“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo
I think I finally understand what Michelangelo meant. I mean, I was never really good at Art History, but when faced with such beauty, I think there’s no way I can miss what he meant.
Because surely, he was talking about the marble in a 9+ piece of wagyu beef right?
Wagyu literally translates to “Japanese cow”, and refers to a breed of cow that naturally produces meat with an amazing amount of marbling. And you know what this fat does? It gives you a super tender, deliciously melt-in-your-mouth piece of meat.
And I am TOTALLY addicted.
Rengaya, in North Sydney, has a wide selection of wagyu beef available for their Japanese tabletop BBQ, and we were totally spoilt when we got invited there for dinner!
Of course, wagyu wasn’t the only thing on the menu: Japanese restaurant staples like salmon sashimi and salads were also options for us to choose. The BBQ menu also had items like duck and – the all important litmus test for how they treat and store meat – offal.
Curiously labelled Assorted Ambles, the the offal in this case was a selection of intestine, tongue, liver and kidney. Marinading provided two functions – to flavour the meat and to help it last longer in storage. The result, is a series of mouthfuls that are deliciously savoury, and a perfect match to fluffy Japanese rice.
But the main event is always the wagyu, and there is a platter with an assortment of cuts to suit our needs. Because I don’t discriminate when it comes to meat. =)
Bright red wagyu so fresh you can eat it thinly sliced as sashimi – seriously, you should try it sometime. It’s so delicate! – These mouthfuls of meat pair especially well with the smoke off the hot coals.
Speaking of mouthfuls, it’s a very good idea to order the salad leaves with accompanying sauces, so that you can wrap up the meat, Korean BBQ style. Because…salad. And also because it’s freaking delicious. Don’t say I don’t tell you about the good stuff!
And if you’re afraid of getting attacked by vampires on the way home – or, you know, you just really like garlic – the Foil Yaki Garlic is an insanely good excuse for anti-vampire breath. Peeled garlic is basically cooked over the barbecue in melted butter, and the rich smokey flavour puts a satisfying end to any True Blood fantasies you might have ever had. Or will ever have.
Not keen on barbecue? (What’s WRONG WITH YOU) Then there are also a la carte selections like the Yukke Bibimba, which, like the Korean Yukke, features amazingly fresh raw beef on a hot stone bowl of rice and vegetables. The Oxtail porridge was also rice and full of flavour, if not a touch heavy on the chilli oil.
And just when we thought that we couldn’t eat anymore, dessert. Because…do I really need to justify why I’m such a fatty anymore? You read the blog right? In the haze of my resulting food coma, I remembered being pleasantly surprised by the creamy matcha creme brûlée – breaking open that caramel top always makes my day – and not much else.
This is definitely one of those places that you’d want to go with a group – otherwise be prepared to be so stuffed cause you’ll just want to order EVERYTHING – and if you’ve got your Washoku Lovers card on you, you can also get a portion of Premium Beef Rib (2pc) & Premium Beef Loin (2pc) for $20 ($35 RRP). Win-win, right?
Also, great way to test potential dates. If they are still interested after the Foil Yaki Garlic, they’re a keeper. =)
Washoku Lovers is a free membership programme that gives you perks to many Japanese restaurants in Sydney! We also have visited other restaurants participating in the Washoku Lovers programme, like Suminoya and Oiden! To find out more about the programme and sign up, visit www.washokulovers.com.