10 things you should know about kobe
Kobe Wagyu is widely acclaimed as the best steak in the world. Since we added it to our menu last year, demand has been off the charts, and we love seeing our Instagram tags filled with happy wagyu-eaters.
Last week, as part of a grand European tour of MASH restaurants, we were very pleased to welcome our Food Director Dan Christiansen and “wagyu master” Hisato Hamada. Armed with no less than seven different cuts of meat, this dream team gave some very lucky guests a taste of all our best wagyu and cleared up exactly why Kobe wagyu tastes so good.
We thought it was only fair to share their secrets and so, without further ado, here are ten things you probably didn’t know about Kobe.
- Kobe Wagyu only became available in the UK in 2014. We introduced it to our menu in August of 2015.
- Even now, only 25 genuine Kobe cattle are allowed to leave Japan each year
- Of those 25, MASH restaurants get through 5 (a whopping 20%).
- Many restaurants and/or stores that sell wagyu beef are actually selling mixed breed, often wagyu cows crossbred with Angus.
- The rumours are true: some farmers are so dedicated to relaxing their animals that they play classical music and massage each cow
- Even more farmers individually name each animal, learn their personalities, and know which like to be placed together and which don’t
- The reason that Kobe meat is so delicious is that the animals store fat intramuscularly (inside the muscle), rather than outside of it – which creates that famous fat marbling and tender texture.
- Wagyu meat is graded according to 4 factors: marbling; colour and brightness; firmness and texture of meat; and colour and quality of fat. Each is graded 1 – 5, which is why grade A5 is the best you can get.
- To be classified as “Kobe beef,” the cow must have been born in Hyogo Prefecture (the capital of which is Kobe itself), from a “pure lineage” cow. It also must have been bred & raised by a designated farmer in the region.
- Hisato Hamada himself works to develop a network of the very best wagyu producers, but he’s also a keen film buff – and invested in one of the all-time best food documentaries, Food, Inc. He is a man of many talents!
So there you have it - all the secrets behind the pride of our menu. Next step? Come and try some!