by Roaming Panda
Ok, time for a quick lesson in Wagyu beef. I feel like this can be a confusing topic as terms like Kobe beef and Wagyu get thrown around. So what's the difference? Wagyu refers specifically to beef cattle from Japan. Japanese Wagyu can be given different names based on where the cattle came from, so Kobe beef is from the Kobe region of Japan. You can also have "Kobe" grade beef from other regions like Matsusaka, which would then be referred to as, you guessed it: Matsusaka beef.
There aren't many restaurants in the states that offer authentic A5 Japanese Wagyu so you already know we're going in. I forget who told me this or where I read it, but Matsusaka beef is supposedly even better than beef from the Kobe area. Enter Yakiniku M, a restaurant specializing in Matsusaka beef.
What makes this beef so special? Well the menu spells it out for you with this little explanation:
"Considered as 'the art of meat,' Matsusaka beef get its tasty reputation and virgin status from the special treatment the cattle is given. Raised between the Izumi and Miyagawa river in the suburban area of Matsusaka city, for several years all cattle is managed with the highest degree of quality and care. To ensure satisfaction to our customers, all cows are fed beer to create a healthy appetite and given a body massage with a mixture of shochu. This particular treatment creates a smooth blood circulation throughout the body of our cows. All information is given about the handling and shipping of Matsusaka beef products to our consumers. All Matsusaka beef is fully cared and maintained by our breeders' effort."
There you have it. If you're wondering why this beef is so tasty and expensive, it's because they drink beer all day and get rubbed down in alcohol. Up until the end, they're living the dream.
The restaurant is akin to a Korean BBQ restaurant with table-top grills and the meat brought out to you raw for your grilling pleasure. We got the sampler which lets you try a little bit of every cut from marbled AF to kinda normal. They give you a block of fat to grease the grill, because why not?
Cue the heavenly choir sound because that's what you're going to hear when you take your first bite. It just melts in your mouth. It's fatty, it's soft, it's flavorful, it's just a damn good piece of meat. Add the garlic fried rice as a side for a fragrant, oily, and garlicky companion to your savory beef.
Our experience at Yakiniku M was great. If you've never had authentic premium Japanese Wagyu, find this place and give it a try.