Wake Up, Philippines!

Miriam Santiago asks where the best Wagyu is

Posted in Food/Drinks, Hotel, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars by Erineus on May 7, 2009

By Reggie Aspiras
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:13:00 05/06/2009

MANILA, Philippines — I beg you to send me a list of your recommended dining places in Metro Manila. If you could, I hope you could specify which ones serve good Japanese Wagyu steaks. I would also like to know if you have your own restaurant. Thank you very much.

Your friend and admirer,

Miriam Defensor- Santiago

It is a privilege to be read by you, Madame Senator.

I no longer have a restaurant. The last was at Shangri-La many moons ago, where, I recall, you were once our guest.

On places to enjoy Wagyu (a term referring to all Japanese beef/cattle, from “Wa,” meaning “Japanese/Japanese-style,” and “Gyu,” meaning “cattle”), I indulge myself only in two places. I haven’t done the Wagyu rounds since I’m extremely satisfied with these two places.

It is a matter of whether I’m loaded or broke; I remain a purist on the subject. If I cannot have the real deal, I will settle for an excellent US prime steak which is no less delicious or satisfying.

But since you want a range of options, I asked my colleagues for a well-sorted list of restaurants that serve Wagyu.

My thanks to chefs James Antolin, Sau del Rosario, J. Gamboa, and Ed Quimson for their inputs.

Tsukiji’s Wagyu Ohmi Beef

It is unanimous! Tsukiji is the place for honest-to-goodness Ohmi Wagyu.

Ohmi is the official beef of the Japanese Imperial household. Whether as shabu-shabu or yakiniku, either way, it’s delicious! I would go for the sirloin over the rib eye for true heart-clogging, mouth-watering satisfaction. (Call 843-4285/812-2913.)

Tokujyou-Karubi at Urameshiya

Urameshiya is another personal favorite for Wagyu. My pocket loves it and so do my taste buds. This is a sulit Wagyu experience. I suggest you call and reserve. They run out of Tokujyou-Karubi sometimes. (Call 813-2210.)

Umu’s Shabu-Shabu

Umu at Dusit offers an array of Wagyu in different grades, cooked in a multitude of ways. Gyu no Tataki-Wagyu Carpaccio Japanese-style (A3 level from Tochigi, Japan), Teppanyaki: Kuroge Wagyu (A3 level from Tochigi, Japan) and Kuroge Wagyu Beef (A4 level from Ibaragi, Japan). From the Robata Section, there’s Gyuniku Kushiyaki, skewered Wagyu Beef (A3 level from Tochigi, Japan). (Call 867-3333.)

Other places and ways to enjoy Wagyu:

145’s Manhattan

145 Degrees Fahrenheit serves Wagyu from US corn-fed herd, 300 g of premium chuck steak, grade 7-8, pan-seared to medium with roasted beef bone marrow served with haricot vert and a choice of mashed potato or creamed corn. (Call 703-2725/332-1955.)

Wagyu Ox Tongue

Restaurant Ciçou offers Wagyu Ox Tongue braised in court bouillon and seared with butter with confit baby potatoes and sauce ravigote. (Call 889-6728.)

Tivoli at Mandarin

Order grilled or char-grilled Australian 9A-grade Wagyu rib eye, 700 g good for two to three persons, served with Caesar Salad, sauces and garnishes (spinach puree, mushroom fricassee, pommes pont neuf with garlic caramel, bone marrow sauce) for P12,880. (Call 750-8888.)

Carpaccio Ristorante Italiano

To open Mother’s Day, they will serve Wagyu Carpaccio. Order one day in advance. (Call 843-7286 and 867-3764.)

I’m Angus Steakhouse

They grill US Wagyu Rib eye upon request with your choice of sidings and sauces. Their Baby Back Ribs are good and rather reasonably priced, and so are their US Chilled Angus Prime Steaks. Their bread is delicious! (Call 893-1573.)

Pinoy Wagyu Burgers at Malcolm’s

For those who crave for hearty burgers, there’s Malcolm’s Deli and Malcolm’s Place. These burgers are from Wagyu raised right at the foothills of Mt. Kitanglad, Bukidnon. (Call 844-0000.)


They offer Wagyu Rib eye, Rib eye and Prawns, 24-ounce Cowboy Cut, Tenderloin, Striploin, 18-ounce T-Bone and 24-ounce Porterhouse, served with your choice of sauce. I’ve had friends who’ve tried Melo’s Wagyu and were quite pleased. (Call 899-2456, 924-9194 and 7712288.)

Should you want Wagyu at home, here are the numbers to call:

Mr. Tanaka—0917-2011716, by order and bulk sales only. (Thanks Maritess for sharing your source.)

American Wagyu Snake River Farms—Call Anna, 0922-8151750.

Philippine Wagyu, Umalag Farms—Call Allan Cueva, 0920-9192911 and 0920-9043410.

Wagyu Miyasakei Beef, Sakura—815-1274

My new class schedules are out, my Gourmet Cocinera Series for beginners and household cooks is ongoing, and a new series on the hows and whys of cooking for beginners is about to start. Dr. Francis Dimalanta and I are doing “The Well-nourished Child Series: A Behavioral and Nutritional Approach to Battling Childhood Food Issues.”
On May 23, I am conducting a “Food and History Trip Back in Time” in Taal, the grand lady of Batangas, with heritage preservation advocate Dindo Montenegro.
For inquiries, call 928-9296/927-3008. Look for Jane or Jhem at 647-4744/0908-2372346.

E-mail the author at raspiras@inquirer.com.ph.http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/lifestyle/lifestyle/view/20090506-203538/Miriam-Santiago-asks-where-the-best-Wagyu-is

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