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Truth in Menus - Kobe beef

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm curious....

My husband and I went out for Valentine's dinner Fri night. We went to Deseo a relatively new restaurant here in Phoenix that Douglas Rodriguez has attached his name to...

They had a prix fixe menu for $60..four courses. One of the entree choices was Kobe sirloin. I was surpised to see this on a $60 prix fixe menu...I asked the server if it was really Japanese Kobe...she kind of made a funny face and said "yes". We weren't very impressed by the training of the servers so I'm not sure she really knew the answer...

Anyway, we'd never had Kobe beef before...my husband ordered it and it was very good. We're just curious if we ate the really expensive Japanese stuff or not...I'm guessing the Wagyu raised in America is less expensive. Is there a taste difference?

Can teh American Wagyu be called Kobe on a menu or does it have to be from Japan to call in Kobe for real truth in menu?

Either way it was a good steak...we're just curious what we really ate! :lol:
post #2 of 18
Here's what I found...
"In order to earn the designation/appellation of "Kobe Beef", the Wagyu beef must come from Kobe, Japan, and meet rigid production standards imposed in that prefecture. "

and...

"The "Wagyu beef" designation can legally be applied to the meat from any cattle of the Wagyu breed; it's a genetic thing, not a place appellation or a reference to how the cattle were raised and fed. This breed is genetically predisposed to intense marbling, and produces a higher percentage of oleaginous, unsaturated fat than any other breed of cattle known in the world. "
This information came from: http://members.tripod.com/~BayGourmet/wagyu.html

As for the flavor, the few times I had true Kobe, it tasted like beef-flavored butter, if that makes sense. It was extremely rich with silken, fatty flavor with the consistency of very, very delicate filet.

Check out http://www.cheftalkcafe.com/forums/s...&threadid=9393 for some other insight on Kobe.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #3 of 18
Jim, that may be the case in Japan, but what is to stop an American cattle rancher raising Waygu from calling it Kobe. We have winemakers in this country making ''chablis'', ''beaujolais'', and to a lesser extent ''champagne''. Not saying that this is ethical, but I don't think there is anything to stop them, unless they attempt to market it in Japan.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. the steak we had was very good....and much as Kobe is described. I'm sure it was Wagyu but was just curious if it was the legendary Japanese Kobe or what is being raised here in the States. Either way it was an excellent steak(and I'm not usually a steak eater). Seems like $60 for a 12oz Kobe, as part of a three course prix fix, is pretty inexpensive??
post #5 of 18

Speaking of Kobe...

This comes from Restaurant Hospitality, March 2003, p.32:

"First to launch its mega-buck burger was the Old Homestead, a 135-year-old steakhouse located in Manhattan's meat packing district. Made from two 10-oz Kobe beef (with a dollop of herb butter between them) and dolled up with lobster mushrooms and micro greens, the finished item is served up on a Parmesan twist roll. The restaurant menus it as "The World'd most Decadent Burger." The price: $41...
The Old Homestead burger's big attraction is that it is made with way-beyond-prime Kobe beef - or, to be more precise, American Kobe Beef. While steers in Japan that are destined to become super-expensive Japanese Kobe beef are fed beer and given hand massages by feed-lot workers, the Wagyu cattle that are the source of American Kobe beef are not"

And it goes on to explain the feeding of the cattle.

$41 bucks for a burger! Who woulda thunk it?!

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #6 of 18

I don't know, Jim ...

... with 2 10-oz. beef patties, plus other stuff, one of those ought to feed about 4 people. Divided by 4, $41 isn't such a bad price for lunch.
post #7 of 18

Rather than start a new post I thought I would tag on to an old one.

I have been asked the do a retirement party with Kobe Beef.

As you all know my pricing system is Food Cost+Labor Cost+Expenses.

So food cost is no problem but I wondering about the variance of current prices.

Have any of you bought any Kobe Beef lately?

 

 

 http://store.kobe-beef.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=001008

http://kobe-beef-store.com/wagyu-beef/steaks/kobe-style-ribeye-10pack.html

http://www.deandeluca.com/butcher-shop/beef/wagyu-beef/wagyu-ribeyes.aspx

post #8 of 18

In the middle of May we had a party at (the Everglades Club In Palm Beach) using it. Precut 7 ounce filets were $27.95 a pound Normally I would cut  filets , but the use of trim would be to costly..

You could press them and your finger would penetrate them . They did however throw off a bit of an odor, like gamey. I myself did not care for it.  A source for you would be Busch Brothers West Palm  A1 meat.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #9 of 18

I have a SoCal source for beef that's completely unavailable for you.  Is there some information I can give you?  Is there a particular cut you want to know about?

 

As your operating on a "cost plus" basis, I'm really not sure what you're asking, or why cost would matter.  And, if you're interested in "to the trade" prices here, you'll at least have to tell me which cut. 

 

That said, Ed's prices of just under $30/lb for wagyu filet look very reasonable to me.  Maybe he got a discount because it smelled.  Although I'd like to think it smelled because it was dry aged -- in which case it would be well priced indeed.

 

I don't like working with wagyu filet because it's too fatty and there's not much of a gain in tenderness compared to other cuts.  Wagyu top sirloin is at least as tender as BTC Angus tenders, and with more flavor.

 

Last time I bought, I paid a little over $20/lb for a full packer cut brisket.  My friend Gil, the manager of the operation that sold me the beef was invited to the barbecue which is one of the reasons they allow me to buy from them. 

 

By the way, no matter what your customers call it, as a professional you should call it  "wagyu," (wa = Asian, gyu = cattle) or even "Japanese blackface," instead of "Kobe."  Kobe beef comes from Kobe prefecture. 

 

BDL

post #10 of 18

BDL they were dry aged and indy cryovac.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 18


Originally Posted by Ed Buchanan View Post

BDL they were dry aged and indy cryovac.


Dry aged is a good thing.  They had that sour smell then?  With no "age" anywhere apparent in the meat?

 

I know you know, Ed.  But for the benefit of others...

 

BDL

post #12 of 18

I worked in Sanomiya, Kobe...watashi wa eigo no sensei deshita...with loads of Americans quickly dealing to their tuition loans.

 

At Xmas a local friend turned up with a large chunk of Kobe beef, not sure of the cut but it was lean. At his direction we just seared it and sliced for sashimi niku.... suffice to say it doesn't get any better as recall it 22 yrs later!
 

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #13 of 18

I recall having Kobe steak in Thailand at the Kobe steak house in Bangkok, thats all they served Kobe beef.  It was a big deal and expensive even for Thailand. My wifes uncle is the police chief of Bangkok and he took us out to dinner there, guns on the table and armed guards--but that is another story.

Anyway Kobe beef I have had here in the US still has not compared, I am still chasing the "beef fairy".

 

Also, there are Wagyu-beef enthusiasts who say cooking it like a regular steak will lead to disappointment and an acute sense of having been ripped off. As the "foie gras" of beef, they maintain, it's better suited to searing or being served raw in, say, a miso-ginger-sesame-sake dressing.

 

My current fave is from Alderspring Ranch and by far cheaper than most prime angus, kobe and wagyu, @ 21 a lb. It isgrass fed, no hormones and not finished in a feed lot on grain.  Beef from cows that have never ingested anything other than mother's milk and pasture, which is just as Mother Nature intended. Like great wine and cheese, grass-fed beef possesses different qualities depending on where it's grown and what time of year it's harvested.

 

Some studies have shown that grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fat and higher in omega-3 fatty acids, making it healthier than regular beef.
Anyway my .02.
 

Fluctuat nec mergitur
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Fluctuat nec mergitur
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post #14 of 18

I'm a Kiwi so is there another kind?

 

Angus prime has just done its thing down here with MacDos leading the charge. Lately we were offered ribeye at the the same price as the usual..seems the market was over-supplied. Got some in for a looksee thinking the big boys had already handled the marketing might as well jump on the bandwagon. It came in the door a few dollars more than discussed and we all thought it was no better quality.... Price was'nt doable so let it slide.

 

Best I've handled comes in randomly animal to animal and impossible to trace.

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #15 of 18

In Kyoto, which is very close to Kobe, you find that beef comes in 4 basic categories: Kobe or Matsuzaka, wagyu, Australian, American (rarely). That's in order of quality, is the general feeling. If you're also buying very high-end Kobe or Matsuzaka beef it costs an arm and a leg, but if you're buying excellent wagyu beef it can be surprisingly reasonable. The top-end stuff, from a fatty cut (even for that kind of beef), should be treated, IMO, like foie gras, in more than one sense. First, it should be barely cooked at all. Second, it should be eaten in small portions. Third, it should be garnished with something sweet. Fourth, it should be garnished very minimally. Good way to eat high-end Kobe beef: cut in thick cubes or rectangles, sear blazing hot just until each side releases (about 5 seconds, if that), saute a firm fruit like fig in butter and serve with the beef, sprinkling fleur de sel and a very little cracked pepper over all.

 

A Kobe beef hamburger is a disgusting invention, sort of like a lard sandwich. It's too much, it's too fatty, it loses all its natural texture because of being ground, and the various burger accompaniments will overpower the meat. It's wasteful, just conspicuous consumption. When they start serving 10oz slabs of foie gras as sandwiches with lots of fried onions and ketchup and pickle and relish and mayo on a big whack of bread, ask yourself whether you'll think that was a good idea or not. Same thing.

post #16 of 18

i don't think kobe should be made into burgers, but i am well aware that many do... i have had Australian Wagyu "Grade 10", which was more expensive than the American Wagyu "Kobe Style"... cost me $160 for it and while it was amazing, a good ol aged prime would have done just fine as well. its better, but for the money, it isn't worth it...

post #17 of 18

Huy Bui, have you had an opportunity to sear a little chunk of it as I described, i.e. as though it were foie gras? It's a whole different thing. In a menu context, it shouldn't be thought of like beef usually is, as a main course, but as an appetizer. It's terrific.

post #18 of 18

no i have not tried it that way Chris, i'd be more worried about health concerns... i like rare, but not raw. even rare will get me sometimes. black and blue steaks are definitely not my thing. and forget about sushi...

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