Friday 17 November 2017

Bred in Japan and coming to you in a €55 beefburger

Yomiko Chen pictured in Beeftro reatuarant with one of the Kobe style Beef Burgers
Yomiko Chen pictured in Beeftro reatuarant with one of the Kobe style Beef Burgers
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

It's fast food at the fanciest of prices.

For €55, Irish foodies seeking a unique culinary experience can tuck into a Kobe burger - made from Japan's 'caviar' of beef.

Irish farmer John Collins is the man behind the project and he believes there is a market for the luxury product as the country climbs out of recession.

"The economy is coming back and people are willing to spend a bit more on the little luxuries in life. There are a lot of high-earning Japanese and Asians living and working in Ireland now too who want to have products like this available to them.

"It's very different to anything you have ever tasted, but I suppose with steaks between €350 and €400, you wouldn't be having too many. People like to break out every now and again and this is for someone who really wants to treat themselves."

The distinct nutty flavour is imparted from the careful selection of food the cattle receive.

It gives the meat the so-called "fifth taste" called Umami - that savoury hit that you might experience from say Parmesan, a really good Bolognese or soy sauce.

Kobe beef comes from a specific breed raised only in the Hyogo prefecture of Japan. During their cosseted life, the cattle have been massaged, fed on a high-energy ration diet of beer and rice and lulled with classical music before they make their way to your plate.

In some regions, farmers even brush the cattle's coats with sake to tenderise the meat.

With only around 3,000 heads of cattle qualifying as Kobe-grade annually, and very little of that destined for export, it is one of the world's most exclusive foods.

Collins is an associate of Riccardo Giraudi, who runs the world renowned 'Beefbar' in Monte Carlo and says Irish customers can finally enjoy the same luxury foodie experience as the Monaco set.

"I always wanted to offer something that you can't get just anywhere and with the tenderness and strong flavour of Kobe beef, you can expect an experience when you sit down to this.

"The cattle are treated like royalty, which produces a high content of marble in the beef, and it means the beef is rich in good fat and very high in omega. It's no different to a good bottle of wine. You are paying a bit more for something extra special," he said.

The burgers will go on sale at the 'Beeftro' steakhouses in Dundrum and Balfe Street, after their launch at the Taste of Dublin festival this week. They will be served on a brioche bun, with side orders including a range of luxury gourmet sauces.

And for foodies who are keeping one eye on the purse strings, there is the option of the Angus and Kobe burger at €23 and a range of gourmet boutique burgers, including the truffle burger which range from €15-€20.

Taste of Dublin 2015 takes place in the Iveagh Gardens from Thursday, June 11, to Sunday, June 14. For more information and ticket sales, go to www.tasteofdublin.ie

Sunday Independent

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