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Feb 9, 2014 09:36 PM

True Japanese Wagyu in NYC

So from this article in Forbes the other month:

Apparently there are only a couple of approved US distributors of true Japanese Wagyu beef.

Does anyone know any NYC restaurants that serve true Wagyu? Looks like Old Homestead does. 12 oz. (no specific cut mentioned) for $350.


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  1. Being a long time New York resident recently living in Tokyo, I don't understand why one would want "wagyu" in NYC, especially at a steakhouse. It's nothing like what you get here. You get a semi marbled (a lot for the US, nowhere nearly as marbled here) steak cooked poorly, even at pretty decent steakhouses like Old Homestead.

    For the closest "wagyu" experience go to Japan Premium Beef and make sukiyaki at home or something. Don't get the wagyu steak Old Homestead or anywhere else that offers it. Maybe get the beef as a tiny portion of some crazy tasting menu. Do not go to Megu.

    Seriously, take the money and go to Lugars or Takashi or something else.

    Just skimmed the article and this jumped out, "Troy Lee, Chef de Cuisine at the Oak Door, told me that having a US-sized portion of Kobe beef would be “like eating sticks of butter". " Having had the wagyu at the Oak Door which is an American style but internationally minded hotel steak restaurant here in Roppongi, this is a very true statement.

    8 Replies
    1. re: jjcha314

      Agreed jjcha - I would only look to do a few oz portion. But I'd like to try it.

      1. re: deepfry7

        But what are looking to "try"? It sounds nutty to "foodies" living in a global financial capital that some -- maybe most -- imported foods and recipes don't taste like what you are looking to taste unless you go to where that food is traditionally produced and consumed. It can be meaningless and misleading to eat it anyplace else. You think you've tasted the thing but you haven't at all.

        Anybody who cooks knows that a pinch of this or a diffrently cut that or one day longner before preparation or hours fresh -- or even changes in humidity in the environment -- alters taste in significant ways. Add to that restaurants need to cater to familiar tastes and local palates to stay in business, and you can begin to see why people who have been able to taste delicate hyperlocal foods abroad will tell you not to go down that path -- unless you want to taste what the restaurant is selling (which might be delightful). Just don't think you have now tasted that other dish or product.

        1. re: kmzed

          kmzed, I "kind of" get your argument, but then I don't fully. If that's the case, don't get white truffles in a NYC restaurant. Go to Alba and get it. Also, fish/seafood are flown over from Japan to here all the time. If I go to Sushi Nakazawa, Masa, or 15 East, I'm not really tasting Japanese toro or Hokkaido sea urchin?

          I have a feeling if a company takes the effort to import Waygu, they're going to take care of the product so that it's the best it can be, given the transportation circumstances.

          I've had really good American or Austrialian Waygu versions - many from the top restaurants in the US. I would like try true Wagyu, even if it's not 100% "true experience". That's all I'm asking for.

          1. re: deepfry7

            If Shimizu-san serves you toro or uni, he's trying to serve you sushi that's as good as he can make it, and it compares fairly decently to sushi you can get in Tokyo. The same is not true of "wagyu" steaks in New York. The same analogy is like if you went to the Grand Central Oyster Bar and they served you "Hokkaido style" uni sushi on rice pilaf or something.

            I gave you two real suggestions, Japan Premium Beef and getting wagyu as part of a tasting menu. But the former is rather pedestrian in terms of how marbled the beef really is on Japan terms, despite being amazing for the States. I gotta believe the wagyu at Masa or Chef's Table is amazing.

            If you must have an ignorant American-style "wagyu" steak then go to Megu.

            1. re: jjcha314

              I had the steak years ago at Masa and while horribly expensive may have been the best I ever had.

              The vast majority of my experiences with expensive Wagyu or "A5 Kobe" steaks were unimpressive (I have only tried them at various places in the US btw).

              1. re: tpigeon

                Resurrecting this thread. I have only had waygu as part of tasting menus in a very few select establishments, such as Makoto in DC and Urasawa in LA (Masa of the West). The taste was so insanely good and rich that I'm hard pressed to imagine anything more marbled! It must be a real treat.

        2. re: deepfry7

          Then fly to Tokyo and go to Ukaitei.

        3. re: jjcha314

          Japan Premium Beef now carries Waygu along with the Washington raised beef. The price is ~$130USD.

        4. Yakiniku Gen has Miyazaki Beef

            1. Chef's table at bk fare has had a Miyazaki beef course as the last savory for ~6 months

              1. Le Bernardin is now using Miyazakigyu in their tasting menu and American Cut also serves it. BLT Steak sometimes has Miyazakigyu. EN Japanese Brasserie is a great spot and they also serve Miyazakigyu.