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Nov 18, 2007 05:39 PM

Kobe beef at Barberian's

We were at Barberian's last night, and had some excellent American-raised Wagyu beef.

Our waiter mentioned that starting next week (or maybe the week after) they will be getting real Japanese Kobe beef as well. It will be crazily expensive, of course.

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  1. Real Japanese Kobe beef has been available at Harbour 60 for about 6 weeks. You're right it is very very expensive --about $250 per steak

    2 Replies
    1. re: ishmael

      So is Harbour 60 actually selling Japanese Kobe or not?

      1. re: trinityvan

        No, the Wagyu Beef at Harbour 60 is from Gunma, not Kobe. So it is not Japanese Kobe. It is Japanese Wagyu from the Gunma prefecture.

    2. As owner of Barberian’s Steak House I post this purely for information with no editorial spin. We have true Japanese KOBE Wagyu beef. We have been negotiating for over 4 years to bring this product to Canada. Only since November 8th 2008, has any true Kobe Wagyu beef been allowed to be shipped directly to Canada. We brought in 6 pieces of A5 (the highest grade, most marbled) one piece went to EDO and we have the rest. The cuts we received are the NY Strip and a boneless cap on rib.

      We served the first piece on Monday night and it is as advertised, amazing.

      Champagne only comes from Champagne France and the only beef that can be called Kobe must come from Kobe Japan. The rest should be referred to as Canadian or American Wagyu.

      Arron Barberian

      The JPEG is the box ends showing we received the product straight from Japan

      6 Replies
        1. re: bluesbreaker1969

          the grade is on the sticker and on the meat itself. The box is a standard box for any cut or product from the producer. this is the same for any beef from Canada or the USA.

          1. re: A.Barberian

            Can you give a picture of the grade on the meat?

              1. re: A.Barberian

                Interestingly the Japanese under the words "Strip Loin" actually read "sirloin" (but it could simply be a katakana thing).

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. I have to clean the drool off my keyboard...

              That is the most beautiful meat I have ever seen.

              Care to elaborate on price and how you plan on serving it?

              1. re: wookert

                We plan to sell a 16oz Strip Loin for $235.00 if the yield remains the same as we cut the loin.
                As for the cap on boneless rib we will sell a steak for two for $450.00. This may change if the yields change.
                As for availability, we have the product now. How long it will last is anyones guess. There is great interest by many to try this delicacy.

                Arron Barberian

                1. re: A.Barberian

                  But the meat is so rich is that not like serving someone a pound of foie gras? I could not imagine anyone eating 16oz of Wagu.

                  1. re: A.Barberian

                    LOL. Thanks for showing why your family has been in the business for so many years. Your appearance on this board is both daring and gracious.

                    1. re: A.Barberian

                      Damn... I don't think I've ever seen steak like that before. Those babies should go fast even with the premium price.

                  2. Found this which is interesting... Japanese grading chart seems A5 has several levels and really does not mean a lot as if you buy anything but A5 or the top A4 it is really noticable to the consumer.. ie look at the grade A1 looks like Tuna


                    1. re: tawnyport

                      My wife and I were in Japan last year and I snapped this picture. Not bad for roughly $33 Canadian (or at least that was the conversion at the time)

                      1. re: XchiprogersX

                        In the picture, it is saying it is Black Hair Wagyu Beef, no grading information, no origin information, from the look of it, does not look like a high grade one, that's it.

                        1. re: skylineR33

                          Yeah, this is a fairly normal supermarket item in Japan.

                  3. FYI attached is the certificate of authenticity containing information regarding the beef that we are serving. The importer informed us that the producer slaughtered 20 cows to get the one that met the A5 grade.

                    Arron B.

                    16 Replies
                    1. re: A.Barberian

                      I just got back from Japan last week and here's a pic taken in Takayama - this is considered THE REAL DEAL - it's Hida Beef (not as well known as Matsuzaka or Kobe) - check out the wonderful marbling - a perfect distribution of fat. The cost is per 100g, that's 2000 Yen - that's approx. $24 Canadian or $384 a pound.

                      It was uber yummy and absolutely divine.

                      1. re: dautcalm

                        Nice picture, nice marbling ! But then the one at Barberian is also THE REAL DEAL, it is A5 Kagoshima beef (also not as well known as Matsuzaka or Kobe).

                        1. re: skylineR33

                          I'd say Kagoshima is more well known than Matsusaka or Kobe in Japan at least, since Kagoshima produces the most beef of any prefecture in Japan. Perhaps not as well known in the west, though, where "Kobe" beef means any sort of wagyu-related beef.

                          A5 (from any region/prefecture/etc.) is as delicious as it gets, though.

                          1. re: tjr

                            Kagoshima produces the most beef, but talk to various Japanese chefs in Japan, Kobe especially the Sanda beef is much more well known as a more "famous" kind of beef even in Japan and more expensive than Kagoshima beef. Aragawa is using Sanda beef.

                            And I guess when we are talking about "well known" in this thread, we are talking about the suituation in the west as this is a thread in Toronto. And "Kobe" beef does not just mean any sort of wagyu-related beef in the west, there are restaurants like "Per Se"of NYC and "Jacob Steakhouse" of Toronto which specify what kind of Wagyu beef they serve. So it really depends on the restaurant itself. And also there are more and more people know the differences between different kinds of Wagyu beef, just give it more time.

                            1. re: skylineR33

                              Kagoshima is not as well-known outside of Japan, but inside Japan, I meant that more people are consuming Kagoshima beef than the other varieties, hence it being a more "well-known" (ie: larger consumption) variety among the population.

                              What I meant re: North America, is that in general, "Kobe" beef has become synonymous with wagyu in North America, even though there are those who do know the differences (for example, look at the title of this thread), and purveyors of Canadian/American wagyu with the word "Kobe" in the name of their company don't exactly help the situation much. While high end places shouldn't really be charging large sums of money for a mislabeled product (and, as you say, they are not, and are indicating the actual provenance of their beef), places like Kelsey's or whatever will still have a Kobe beef burger on the menu for $9.99. It's really too bad that there's no AOC for high-grade wagyu varieties.

                              1. re: tjr

                                Yup, I see your point. Let's hope A.Barberian see this thread. May be he is told it is Kobe when he imported the beef ?! Just want to point some restaurant also doing it right in here.

                                1. re: skylineR33

                                  I know that Aaron Barberian responded further up the thread with some pictures of the meat and proof of it being true Kobe beef. It really would be interesting to try!

                                  1. re: Otonabee

                                    It is at least the third time that I pointed this out people.

                                    The certificate clearly indicates that the beef is from Kagoshima perfecture, I suggest you take a look at the map of Japan and find the location of Kagoshima and Kobe, it is thousand of km apart. The beef sold at Barberian is one kind of Wagyu beef, or you can call it Kagoshima beef to be specific but it is NOT Kobe beef. There is no genuine Kobe beef in Canada. Please don't just assume it is right when some other people say it is right, it is an expensive piece of beef, and you deserve to know what it is, the certicate is in English.

                                    1. re: skylineR33

                                      I agree! SkylineR33 is 100% correct! Barbarian serves Kagoshima Wagyu beef and NOT Kobe Wagyu beef.

                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                        Yes, this has been noted numerous times. We have yet to find anywhere in the GTA offering authentic Kobe beef.

                                      2. re: skylineR33

                                        Is there a definitive taste difference in the Kobe and Kogoshima?
                                        I have eaten Kobe at $$$$$ in Tokyo on a couple of occasions, and although excellent, the best beef that I have ever tasted was at an Australian restaurant in Bangkok, and it was Australian Wagu.
                                        Tasted DH's, as I rarely order steak.
                                        In other words, is the Kogoshima worth the $$$ if I take DH to Barbarians for a special treat?

                                        1. re: erly

                                          There is no definitive taste difference between Kobe and Kagshima, like... there is no definitive difference between the picture quality of a Sony and Samsung LCD (at least many do not see it). Kobe beef is just considered to be a more famous and expensive kind of Wagyu. Regarding the taste of different kind of beef, some people prefer US Augus beef, so it really depends on personal preference. There are also different grade in Australian Wagyu, I am not sure what grade you had at Bangkok, but some people do not really like the highest grade of it as it is too fatty.

                                          Australian Wagyu on the market is usually mixed breed with Augus in the first generation, it has more of the beef taste when compared to Japanese Wagyu, however it is not as evenly marbled and explosively melt in the mouth. If you like the explosive melt in the month oily effect of the A5 Wagyu beef, Barbarians's Kagoshima beef or the like is the way to go. There are restaurant do not prefer A5 because it is too fat.

                                          Japanese Wagyu also has the highest standard, each head is identified with nose print, birth certicate with 3 generation of family records that the restaurant will show to you for proof of its authenticity. Some restaurant even show the picture of the cow and all it's information ! There are competitions held yearly to reward the cattle with the best beef.

                                          1. re: skylineR33

                                            In the TV program 'Chua's Choice' on Fairchild TV tonight, there was actually an excerpt on Kagoshima beef! They only 'export' 26 animal per year!!
                                            BTW, Sony's picture quality is better than Samsung if viewed through 1080p Blu-ray player! Ha! See you!

                                            1. re: Charles Yu

                                              Yes, that's right, some people can actually see or find a way to see the differences ! Now, who is willing to spend the couple hundreds of dollars to buy the Sony ? .... no I mean Kobe ... ha !

                                        2. re: skylineR33

                                          My apologies, I missed the thread above... Thank you for the clarification. I actually found this quote and thought it was pretty interesting regarding the beef from Kagoshima:

                                          Diet may have something to do with it. While most Japanese prefer seafood to beef, people here are impassioned beef-lovers. Happily, their prefecture is Japan's leading beef producer and hundreds of cattle farms dot the high rolling hills here. Town proud Kagoshima residents will happily reveal to visiting gaijins that much of what passes for the fabled butter-soft Kobe beef in Japanese restaurants abroad actually comes from the lush pastures of Kagoshima.

                            2. re: dautcalm

                              Calculation Correction $24 for 100g is $109 per pound.

                          2. The original comment has been removed