. There are other such location and process specific designations including Omi, Matsuzaka, and Mishima - some of these are considered even better than Kobe. Wagyu is now raised in Australia as well as the US. The US wagyu were originally mixed breed (started with wagyu semen in longhorn or other cows in the 1970's), and have eventually grown to be 90% or more wagyu. Japanese have actually brought back some young foreign raised 100% wagyu from Australia and have finished them with the appropriate feed, beer, exercise and massage, to achieve the Kobe certification - ostensibly to reduce costs.

                      In any case, real Kobe beef's main characteristic is that it is so fatty, so ultra-marbled, that it's like eating butter. Some folks actually gag on it. American wagyu is never that fatty. It is still marbled beyond any American bred USDA Prime - and the breeders are learning the Japanese techniques and are coming up with better stuff all the time.

                    2. Also, the really big bucks are for the premium steakhouse cuts---strip, ribeye, porterhouse, sirloin, etc.

                      Those same cows have chuck, flank, tri-tip, etc. (the source of those "Kobe burgers"), also, which I've been buying from the case at Barbara Lynch's restaurant/meat market The Butcher Shop. The flank steak was great!

                      1. My dad spent 8mo in Japan and had Kobe beef twice with some of the Japanese managers he was working with. Luckily he did not have to pay for the dinners as he said it was not nearly as good as it should have been for the price and hype.

                        Of course, my family is from Argentina, so that may be bias, or it may be years of eating great beef.

                        I once had, what was touted as Kobe beef at a Japanese restaurant. It was a 1/3lb for $40 for the plate, so I imagine it was the so called U.S.-style Kobe beef, and while it was tender, it was not the most tender I've had, and except for the teryaki-style seasoning had no real beef flavor.

                        My point in all this is I think your better off just finding a good steak house, Japanese if you prefer.

                        1. the "wagyu kobe" we get in the US are from long horns breed with japanese wagyu. atleast thats what it was before the ban was lifted but the prices we are paying are pretty low for real kobe. this is what i learned and don't know if it's 100% true

                          i've had both kobe's at shabuzen and they are good for american standards but i just got back from tokyo for xmas break and the kobe there is a lot better

                          1. Real Kobe beef is very expensive. When I visited Tokyo I ordered a 16 oz Kobe beef for 2 and after appetizers the bill came out to be $400 USD. But the taste is incredible, like nothing I've tasted in the states. You simply can't compare. It literally just melts in your mouth.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: speedofyuki

                              Kobe Beef can only come out of the Kobe prefecture. You still can get pretty good Japanese Wagyo. I had a Wagyo tasting done by Morimoto at the FCI in NYC. He actually handed out the birth certificate of the cattle (nose print and family tree on it). I also had it at Emmerils in Miami (is not on the menu).
                              American Kobe does not even remotely compare in my opinion even though it's the same cattle. I think that is as the Japanase cattle diet is way different.

                              I usually hate animal fat of all sorts. Dont even touch bacon. But I can confirm that true Wagyo/Kobe melts like butter - even when you touch it in its raw state.

                              When you order it, you can't prepare it like a steak for that reason. usually its served as tatar, or cut into small strips and seared for a few seconds. It should definitely be eaten rare or close to rare. If you try to cook it to medium like a steak the fat would be gone and that is really the kicker of that product.

                              Cheers
                              JK

                              1. re: jk1002

                                I think you mean wagyu (literally Japanese cow). It's not listed as Kobe, but O Ya has some very expensive Aragawa beef on their menu. I know - everything on their menu is expensive. Aragawa in Tokyo apparently has some cattle farms that raise Kobe style beef. I never tried it since the dish is close to $200 for 8 oz. - and too rich for my blood - but everything else there was certainly delicious. I would hope that O Ya's preparation would do the beef justice.

                                1. re: kobuta

                                  Mooo has "True 100% Kobe Beef Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan sirloin 6 ounce " for $120

                                2. re: jk1002

                                  Many American restaurants have been touting Kobe beef but it's not the real thing. It's not usually the restaurant's fault either as much as the distributors who are selling it to them. Real Kobe is whitish-pink and perfectly marbled. Mitsuwa Market carries it but be prepared for $$$ per lb prices. I bought $300 worth last year and while it was absolutely delicious, I had a hard time rationalizing such a steep expense.

                                  As for Misihima beef here, I doubt it unless it was a special treat at Morimoto's or Nobu's at super exorbitant prices.