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Apr 9, 2008 01:33 PM

Wagyu/Kobe beef

I'm curious as to who in the city (butchers not restaurants) sells Wagyu or Kobe beef.
I'm talking the real thing....

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  1. I haven't read the thread, but try this one on Chowhound...[que...

    or this search...

    1. Cumbrae Farms is doing their own version of Wagyu beef and Pusateri’s is actually getting the real Kobe right from Japan.

      13 Replies
      1. re: weatherbie

        This is a link for you to get more knowledge on Wagyu beef and Kobe beef, and use the term correctly.

        1. re: weatherbie

          is this available now at Cumbrae's? back in december I called and they still didn't have them for sale yet.

          1. re: auberginegal

            I bought it last year. They sell it fast. Just call them before you go.

            1. re: pokerdan

              did you think it was worth the price? in comparison to their 'regular' cuts...

              1. re: auberginegal

                I've had a $46 cumbrae wagyu (strip loin) just a month ago. it was good but not great. I don't think it's worth the money as it was not even as marbled as Japan's medium grade wagyus. They also label it as "Wagyu (Kobe)" or something like that, which is totally misleading as their beef is not even close to real Kobe or even just high quality wagyu.

                You may wonder how I am qualified to assess this. Well, i've had a substantial amount of japanese wagyu when I spent several summers in tokyo. you can get kobe or matsuzaka (or any one of a number of 'brands' nicely marbled wagyus) right out of a decent grocery store there - at close to the price here for quality beef (and much cheaper than the wagyu at cumbrae).

                As I am not a chef or food critic professionally, I can't say that I cooked the meat perfectly, especially since i only have an above average stove. However, i assure you that the marbling was not substantial among all the pieces (there were quite a few) of wagyu at cumbrae, compared to the japanese wagyus i've seen.

                I hate to say it, but cumbrae is not a great choice - I'd spend the extra money to get real Kobe - if in fact it is available in toronto; or just buy an outstanding piece of "local" beef.

                1. re: Westfalen

                  Steve Alexander, the proprieter of Cumbrae's has only been working with a Wagyu (100% Wagyu, Australian origin) steer they bought approx. 8-12 months ago. They have been experimenting with different raising techniques which will take some time to figure out. You probably bought his third generation trial which would've been on the market a month or so ago (maybe longer). The fourth generation has about twice the marbling of the third, so look for the Cumbrae Wagyu to get better, but understand that it is taking a considerable amount of time and care on their part. Steve is very passionate about this particular product.


                  1. re: Matt416

                    Good point. I will look forward to it. Do you know when 4th generation product will be available?

                    I understand it takes time to get the marbling, but they should work on promoting it correctly. Putting just "wagyu (kobe)" on their labels is misleading because the beef as it was sold at the time was neither Kobe nor the same grade as Kobe.

                    1. re: Westfalen

                      I'm not sure when it will be released in their retail stores.

                      As for the labelling, well, I agree that a protected product (like the products protected by the French AOC laws) should be entiltled to its name of origin, and nobody should be using Kobe to describe beef comming from anywhere else than Kobe - Japan. Unfortuneately, this is currently being trumped by a market that is mostly unaware what the term "Wagyu" refers to, and using "Kobe" or "Kobe style" is the best way to describe what differentiates the product from Cumbrae's other beef and gives an indication of why it is in a different price category. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

                      I believe also, that Kobe beef comes in many grades, not just the prized 'almost white' top grades.


                      1. re: Matt416

                        If they label it as "Kobe style", it is acceptable. But to name it as Kobe beef when it is not, it is just pure marketing purpose and misleading. You know if this happens in Japan, it can lead to the restaurant being shutdown or suspend ! And I think this is absolutely fair.

                        Sendo Kitcho is a famous kaiseki restaurant in Osaka, they mislabel their beef (they claim it Kobe beef but actually it is Wagyu beef from Kagoshima Prefecture), it results in a police raid.

                        Here is the news :


                        1. re: skylineR33

                          I don't think it was that big of a deal at Cumbrae. my concern was just that it implied an incredibly high grade, since "kobe" is usually known to the public as THE best. Well, I as noted by myself and matt, their Gen 3 product is not yet and not even the best that they could offer.

                          1. re: Westfalen

                            It does make a difference (well at least in Japan), I have both A5 Kuroge Wagyu beef in Japan and Prime Kobe beef in Japan, the price of the Kobe beef is almost double.

                    2. re: Matt416

                      I ordered some Wagyu from Cumbrae's back around Thanksgiving. It never turned up in the store. When I inquired, at around Christmas, they said that was because it was still grazing....

                      I suppose they lost my order, since I was never notified that any had come in, but I did have an interesting conversation with Stephen Alexander while I was there.

                      The guy just ahead of me wanted as much of the stuff as he could get, and don't sweat the price. They directed him to Pusateri's, who had some in stock for $200/lb. I asked Stephen whether he felt the Wagyu would be worth that kind of money. He had a simple answer: no!

                      He said they were trying to get theirs to market at around $50 (for a piece from the rib section), which was roughly double the price of their regular top of the line rib. He was not convinced it would taste especially better or be worth $50 a pound.

                      I recall trying some kind of Wagyu cross meat being promoted by Bruno's a few years ago. I can't remember what they called it - something like "American Kobe" perhaps? It was okay, but not at all special.

                      Having said all that, I still need to try it at least once.

                      1. re: embee

                        i assure u that the real thing is awesome. it definitely tastes MUCH better. the only question is whether it's worth the premium. you are paying for the importing of the stuff.

          2. Can anyone confirm PUSATERI's has 'real' kobe beef in stock? Anyone have an image or can confirm the quality? What's the price?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Westfalen

              I saw it this week at $150 /lb. It looks quite marbled, but skylineR33 says it's just wagyu beef from Gunma.

     (at the bottom)

              1. re: Teep

                do you happen to know what cut of the beef was it? ie. striploin, ribeye, etc?

              found this place in mississauga that sells KObe beef and other gamey meats..

              1. well I'd write home if I had some Kobe . . .I'm enjoying Angus but truth be told I get more joy from stew and some other tough cuts.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Alacrity59

                  I am not sure if anyone in toronto has it, but i have had really amayzing australian wagyu in nyc. I know that australia was the first country to start producing wagyu outside of japan.

                  I also think that while striploin/ ribeye and tenderloin are great cuts to get, the lesster cuts of wagyu are reaaly great and should not be ignored. For instance wagyu brisket and wagyu hanger although very different are some of my favorite meats in the world.

                  I have only been able to afford japanese kobe or wagy once, but i think the australian stuff is the next best thing and much much cheaper. The wagyu i am most familure with is the oakleigh ranch wagyu that lobel butcher shop in nyc carries.

                  1. re: chefsearch

                    Hello chefsearch. I totally agree with you regarding how great tasting 'other' cuts of Wagyu beef can be. My personal experiences include making a veal scallopini using Japanese Wagyu 'veal' round steak whilst staying in my friend's house in Tokyo and braising Wagyu oxtail with root vegetables and port. The meat tasted amazing. Tender, intense and sweet.