Hi. I’m Jane, and I’m a steak-aholic. Problem is, there’s only one kind of steak I know how to eat, the regular joe kind & not the fancy schmancy beef from a pedigreed cow, grain-fed & bred to perfection -all fat & marbly! So it was high time I got educated on the finer points of eating a high grade steak. #SocializationToTheHighestLevelz
WA refers to the meaning of JAPAN itself, but it also stands for harmony & peace which represents the heart of Japan. GYU means beef. SAGA (佐賀市 Saga-shi) is the capital city of Saga Prefecture, located on the island of Kyushu, Japan.
The renowned beef names “Matsuzaka”, “Kobe”, and “Saga” are all meat parts coming from the JAPANESE BLACK CATTLE. They are bred in small cattle farms -about 34 heads per farm. The fine taste of wagyu beef comes from the tender loving care that goes ito their breeding. During winter, some farms even provide their calves with handmade calf-jackets! They are grain-fed for over 20 months consisting of rice straw, barley, corn, and soybeans. Rice straw is indispensable for marbling & the whilte color of the fat of the wagyu,
I was so happy when The Bossman included Kap & me on his high-profile invite list to the opening of HOUSE OF WAGYU STONEGRILL‘s 3rd branch at Mall of Asia. I like sizzling steak but I have never tried it cooked on stone, and seasoned with just salt & pepper as you cook.
Thank you Bossman for the many opportunities you accord me! <3 As you can see, I am dressed for the occasion. Zebra print is the closest animal print I could find in my closet, lels!
House of Wagyu is from the same owners of Melo’s Steak House (established 1987). Yup, THAT Melo. Or CARMELO SANTIAGO to be precise. He & CORINNE CASTANEDA set up this posh Japanese Wagyu Steak House to cater to the needs of the true beef aficionados. Snobbish to hear I know, but hey, that’s life. It’s divided into those who can wagyu, and (like me) those who cannot. :P
With an outstanding method of grading system, the Japan Meat Grading Association grades carcasses one by one to assure excellent constant quality. Wagyu is graded on both Meat Quality Grade & Yield Grade. Meat quality assesses marbling, meat color, and shine, firmness & texture, and fat color & shine. Grade 5 is the highest while 1 is the lowest. Yield is evaluated as C for below, B for average, and A for above average. Hence combining both criteria, grade A5 stands for that melt in your mouth legend everyone is talking about. The Saga Japanese Wagyu brand only accepts wagyu beef with a minimum rating of 7 and up.
Drinks were flowing courtesy of PHILIPPINE WINE MERCHANTS. Champagne Henriot Brut Souverain was served to celebrate the opening of this 3rd branch. For those who prefer the fruity, dry finish of a white or red wine, Montes Alpha Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon were also available & flowing freely. Cheers to the good life!
White wines tend to pair better with lighter foods such as green veggies and fish. Keep clear of red wine and fish for the most part unless it’s a rich not-so-fishy fish. Sparkling wine pairs with a wide variety of foods because it acts as a palate cleanser.
Wagyu sashimi, oysters, and other Hors d’oeuvres were served for cocktails as we waited for all the guests to arrive so we can start with the program -and EATING! <3
Congratualtions to very tall, dark light & handsome FOOD DUDE, Angelo Comsti for being named Editor of F&B World magazine. Angelo is also the author of 3 cookbooks – Homemade for the Holidays, From Our Table to Yours, and The Filipino Family Cookbook. He handles the non-food related business aspects of Gaita Fores as Special Projects Manager and is at the same time the Food editor of Coconuts Manila. Busy, busy, SINGLE & highly AVAILABLE guy! :) Everyone is just trying to match him off haha!
Perfect date night for me & my Kap. <3 Blessings come in many form & we are always thankful for each one that comes.
Repeated breed improvements in Japan’s rich nature with four seasons have resulted in making japanese wagyu with rich & excellent “SASHI” or marbling & fine muscle finer. The flavor of the marbling is exquisite, with a creamy tender texture that dissolve’s in your mouth.
The invitees were bigwigs & of course I was star struck at every turn! Can you spot the bossman? ;)
We were educated on the fine aspects of prime Japanese wagyu by Mr. Masahiro Ono, manager of SAGA Prefectural Government. I love how I learn something new at every event! Now I won’t look so lost & clueless when I go to Japan & order a steak! <3
We started off with a delicious CREAM OF PUMPKIN SOUP.
And this refreshing sweet & tangy Scallop & Shrimp salad. That scallop was THE BOMB! <3 Paired perfectly well with the sweet crisp white wine.
Before the star of the night was presented, we gave a sparky & bubbly toast to the SAGA PRIME A5 GRADE 11 full blood JAPANESE WAGYU! All hail SAGA WAGYU! <3
Cheers to the House of Wagyu Stonegrill for bringing so much beefy happiness to the Filipino people!
Hot to get stoned! ;)
Finally! We were all gifted with a 200 gram SAGA PRIME A5 GRADE 11 full blood JAPANESE WAGYU each! *dance of joy* A prime piece like this costs around 4.4k.
The 3 elements to make delicious beef are: TEXTURE, FLAVOR, and AROMA. Wagyu beef aroma unique to wagyu is a rich, sweet aroma similar to that found in peaches & coconuts & is a retronasal aroma and flavor that spreads when chewing the meat in your mouth. This aroma is released when heated to 80 degrees centigrade It stays in the meat & it releases again when chewed. Wagyu aroma coupled with the delicate texture & flavor from rich marbling gives Wagyu the highest quality taste.
We all got STONED that night. Can you see the smoke up in the air? But we didn’t mind because the prime meat was oh-so-tasty. My head was really in the clouds!
And how perfectly considerate of our hosts to provide us with a filipino staple to pair with our meat.. GARLIC RICE! Saan ka pa???
My SAGA PRIME A5 GRADE 11 full blood JAPANESE WAGYU! Buttery soft, it really melts in your mouth. Now I can say I have tasted REAL steak. Gah! How can I ever go back to regular now??? @_@
The steak was so rich that this Olive Oil Ice Cream with Strawberry and Mango Mille Feuille was the perfect ending.
And of course my regular dose of coffee after a rich & heavy meal.
The Bossman with our fabulous hostess with the mostest, CORINNE CASTANEDA. Congratulations on yet another branch opening!
Thank you so much Boss, Corinne, and the House of Wagyu Stonegrill for having us. This is truly one of the more unforgettable dates Kap & I have had so far. What a delight to have been invite to taste the prime wagyu, and to learn more about the finer things in life (and what I have been missing all my life!!!). <3