True Japanese Kobe steaks are an extremely uncommon find in the United States. For beef connoisseurs to get a chance to taste the exclusive Kobe beef is akin to a chance for one to actually hold the Hope Diamond. I was welcomed to a unique taste experience of the famed Kobe Steak at Empire Steak House in New York City.
Empire Steak House is one of the nation’s only few restaurants that have authentic Kobe on its menu.
“On August 27, 2012” As reported by Forbes “The USDA updated its rules to allow the importation of Japanese beef, including Kobe, albeit in very small amounts”. Once the ban was lifted, Empire Steak House , a very best steakhouse located at 237 West 54th Street in New York City, introduced their wagyu program to offer diners the hardest-to-find steaks in the United States – imported certified Japanese Kobe highest quality A5 tenderloin and ribeye.
Empire Steak House’s 12 oz Wagyu Rib eye steak at $325 and 10 oz Wagyu tenderloin at $345 live up to every mouth watering dream for steak aficionados. Sliced to perfection, the steak is an out-of-this-world taste bud extravaganza. As explained to me, the Kobe beef is the only beef with absolutely no saturated fat or hormones adding to its being an extreme rarity.
As I cut the fine steak using only a butter knife, before it even entered my mouth, it was apparent that this was something special that I was about to taste. I took the bite into my mouth as if tasting the finest of wines. The tender beef is smooth and rich in flavor as if almost melting onto my tongue as it merged with my taste buds. The Empire chef prepares the Kobe delicacy using only salt allowing the flavor of the beef to shout out its true amazing flavor. No added sauce is needed with this steak.
Served with perfectly grilled vegetables and delicious Tuna Tartare as an accompaniment, the Kobe steak certainly took center stage on the presented plate. I did not touch the tuna until I finished the most amazing steak that I ever tasted. The Tuna Tartare perfectly enchanted my palate without removing the lingering delight of the delectable steak. A few sips of red wine from Empire Steak House’s Wine Spectator Award for 2014 wine list, was a perfect mate to follow the Kobe steak.
Kobe beef is a cut of meat from a special breed of wagyu cattle, called Kuroge.
The delicacy of Kobe beef is derived exclusively from, according to kobe-niku.jp, “Cows and bullocks between ages of 28 and 60 months, bred solely from ‘motoushi’ or purebred Tajima seedstock cattle obtained by crossbreeding only generations of cattle breeding bulls exclusive to Hyogo Prefecture, and born and raised as beef cattle in Hyogo Prefecture by registered members of [Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association] until they are processed” the definition continues that the beef is only shipped to market upon being certified as having a yield score of A or B.
Kobe is the only beef with unsaturated fat, which is filled with Omega-3 and Omega-5. Fed with rice straw that fortifies the cow’s stomach, soy, wheat, beef, and other secret ingredients in Japan, these cows are 30 percent larger than US cows before they are prepared by the butcher. Empire Steak House is very proud to show its Certificate of Authenticity verifying the 100 percent Japanese Wagya Beef. On the certificate is a grading of A5 along with in-depth information regarding breed, name, parentage, sex, owner, birth date, production area and radioactive inspection. Also on the certificate is an actual nose print of the animal.
Empire Steak House is owned and operated by the Sinanaj brothers. “Empire Steak House is proud to offer our customers the incredibly exclusive and authentic Kobe beef,” said Jack Sinanaj, executive chef and co-owner of Empire Steak House. “Considering its uniqueness in the United States, we can assure our dedication to serving only 100 percent high quality, delicious cuts of certified Kobe imported from Japan.”
Due to the unregulated term of the use of Kobe in the United States, its sparse production in Japan, and the exorbitant prices to import the beef, many restaurants offer a faux Kobe beef to customers. Once tasting the real Kobe beef one would never be fooled by an imposter. Empire Steak House is one of the very few restaurants in the nation that serve authentic genuine Kobe on its menu. Definitely worth a special trip to Empire’s beautifully decorated and welcoming dining establishment to taste the elusive genuine Kobe steak.
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