What is better than a wagyu dinner? A wagyu degustation dinner featuring six different cuts of Blackmore Wagyu paired with Moss Wood wines! And that was how I spent last Tuesday night, being wagyu-ed and wined out at Allium.
Please do not hate me, but I just need to add that Australian Blackmore Wagyu is an award-winning producer of 100% full blood wagyu and is recognized even by Japanese chefs to be the only beef outside of Japan that tastes like Japanese wagyu. Love me instead for being the bearer of this wonderful news: Blackmore Wagyu is now available in Manila through Artisan Cellars & Fine Foods. No more need to fly all the way to Australia or Japan for this unparalleled beef experience.
Allium's warm pan de queso is always a welcome treat!
Chef Mark Tan started us off with house-made prawn crackers topped with creamy cauliflower puree and lobster caviar. It was incredible how he elevated the humble shrimp cracker into a luxurious experience. Echoing Town & Country’s Food Editor Alicia Sy, I could have a hundred of this!
The sashimi medley of giant clam, scallop and Santa Barbara uni tossed in a zesty yuzu kosho made my palate spring to life. With the sweet and fresh seafood, we enjoyed a glass of nutty and creamy Margaret River Chardonnay.
Our first introduction to David Blackmore’s Wagyu was through a beef tartare oshizushi made with hand-chopped wagyu sirloin served with an anchovy-mustard dressing and baby gherkins. A salt-cured quail egg yolk was perched on top, its saltiness and gumminess giving a nice play on flavors and textures. A robust Amy’s Cabernet Blend complemented our first wagyu course.
Cooked slowly over a two-day period was beef neck glazed with bordelaise sauce. The lean meat was crowned with crisp ginger floss and rested on a sweet carrot puree. With this we had the powerful Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir.
Was I pleasantly surprised by the shortrib! Grilled simply with salt and pepper in the Josper oven, Allium’s cut was unusually thicker than how most restaurants serve this chewier part of beef. But Chef Tan was confident about Blackmore’s quality. “To serve shortib this way, it requires a very special kind of beef,” he said. Ribbon Vale Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot provided a delightful pairing.
The picanha or rump cap was prepared Brazilian style, skewered and grilled until the outer layer of fat began to char and the meat underneath fully cooked. The bright and tangy chimichurri cut through the richness of the beef. Easily one of my favorites of the night.
The olive oil poached ribeye was the perfect balance of flavor and texture. Rich and beefy, tender and moist, the beautifully marbled meat was made even more delicious with Burgundy truffle relish and a dab of fresh wasabi. I sipped on a glass of elegant Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon while listening to the oohing and aahing of very happy and satisfied campers around me.
Last, but certainly not the least, was an extremely tender slice of roasted rib cap topped with black garlic sauce. Like magic, the baby just melted in my mouth. I swallowed my own groan of pleasure.
We were served aged comte cheese with housemade Japanese persimmon sauce and treated to a sweet ending of warm Valrhona fudge cake with strawberries and vanilla ice cream.
But please, do not take my word so easily. Read what these chefs have to say about Blackmore Wagyu and then try it out for yourself!
“Australia has the best beef in the world. You’ve got Wagyu in Japan of course, but that’s a very specific type of beef. In Australia, there’s a huge range of beef, grass-fed and corn-fed. There’s great beef from Tasmania and there are great people like David Blackmore. I’ve seen how good it is and it really ups the ante.” – Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck, Berkshire, United Kingdom
“We have just completed a blind test between Blackmore Wagyu Beef and a Japanese supplied wagyu, and I am pleased to tell you that we had a difficult time telling them apart .Bravo!” – Thomas Keller of French Laundry, Yountville, USA
“We appreciate the well-balanced marbling, fine texture, finesse and flavor of David Blackmore’s Wagyu. We prefer the Blackmore Wagyu over other wagyu.” – Ignatius Chan of Iggy’s Singapore
“David Blackmore is not only the leading Wagyu producer in Australia, but possibly the leading wagyu producer outside of Japan. What can you say? Blackmore is in a league of its own. I’ve eaten wagyu all around the world and this is on a par with some of the best in Japan. Perfection.” – Matt Moran of Aria, Sydney, Australia
Chef Mark Tan showing us his Josper oven
Every chef's wonderland!
Enjoyed the fun and delicious evening with Angelo, Roxanne, Alicia, Nicole and Grace
Blackmore Wagyu is imported and distributed by Artisan Cellars & Fine Foods. Tel: 632 521-7392. Website: www.artisan.com.ph.
Allium will be serving two set menus on Valentine’s Day: A 7-course dinner with Hokkaido scallops, oysters, Maine lobster, steak, and a few more surprise dishes at P2,700/person; and a 4-course Steak Dinner for two with salad, soup, dessert and two glasses of wine starting at P3,800/couple. Ground Floor, Grand Midori, Bolanos Street, Legaspi Village, Makati. Tel: 632 519-1088