Food & Drink

Guest Chef Hirohashi Nobuaki Brings Miyazaki A5 Wagyu To Ritz Carlton KL

Hes raising the steaks.

BY grace lai | Jun 27, 2018 | Feature

Miyazaki is a land of beauty. An hour away by flight from Osaka, Japan, Miyazaki rests, bordered by majestic green mountains that flame red and orange in autumn, and the sparkling cerulean Pacific Ocean. On this sacred land, believed often to be the birthplace of Japan, a special breed of cattle roam. Three-times Wagyu Olympics (if there was one) champion, the top grade Miyazaki Wagyu A5 BMS12 hails from this very place, on the Nishinoharu Farm; bred with love by Norihto Nakanishi on a diet of quality feed and fresh spring water from the Kirishima mountains. 

Miyazaki Wagyu A5 BMS12 

So superior is this cut that there are apparently only four cattle slaughtered a year, this according to Guest Chef Hirohashi Nobuaki who helms Singapore’s Ushidoki, fabled for its fine-dining Kaiseki dinners. Kaiseki is the time-honoured Japanese art of preparing multi-course meals that reflect its current seasons.

Guest Chef Hirohashi Nobuaki

Lunch began with a toast to Chef Nobuaki, and also present on this fine afternoon, Sake Sommeliers Tadashi Okushima and Norimasa Yamamoto, who brought the illustrious KID Sake with them to shore. Brewed surrounded by mountains in Kainan City, Wakayama prefecture, Japan, Heiwa Shuzo have only been developing Kido (also known simply as KID) for a few years. The brewery itself has been around for much longer but was originally a temple before undergoing several rebirths into the brewery it is today. The first of which was in 1952 when they rechristened the place to Heiwa Shuzo as a nod to the end of World War Two (Heiwa means peace). Its second rebirth came about ten years ago when fourth generation and now Sake Sommelier, Norimasa Yamamoto returned to the family brewery with a passion and a vision for bringing sake into the new world. To date, there are only 21 Sake sommeliers in all of Japan. “It takes endurance, much knowledge, and perseverance to become a Sake sommelier. It took me 10 years. It’s not easy and that’s why you don’t see many,” said Tadashi Okushima on the rarity of Sake sommeliers.

Roast Wagyu beef, Asparagus,  Miso Vinaigrette, Yuzu, Herbs.

Roast Wagyu Beef, a delicious cut of Top Round from the Uchimomo beef was sous vide for three hours at 57 degrees before being lightly pan-seared and served with asparagus, Miso vinaigrette, Yuzu and herbs, paired with a refreshingly light Junmai Daiginjyo Sake. As the first course, the balance between the delicate beef and fresh Sake succeeded in whetting the appetite but not overwhelming it for the stars to follow.

Roast Wagyu beef, Asparagus,  Miso Vinaigrette, Yuzu, Herbs.

Second course was the Grilled Wagyu Beef where Chef Nobuaki used two different cuts (shoulder and chuck roll) as a medley, ringed by pretty soya sauce soil, edamame and sweet corn fritters and a delightful mountain wasabi. Both luscious cuts with beautiful marbling, the slivers of pearlescent fat among the ruby red in the meat seduces first the eyes, and then one’s nose and touch, before finally melting on your tongue and winning your palate over. After all, we perceive and experience not only with one, but all our senses and well we should.

Braised Wagyu beef, sweet sauce Sukiyaki, half-boiled egg, Black Truffles, Mitsuba, steamed white rice.

As if this wasn’t enough, the third course triumphs in the form of Braised Wagyu Beef rice bowl, complete with sukiyaki sauce, the very instagrammable onsen egg and black truffles on top of steaming hot Mitsuba rice. The sweet and hearty dish is complemented perfectly by the Daiginjyo sake, once again served chill. Which in Okushima’s personal opinion, is the better way for Sake to be savoured in tropical countries as the slightly chilled brew is allowed to naturally release its neutral flavor at this temperature.

Olive Oil Ice Cream, Summer Truffles.

A particular hit with guests at the meal was the sweet ending of Olive Oil ice cream with Summer Truffles, served with a clinking glass of chilled Tsuruume Kanjukuume (or what we layman call Umeshu).

Sake pairing

The Wagyu Kaiseki dinner is available from 26 to 30 June at The Library, Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur. The four-course dinner is priced at RM350 nett per person, with an option of sake pairing at RM500 nett per person.