Wagyu meat heaven!
The wagyu being prepared as sukiyaki
The memories flood back as I see this photo and
I find myself wishing to have this dish again soon! :b
Last week, I had the good fortune to be invited by a friend to what amounted to a veritable wagyu feast. And before anything else, yes, I know that 'wagyu' literally means "Japanese cow" in Japanese -- so, if one were to be proper, one would be more specific in stipulating what kind of beef one is referring to.
The problem though is that I don't know which particular region of Japan the amazingly delectable beef I had at dinner that evening comes from. Maybe it came from Kobe, maybe it didn't. All I do know is that it was pretty amazing tasting and of a quality far above most other beef I've ever had. And that it was referred to as (just) 'wagyu' on the menu of the Japanese restaurant that we were at.
At the multi-course dinner that evening, we also had wagyu sushi and wagyu teppanyaki. If I had been asked before we got to eating how I'd like the wagyu to have been cooked, I'd have opted for teppanyaki. But because we had the wagyu teppanyaki at the tail end of our filling dinner, I felt unable to appreciate it as much as I might otherwise have done.
Instead, it was the wagyu sukiyaki that was the star of that evening's culinary show. The thin slices of decadently fatty beef were melt-in-your-mouth delicious by itself but all the more incredible tasting when eaten with the rich yellow yolk-y raw egg dipping sauce provided.
At the same time, I have to admit that it really was too much to consume three helpings of that wagyu beef dipped in raw egg sauce -- or even the two and a half that I had at dinner that evening. (I ended up splitting what would otherwise have been my third portion with a friend.) As it was, I really did need the Asahi beer that I ordered midway through dinner to help "cut" the taste somewhat.
In retrospect, I should have ordered the beer right at the beginning of the meal. And ideally, we should have been served "just" the wagyu sukiyaki -- minus the wagyu sushi, wagyu teppanyaki, and also the appetizer platter (which was totally unmemorable), the less than special tasting tofu and other ingredients that went into the sukiyaki and the assorted tempura that was ordered on top of it all!
At least the salad and tsukemono that we also were given to eat helped to cleanse the palate somewhat. And the refreshing yuzu sorbet we had at the end of the meal almost revived me to the point of being ready to eat more wagyu that night -- but that's the rub: at the end of it, having consumed so much wagyu, I actually ended up wishing that I could have had some more of it... along with less of some of the other ingredients served at that admittedly generally super indulgent dinner that I won't be forgetting in a hurry! ;b