Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Battle of the Gyu-niku (牛肉)!!!

Ok. The battle of the gyu-niku begins. The fight between some of the best beef in the world.

T0-date, the Tan Tans have tried the following gyu-niku in Japan (in order of superiority defined by Japanese standards) :

1. Matsusaka Beef
2. Kobe Beef
3. Iga Beef
4. Wagyu Beef

And its time for them to give a rating of each type of beef. Basic methodology includes consuming the different types of beef the Yakiniku (BBQ) way and ordering similiar cuts of beef for the purpose of this taste test. Types of cuts are as listed below:
1. ロース (Sirloin)
2. カルビ (Ribeye)

So, lets go!

Matsusaka Beef - from virgin female Tajima-ushi cattles raised and treated to beer and massage with nice soothing music in the area surrounding Matsusaka. Its taste is considered to be the best by Japanese standards.

The Tan Tans Rating:
Flavour: Fully cow! You taste the whole cow with one bite. Best aroma!
Texture: Smooth & Juicy
Te€nderness: Very tender as the fats melt while being cooked
Price: Very Very Expensive.
Others: The Tan Tans love Matsusaka beef other than its price being twice as expensive as the other types of fine gyu-niku in Japan. (Tasted at 一升びん. More information available at http://www.isshobin.com/)
Overall Rating: * * * *

Kobe Beef - from the black Tajima-ushi breed of cattle which are fed beer and sake with daily massage. Tell me about drunk cows... hmmmm

The Tan Tans Rating:
Indescribable great taste. Awesome aroma while grilling the beef.
Texture: Well marbled and extremely smooth.
Tenderness: Very very tender and the beef literally MELTs in the mouth.
Price: The restaurant that we went to was not very expensive but price was higher than standard wagyu beef.
Others: The Tan Tans' favourite!! This is the most recommended gyu-niku by the Tan Tans. If you can only try one type of gyu-niku, try Kobe Beef (we highly recommend the kobe beef with the chrysanthemum rating at 牛太郎. http://www.gyutaro.com/).
Overall Rating: * * * * *

Iga Beef - Also from the Tajima-ushi cattles which are famed for their tenderness.

The Tan Tans Rating:
Flavour: It was ok. Not really outstanding compared to Matsusaka and fares slightly below Kobe
Texture: Fats are finely-spread resulting in a very smooth texture.
Tenderness: Tender with a Oomph.
Price: Was ok, similiar to that of Kobe.
Others: The Tan Tans do not hate or love this gyu-niku. (Tan Tans test-site. 昌苑 in Iga. http://www.igashoen.com/).
Overall Rating: * * *

Wagyu Beef - General breed of cattles bred in Japan in which through different breeding methods in different areas leads to Kobe beef, Matsusaka beef etc.

The Tan Tans Rating:
It was ok but do not try this right after eating Matsusaka beef (it will be bland and tasteless).
Texture: Smooth and well marbled.
Tenderness: Tender. Yes. Tender but still tougher compared to the above three)
Price: Cheapest of the lot tested
Others: Good to go for this as it is the cheapest among the lot. It is also a LOT more tender and has a much stronger taste and better texture than prime beef of other origins. (The Tan Tans also had this at 一升びん. http://www.isshobin.com/)
Overall Rating: * * *