This small restaurant called Wagyu Japanese Beef was recommended to me by people whose food reviews I trust. They told me that it served amazing, real wagyu at prices significantly less than you would spend elsewhere.
He told me that it wasn’t so much a restaurant as a meat shop. They sell wagyu and just happen to have a couple of tables for people who wanted to eat there.
I told J about it and as expected, wagyu addict that he is, we gamely trooped to the Makati Cinema Square to look for this mysterious place. Now, I haven’t been to Makati Cinema Square since the Glorietta was called Quad! Around 5 years ago, J and I explored Little Tokyo but didn’t come across this gem of a wagyu place my new foodie friends were gushing about.
After parking at the basement of the Makati Cinema Square, we promptly got lost wandering about looking for this place. We even circled the entire block looking to go to Sunvar Plaza. Why do men not like asking for directions?
But as it turns out, the restaurant was just a stone’s throw away from McDonald’s! We could’ve kicked ourselves. So for those of you who haven’t been here before, this is the view from outside the Wagyu Japanese Beef restaurant. The restaurant is located along this little passage/access road so we didn’t see it. We only found it because we finally agreed to ask for directions from a security guard!
After having been told that it was a meat shop, I was surprised because the restaurant looked so much better than I expected. I expected freezers and freezers of meat but this restaurant had a glass counter showing off their wagyu cuts. It was small and simple, but elegant.
The prices are reasonable for wagyu. The least expensive was the Karubi at P700 per 100 grams. The other cuts ranged from P900-P1,760 but averaged around P1,200-P1,450 per 100 grams.
We wanted to try the least expensive cut and the most expensive cut, just to compare (and because J would never stop regretting not trying the best wagyu).
We ordered the Karubi. They gave us a 104 g piece (P728.00) with some asparagus. They took out a hot black stone slab on a wooden board and placed it on the table, and asked us if we wanted to cook it ourselves or if we wanted them to cook it for us. Since it was our first time to eat there, we let them cook the beef.
The Karubi comes with a vinegary sauce (ponzu? see picture below).
Three kinds of salt were provided for use with the Omi Chateaubriand: Pink Himalayan Salt, Lemon Salt and Salt & Peppper. Pardon the poor pictures, I couldn’t seem to make my phone camera focus on the salts. Sprinkle the salt on your wagyu based on your own saltiness preference.
The Karubi was tender but it was a bit too fatty/rich for me, but J actually liked it better than the less fatty Omi Chateaubriand. When I say fatty, I don’t mean it has big slabs of fat. It was very marbled and the fat melted, making the beef tender but a tad oily. But J really liked the melted beef fat, saying that it adds to the beefiness.
I found the Karubi to have a few ligaments (maybe just 1 or 2 soft ones), but it’s not a dealbreaker – you won’t even notice it if you are not picky. The Omi Chateaubriand was soooooo tender, it was literally no effort to chew at all! It is quite lean and is a great choice for those watching their diet. The thing about the Omi Chateaubriand is that it is a very tender, soft cut of beef by itself, without the tenderizing benefit of fat. A bit too lean for me, though. I think next time, I will go for the P1,200 cuts like the sirloin, I hope that has the right mix of beef and marbling that I prefer.
We also ordered some plain rice (P90 per individual bowl) and a Cheese Croquette (P90).
The rice came with this small bowl of organic ground pork. The sauce on the upper right (with the grated carrots) is for the Karubi.
They also have house tea.
This is one of those little-known restaurants you must try if you love wagyu. Although prices are a bit high for a regular meal, for wagyu, this is relatively inexpensive. This is real wagyu. None of that other beef “pretending” to be wagyu. Depending on your appetite, be prepared to spend around P5,000-7,000 for 2 people if you will both be ordering 200g of steak each. If 100g each is enough, budget around P3,000-4,000. This would still be less expensive than having these at other wagyu restaurants.
We came in on a late afternoon, still slightly full from lunch, so we decided on 100 g of steak per order. It was slightly bitin, but I think we made the right decision because I was starting to look for a little more variety for the meal. This place serves mostly Wagyu, and does it very well, but I needed some variety. We went to try out Kikufuji (just a few minutes’ walk) afterwards where we capped off the meal with their Special California Maki which I really enjoyed.
It was a good thing that we came to Wagyu Japanese Beef in the late afternoon! They were fully booked that night and only agreed to accommodate us if we could leave before the reserved guests arrived at 6:30pm. Tip: go visit this restaurant at off-peak hours!
We will probably go back to Wagyu Japanese Beef when we have a wagyu beef craving, but it’s not going to be a regular thing unless we keep ordering just the Karubi. Maybe we’ll visit once or twice a year, for special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays.
They take credit cards! There is no service charge.
Wagyu Japanese Beef
G-20 Sunvar Plaza Bldg., Amorsolo cor. Pasay Road, Makati
+63 (2) 808 9508 / +63 (919) 997 0711
HOURS: 10 AM – 10 PM, Monday – Sunday
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