New Restaurant Alert: Wagyu Beef at Forbes Town Road, Bonifacio Global City
This is your new Wagyu steak destination.
Forbes Town Road, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) The excitement is palpable as we walk into Japanese steakhouse Wagyu Beef BGC.
You know you're in for a treat when you're greeted by a chiller full of never-frozen, A5-grade (the highest rating for Wagyu beef), vacuum-packed slabs of Wagyu. This Japanese breed of cattle is sought-after for its remarkable marbling, making their steaks the richest, softest, and (understandably) the priciest in the world. You will be drooling and hyperventilating even before you make it to your seat.
The owners are just as enthusiastic about this new endeavor. Co-owner Lexington Chua is the college friend and business partner of entrepreneur Takayuki Hayano (or Taka, as he likes to be called), who has been a licensed importer of Wagyu beef to the Philippines for many years now.
Lexington's love for Japanese food proved to be all the motivation he needed to open his own restaurant. He invited his wife's sister, Clariza Chia-Siy, to join their venture and then, relying on Taka's expertise in storing, handling, and preparing Wagyu in all its incarnations, opened their very own temple of Japan's most revered produce.
Their ultimate must-try is the A5 Grade Omi Wagyu, which is their finest offering. It's as close as you can get to dining like an emperor. The Omi brand is the same Wagyu beef served at Japan's imperial palace.
"Appetizer lang 'yan, ha!" Lexington warns, as they present a tataki of Omi Wagyu Top Round (P1,150). Slightly seared and sliced paper thin, the beef is given just a dab of grated raw garlic, rolled like a spring roll, then dipped in ponzu. This treatment is perfect for this lean and hardy cut; that robust beefiness inherent in those hard-working muscles simply sings.
Since they have a trained butcher and sushi chef in-house, Wagyu Beef BGC also offers a mean Wagyu Nigiri (P919). Lexington's suggestion: Pick up a piece of pickled radish and use it to brush the soy sauce over the Wagyu. Trust us, you have to taste it with the sauce. It's life-changing.
A cube of lard and sugar crystals for sukiyaki
Sukiyaki tableside prep
Wagyu in egg white dip
Clariza points out that their bestseller since they opened in December 2015 is the sukiyaki—the thin slices of Wagyu Sirloin (P4,235/200 grams) quickly dipped in a boiling, sweetish broth, then dunked again in frothy egg white. The little air bubbles of flavor do make a difference. When asked if the sukiyaki is an old family recipe, Taka, busy preparing the beef, candidly chuckles in reply, "I just Googled it." Still, the flawless technique of their table-side preparation makes this a winning dish.
The Seiro or steamed beef is distinctly Taka, though. The steaming liquid used at Wagyu Beef is Taka's secret recipe. Sliced Omi Sirloin (P1,767/100 grams) is cooked in bamboo steamers over a bed of carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, and onions. Unseasoned, the beef is delicately nuanced with the flavors of the vegetables. But, dipped in either ponzu or peanut sauce, it's so much tastier. If you're craving rice, choose from either Jako, Takana, or Wagyu (P206/each). The Takana has a subtle nori flavor, which complements the rich beef.
Wagyu beef Omi sirloin
Wagyu beef Omi rib eye
The highlight of every Wagyu-centric meal has to be a slab of sirloin or rib eye (P1,767/100 grams) cooked on hot stone. Either is an inch thick, grilled until medium rare. Every bite bursts with rich, beefy flavor, the marbled fat practically melting on our tongues. Trust us, you will ignore all warning signs of arterial clogging because the steaks are just so darn amazing.
They don't really have a dessert menu, but their chef prepares simple treats, like fruity jellos and ice cream. "Just to cleanse the palate," Clariza explains.
Wagyu beef hamburger rice meal
For lunch, they have set meals ranging from P600 to 800, which features items such as their Wagyu Burger with rice and smothered in demi-glacé.
Since Taka is a licensed importer, the quality of their meats is unquestionable—with prices that are pretty reasonable. Lexington tells us about a regular who comes in with his family at least once a week, sometimes taking home meats to prepare for parties at home. We ask him if he also eats a lot of Wagyu during his down time. He smiles and makes a face: "Sawa na."
Photos by Chinkee Clemente-Koppe