The very interesting part is the highly specialized breeding of this type of beef. They are raised in quiet, serene areas surrounding Matsusaka between the Kumozu River to the north and Miyagawa River to the south. Only FEMALE wagyu are raised in Matsusaka and they have a specific diet. They are fed mostly with fodder, tofu lees and ground wheat. When they have no appetite, they are fed beer to stimulate eating and (this is the most wonderful part) they receive regular massages. Ah! They are cows "living the life". I don't know how true but they say even soothing music is played to "calm" them and promote better quality of beef. What a privileged and pampered life! Hmm...I wouldn't mind being a Matsusaka calf myself! Hahaha!
I have read excellent reviews of this restaurant, Matsusakagyu Yakiniku, and it was really on my list so when our friend Paolo hooked us up with a local named Kuni who happened to be the manager of the branches, we were so set! We were given the VIP treatment : Kuni himself explained what Matsusaka beef is, the available cuts we can choose from and even gave us a complimentary beef sushi platter (priced at 500 yen each) because we had a special coupon.
The menu is divided into 3 main parts - Lean, Med-Fat Ratio and Highly Marbled/Premium Cuts which ofcourse are the more expensive ones. The more marbling, the more expensive!
Lightly grilled marbled beef sushi - the best part is that it was for free!
We ordered Ichibo (No. 4) and Maboroshi No Misuji (No. 10) and one order of Tongue with Salt. Notice that the Maboroshi is only a small part that's unique to the cattle. There is only one in each cow so imagine how special it is!
Our picture with Kuniyosho, our NFF, and the certification of the Matsusaka beef. He said that if the beef is not "certified" then it could be fake. For all our friends who want to make the trip to Osaka, you really have to meet Kuni. He is nothing short of awesome. He is such a gracious and endearing host! He gave us superb recommendations and even took time to walk with us after our meal to go around his little neighborhood to point out where the best ramen, sushi, kitshukatsu place, etc. is. Ookini Kuni!
Dipping sauces - salt, yakiniku BBQ sauce and soy sauce
Love the presentation : prized meat slices served on fresh pine leaves and rose petals. The one that's more marbled at the back is the Maboroshi (3,000 yen) and one closer in this shot is the Ichibo (1,500.00 yen).
Tongue with salt (1,000 yen)
Fresh Wasabi and the Lard that was used to oil the grill
Kuniyoshi started off our meals and got the lard cube to oil the yakiniku grill. And woah! It really created a nice bright fire, a spectacle to begin the whole dining experience.
The pleasure delayer that we are, we started off with the tongue and the Ichibo and saved the Maboroshi for last. I don't usually dip the tongue in sauce but instead just a put a little salt. The Ichibo was actually so amazing already. It already tasted so rich and buttery so I was so curious what more marbling would taste like! Finally we had 4 pieces of the luxurious meat to savor and enjoy. Each bite of the Maboroshi was absolutely DIVINE. You could really feel and taste the precious oil oozing out of the tender meat. Such a guilty indulgence, I love it! I think 2 pieces (Joel had the other two) was JUST RIGHT..not too little to make you feel "bitin" (wanting more) and not too much to give you the unwanted "umay/suya" (too much to make you feel like puking).
Once in while it really is nice to treat yourself to something like this. It made me realize how much I love food and how I still love to eat despite my daily routine of trying to eat healthy. We spent about 6,000 yen in total (we had a beer also and rice) which is roughly less than Php 3,000.00. (Disclaimer : We had a heavy merienda (late afternoon snack) before coming here so we didn't really order as much as what we would usually order!) So worth every yen!
Life is good!
Matsusakagyu Yakiniku M
1-5-24 Nambea, Chuo-ku, 2nd floor, Osaka
* They have 4 more branches that you can choose from all over Osaka