Up until 2013, Japan was unable to import Japanese Wagyu beef into the European Union. This then allowed Japan to reclaim the Wagyu marketplace in the UK, but also encouraged a significant number of British restaurants to quickly add the prestigious cut of beef to their menus including CUT at 45 Park Lane, the first restaurant in London to serve Wagyu. The export of Wagyu to the EU (including the UK) has increased 62.6% compared to 2020, resulting in 297 tonnes of Wagyu worth £17 million.
Considered by many chefs to be a Japanese delicacy, Wagyu will be featured on special menus across London’s finest restaurants this November and December. This comes just in time for Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center’s (JFOODO) new campaign which focuses on sharing information about Japanese Wagyu with the world.
That Wagyu Flavour
Wagyu is perhaps most famous for the ways in which its fat content lies within the meat–creating a marble-like image. This marbling is more than just a unique image–it is responsible for Wagyu’s unique flavour as well. Wagyu’s marbling allows for a tenderness, juiciness and richness that is unlike any other cut of beef. Those in the food industry call this marbling a ‘Marble Score’ (MS), and grading can range between 0 (no marbling) to 9 (high marbling). One may ask why the grading does not exceed 9, and this is because only in Japan has the beef been bred to reach such high levels of marbling, earning it a grade of MS10+.
Restaurants in London offering special menus
Nobu is a world renowned empire, created by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and partially funded by actor and long-time Nobu fan, Robert De Niro. Famous for their traditional and luxurious Japanese cuisine, Nobu offers a special Wagyu menu this November and December:
- Japanese Wagyu Tataki
- Japanese Wagyu Nigiri
- Japanese Wagyu Three Ways
Sachi at Pantechnicon, London
Sachi at Pantechnicon celebrates traditional Japanese cuisine, using ingredients from local producers. Sachi’s Wagyu menu includes:
- Wagyu sirloin beetroot, mustard miso
- Wagyu fillet, sansho, girolles
- Wagyu tataki, porcini ponzu, mizuna
The Fuji Grill at Beaverbrook Town House, London
The Fuji Grill prides itself on its ability to transport you to the heart of Japanese cuisine and culture in its design and menu. The Fuji Grill not only offers a selection of the finest cuts of fish and meat, but has chef guides that may assist you in learning more about their Japanese specialties and menus. Their Wagyu menu offers:
- Wagyu ‘shabu shabu’ spicy citrus miso, chive salad
- Wagyu nigiri ponzu jelly, fresh autumn truffles
- Braised Wagyu short rib, pear soy reduction, celeriac purée
TOKii offers a unique dining experience as well as quality menu items. Intended to be shared in the centre of the dining table, TOKii offers a variety of small dishes, each made from international ingredients. Their Wagyu menu includes:
- Wagyu nigiri
- Wagyu rolls
- Wagyu hot stone
Yashin Ocean House, London
Located in South Kensington, Yashin Ocean House offers a menu specialising in fish and seafood. Regardless of your favourite type of seafood, Yashin Ocean House is bound to have it! Their specialty Wagyu dish is a Wagyu steak with bone marrow.
Yashin Sushi & Bar, London
- Wagyu nigiri
Sushi Kamon, London
Created by the founders of Yashin Sushi, Sushi Kamon is a new dining experience located in Arcade Food Hall. Sushi Kamon offers similar menu items to its sister-restaurant, including an Omakase course including Wagyu nigiri.
The Dining Room, Beaverbrook Hotel, Surrey
Located in one of England’s finest hotels is The Dining Room, Beaverbrook’s Japanese Grill offering Wagyu Nigiri with Sea Urchin and Truffle as well as a Wagyu taco with caviar this November and December.
KOYN’s menu was created by Executive Chef Rhys Cattermoul and offers a variety of Japanese cuisine using umami flavours. Their special Wagyu menu includes:
- Japanese Wagyu Sukiyaki
- Japanese Wagyu Ishiyaki
- Japanese Wagyu Sushi
Tokimeite is more than just a Japanese restaurant. Koyn is a celebration of Wagyu itself, as it specialises in Wagyu beef supplied by Japan’s agricultural cooperative Zen-Noh. Their specialty Wagyu item this winter is Japanese Wagyu Steak.
Kiku originally opened in London’s West End in 1978 and has only grown since then. In prioritising traditional Japanese cuisine, Kiku has expanded greatly, exposing London to the finest Japanese cuisine. This winter, Kiku offers Japanese Wagyu Sukiyaki.
To discover more, visit: wagyu-jfoodo.jetro.go.jp
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All images courtesy of Nobu / JFOODO.