Having just recently launched the new starter menu at Saskia Restaurant last month I thought it fitting that we start the week off with telling you about one of the delectable starters shining in its extravagance at the very top of a list of unforgettable beautifully created dishes.

Not a lot of us are familiar with the term “Wagyu” and even if we are, the fact that this beef is famously known to be one of the most expensive cuts in the world, carrying a price tag of thousands of rands per kilogram, will make it difficult to enjoy on a regular basis…. But even with this excessive price we would highly recommend that you splurge on this super luxury meat renowned for its tenderness, flavor, heavy marbling and melt- in- your-mouth texture.

Wagyu is beef from Japan ( “Wa means Japanese and “Gyu” means cow). Wagyu beef does not describe a single breed of cattle. Wagyu beef can be full-blood Japanese black cattle, but it also can refer to a cross-breed of full-blood Wagyu with other types of cattle. Our procurement team has discovered Woodview Farm in South Africa who imported Wagyu embryos from Japan and started breeding pure Wagyu cattle since 1999. We are so excited about this as we can offer this luscious piece of meat produced locally with so much passion and precision that even the Japanese (who obsessively focus on cultivating the very best versions of everything) would approve.

In Japan Wagyu animals are given beer to stimulate their appetites so that they eat more, plump up and produce richer richer fat. Some are massaged with sake, the fermented Japanese rice beverage, which is believed to enhance the cattle’s coat and meat quality. The massage reduces stress, which would likely have a positive effect on the beef. Here in South Africa on the Woodview farm the cattle are free ranging and are only fed a corn-fed diet to replicate this same flavour.

But enough about the meat, lets talk about Saskia’s Woodview Wagyu beef Carpaccio. The Fusion chefs has put their brains and their taste buds together to create a wonderful combination of the beef with crispy homemade melba toast, marinated mushrooms and fig all brought together with a dab of balsamic reduction, basil and parmesan. The deep pink blush of the marbled beef is a sight worth stopping to appreciate deeply before you pop it into your mouth, close your eyes and allow your taste buds to go haywire ……while all the time contemplating your next mouthful.

Hungry yet? Come and try it!