One of Japan's Best Types of Wagyu Beef Is Now in Manila
Once you go miyazakigyu, you won't settle for anything less.
One McKinley Place, Podium Level, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.*
(SPOT.ph) Wagyu has become synonymous to delicious, melt-in-your-mouth beef in our vocabulary, but not many know that not all Wagyu are created equally. When Santi Araneta first had miyazaki Wagyu in Japan, he was impressed, and rightfully so. Miyazaki Wagyu or simply miyazakigyu comes from cow grown in the Miyazaki Prefecture in Kyushu. While the prefecture is the second-largest producer of Japanese black cow, only beef from the most premium cattle can be dubbed miyazakigyu; after all, having won the “Wagyu Olympics,” for three years straight since 2015, they have a lot to live up to.
“I was in Japan, and I was introduced to the farm owners in Miyazaki, I got to try the beef, and I loved it,” shares Araneta. “And I knew I had to bring the beef to the Philippines. The original plan was just to sell the beef, but we felt that we wanted people to understand how to best prepare this Wagyu and that would be difficult to do without a restaurant."
The result is Miyazaki Gyu, a restaurant simply named after the star of the show. The joint matches the outstanding reputation of its prized beef with understatedly luxe interiors of polished wood and gold accents. A display freezer showcases the different grades and cuts of miyazakigyu you can have at the restaurant, which you can also take home to prepare yourself.
Araneta and his business partners tapped into the expertise of Chef Ken Sakai, who once competed in Japan’s Iron Chef, to create Miyazaki Gyu’s menu, though Araneta shares that they focus more on the traditional ways of preparing miyazakigyu. “For us, these are the best traditional ways of [serving] miyazaki,” he says. “We don’t want to showcase how we flavor our dishes, rather we want miyazaki to reach everyone.”
It’s easy to see why they chose this route when you have their Rib-Eye Steak. The cut emphasizes the natural savory flavor of the beef, made richer by generous marblings of succulence. Just the right seasoning of salt brings these flavors out, and the accompanying heat of wasabi and citrus from ponzu rounds it all out.
Though if you’d rather have your Wagyu even more stripped-down to fully appreciate its natural unique flavor, have the Torched Sushi. Placed on top of sushi rice, nigiri-style, the beef is only torched to bring out a light char and turn it almost silky-soft, the marblings of fat even more prominent.
Other dishes on the menu play around with flavor without taking away from the beef’s distinct tastiness. The Japanese Stew, made with wide strips of the Wagyu, begs to be had with rice, with a gingery-sweet sauce that complements the beef’s savory richness. The Roast Beef, on the other hand, is cut just right to give each chunk of beef equal layers of fat, and has a subtly smoky flavor that makes having this a slightly more novel experience for the palate.
Currently, Miyazaki Gyu uses only A5-grade Wagyu but Araneta shares that they’re open to showcasing other grades, too. “Our goal really is just to bring the beef to Filipinos,” says Araneta. Consider this restaurant your crash course on miyazakigyu, and you might find yourself never settling for anything less.
Photos by Majoy Siason
*Miyazaki Gyu opens today, July 4. Prices to be determined.