Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pan Pacific Singapore: Seasonal Omi Wagyu Promotional Menu

 I never knew there is so much about a cow. As part of my job, I had the rare opportunity of going behind the scenes to peek at the process of Wagyu Beef cutting at Pan Pacific, which will be serving special Omi Wagyu menus, available from 12 to 31 August 2013 at their signature restaurants – Edge, Hai Tien Lo and Keyaki.
 
You might have heard about Kobe beef or Matsusaka beef….but Omi Beef? Derived from an excellent lineage of Wagyu cattle and bred in Daikichi Ranch of Shiga Perfecture, Omi beef ranks as ONE of the TOP 3 WAGYU BEEF IN JAPAN.

Fine Marbling of the Ribeye

Prized for their fine marbling and high fat content, Omi cows are excellent for any dish, roasted, BBQ, sashimi, shabu shabu.
So back to the kitchen scene. Don’t worry. There are neither bloody scenes nor unpleasant stench. The environment was clean and sanitised, with tempeartures kept low.
This was totally different from my zoo camp experience when I was Primary five. Back then, it was an entire raw horse carcass.  
Contrary to popular beliefs, Wagyu cows DO NOT necessarily drink sake, listen to classical music or consume any specially formulated crops daily.

What they eat: a mixture of corn and barley but the amount is customised according to the size of the cow. Body Massage? Yes, but it does not sound comfortable as the massage brush must be tough against thick cow skins.
 
He’s the man who really deserved a huge round of applause and respect for cutting the 400kg worth of beef NON-STOP for 4 hours. Takagani-san is also the 4th-generation owner of distributor company Daichi Shoten.  Although he makes the beef cutting looks as simple as cutting tofu, I think it must have taken A LOT of strength to slice it.  

Takagani san slices the beef in a JAPANESE-STYLE. I haven’t fully grasp the essence of this but he repeatedly mentions about cutting along the veins/muscles. 
 Here is a preview of the dishes served at the various restaurants.

We started with Wagyu Aburi Sushi, a simple yet ridiculously delicious Japanese Iwate vinegared rice topped with perfectly seared beef from the striploin. Forget about adding shoyu or wasabi, the pinch of rock salt works magic.

If you can take sashimi, then you should not miss the Wagyu Sashimi, slices of tender chuck roll meat beautifully arranged like a rosé. Without the odd smell that one could meet in tartare dishes or even raw seafood, this is simply beef at its freshest and sweetest level.


Heighten your gastronomic experience by pairing the wagyu with Suiryu Junmai Sake(睡龍純米酒). As the name suggests, this is truly a potent sleeping dragon.

These dishes will be featured in the Omi Wagyu Kaiseki set (3 different menus to choose from) at Keyaki, an authentic Japanese renowned for traditional cuisine and teppanyaki.
Other highlights include: Wagyu Teppanyaki, Steamed Wagyu Beef on Rice, Wagyu Sukiyaki and Korean-style Beef Tartare. All are created by Executive Chef Hiroshi Ishii.

Omi Wagyu Kaiseki Sets from $150++ per person. A la carte dishes from $45++.

At Hai Tien Lo, Executive Chef Lai Tong Ping takes on unusual beef cuts such as the tendon, calf and thigh and turns them delicious Chinese dishes like this Steamed Diced Wagyu Beef Tendon Balls with Pearl Rice and Truffle. The glutinous rice is stir fried with truffle oil before being steamed and pressed into a rice ball.
Paired with Red X (blend) from USA.

Other noteworthy dishes include the flavourful Braised Wagyu Beef Calf with Pan-fried Yeast Rice in Fermented Bean Curd Sauce, and the Braised Wagyu Beef Thigh with Preserved Vegetables in Spicy Bean Paste Sauce.

Omi Wagyu a la carte dishes from $40++.


Last but not least, buffet lovers will be delighted to know that Omi Wagyu will be added to the already extensive buffet spread at EDGE. This Slow-roasted Wagyu Rump with Red Wine Sauce will be available at the Western carving station. Cooked at low temperature for 1 full hour, the pinkish beef oozes juices as you cut through it.

Other highly anticipated local and western dishes include Stir-fried Wagyu Top Round with Ginger and Spring Onion and the BBQ Wagyu Shoulder.

Dessert: A Refreshing Lime Sorbet with Honeydew

Buffet Dinner (featuring Omi Wagyu dishes) will be available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening only. From $88++ per person and includes coffee, tea and a local beverage.

All Omi Wagyu menus will be available at Keyaki, Hai Tien Lo and Edge from 12 to 31 August 2013.

For reservations/enquiries, please call (65) 6826 8240 or email celebrate.sin@panpacific.com.

Pan Pacific Singapore
7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square
Singapore 039595

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Verdict: It was a stunning meal featuring the best flavours of Omi beef. Everything was excellent, especially the Wagyu Aburi Sushi. Surprisingly, Omi beef was not overwhelmingly rich or fatty as compared to Kobe beef. It is not easy to find Omi beef in Singapore and even if one flies to Japan, one is not guaranteed the chance to savour this prized beef. Hence, this is truly a meal worth indulging in:)


*Special thanks to Ms Nathalyn for the gracious hosting

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