Thursday, August 3, 2017

Yakiniku Kagura 燒肉火藏 [Hong Kong] - Michelin Recommended Hokkaido "Farm-to-Table" Yakiniku arrives in Hong Kong

  Yakiniku KAGURA 燒肉 火藏 hails from Hokkaido,  where it is the recipient of a 2017 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand status.  The Hong Kong outlet inside Elements Mall is its first overseas store,  and we came here as a media/online bloggers tour to learn more about their 'Farm to Table' Concept.  For example,  the type of Branded Hokkaido Mirai Wagyu Beef they use here (未来めむろ牛) is raised on the farm directly by the 4th Generation CEO of Kagura,  and other notable produce such as their Potatoes are sourced directly from Hokkaido Tokachi farms affiliated with the group and none of the produce has undergone GMO changes.  Note that the 'Mirai' Brand Beef here is actually an F1 Mix Breed between Japanese Wagyu x Holstein DNA,  which the CEO explained is because their family wanted a beef which is balanced with intramuscular marbling fat with actual red meat,  this selling point must also be taken into consideration since they do not pertain to sell melt in your mouth,  highly marbled beef here.  Their Japan Website for more info:

Whisky Cocktail in Copper-plated Cups -

Minced Meat Salad $78 -
This came with some Pears and Cucumbers, and leaves of Romaine Cos lettuce.  It was almost like a Thai Laab Moo Salad,  but cleaner without the herbs and spice.

北海道十勝尾藤農產薯仔沙律 - $58
Potato Salad with Hokkaido Tokachi Bito Farm Potatoes, 2 Textures
The potatoes as mentioned,  are farmed in a specific farm in Hokkaido's Tokachi area.  Hence Yakiniku Kagura advertises that they have a 'Farm to Table' Concept,  especially when their beef are sourced the same way.  This trend seems to be prevalent in Japan and other overseas countries lately..

北海道未來牛 - $420
Hokkaido Mirai Beef Platter, with 4 Cuts:

There's Filet, Karubi Short rib, Rump and Rosu Loin.  The F1 Cross-breed Wagyu x Holstein is slightly more redder and meatier,  and stands out from some other Yakiniku shops which concentrate more on the marbling fat.  I actually prefer this style for everyday meals,  and this meat platter is mostly Shio Dare or salt based marinated to keep the naturalness.

CEO's Favorite is Mirai Beef Filet -
One of the leanest cuts in a Cattle,  the marbling here is intricate and fine.  Yet predominantly still red meat based.  It is this ultimate balance which the 4th Generation CEO of Kagura seeks himself..

Karubi Short rib -
This is the most popular Karubi cut synonymous with Japanese Yakiniku, since the cuisine was adapted from Korean BBQ which also cooks their Galbi.  Often the measuring stick for a Yakiniku house,  this was tender yet carried a bite.  Almost perfect to my liking and goes best with white rice.

Flame Grill -
The leaner meats take shorter time to cook.  The fattier cuts with more marbling insulation actually take longer to cook.  This is Yakiniku 101 lesson which often needs reminding,  since our minds seem to think its the other way around and not to overcook the evenly marbled meat!

かみこみ豚 ロース
Kakikomi Pork Loin - $138
This was very flavorful and also tender,  also from Tokachi area.  There is only around 3 pigs for every 100 which are classified for this grading. 

五日市 かみこみ豚 - $128
Kakikomi Pork Belly with Miso
This was thinly sliced, and in fact this is one of the most famous ways to serve Hokkaido Pork,  which is Tokachi Obihiro's Signature Pork on Rice.  Here it is served as DIY yakiniku but it is recommended that you consume rice with this..

Chicken Thigh from Iwate Prefecture - $98
The thigh is not overly marinated with soy sauce, tare sauce or miso, which I prefer for chicken so we could taste their natural flavors.  This was more on the leaner spectrum, which I personally like.

A4 Japanese Wagyu with Sukiyaki Egg Sauce - 日本和牛野原燒 HKD $108
This A4 Wagyu deviates from the above Mirai Beef,  as it is a full blood wagyu.  Done in a recently trendy trendy way of cooking yakiniku,  it is quickly seared and then dipped into the Japanese raw egg and sukiyaki sauce.  Now this time,  this was more fattier and melted in the mouth... Wished I could have a few more of these.  The positive thing about this cooking method?  It is flame licked so imagine all the good things about a Sukiyaki,  but with the surface carrying the charred aroma.

Yakiniku x Sukiyaki Style,
a method to cook this A4 Wagyu is a trend nowadays ..

Gratinated Hokkaido Tokachi Bito Farmed Potatoes with Mozzarella Cheese
(北海道十勝尾藤農產) - $78
Gratinated Hokkaido Potatoes, again from the specific farm directly.  Diced into thick cubes and in a white creamy sauce, the mozzarella was melted well and aromatic.  A must order item here,  it's like an adult's version of Potato Dauphinoise Gratin with a bite.

Almond Tofu - $32
A Japanese-Chinese dessert often to end the meal, this carried some Yuzu zest to balance the blanched almond flavors, to finish up the meal.

The Hokkaido based Yakiniku Kagura -
with Hokkaido Michelin Bib Gourmand 2017
Prices are very reasonable here, considering it's pedigree, the Farm to Table concept, as well as the location inside Elements Mall.  It is already quite popular despite having just soft opened for a few days.  Definitely worth to come back personally,  because one thing that stood out was their cross-bred Wagyu x Holstein.  Many restaurants sell F1 to F2 Wagyu's in the world,  but you can see from the meat and marbling distribution pattern that these are high quality F1 Wagyu's deliberately farmed for this specific purpose,  and it won't be overly greasy after the meal, and they are all Natural and safer to eat without additional hormones and antibiotics.

Price: HKD $200 to $400 Per Person + 10%  (Media/Blogger Preview Tasting with Kagura)Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address: Shop 1086, 1/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ph: +852 26823913

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