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Top Class Japanese Wagyu Experience – Omi Beef

April 20, 2018

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Hey party people, it’s time for more meat! Lots of meat. And this time, we’re trying one of the three cornerstones of Japanese beef. You’ve seen us have Kobe beef before. And now we’re trying Omi. Maybe one day we can finish the holy trinity and try Matsunaka beef, and then leave our final verdict on the best beef in Japan.

Interestingly, Martina and I have different opinions on our favourite beef. Martina’s is the Akita Beef we did a video about a while ago. That was, without a doubt, absolutely great, and better than the Kobe beef we had. That could be because the Akita beef was from a fancier place, while the Kobe beef was a lot less hoity-toity. I haven’t had Kobe beef fancy enough to like it more than the Akita beef. My favourite beef ever was from a steakhouse in Tokyo that served Sendai beef. That right there was something else. My personal favourite, while Martina still likes Akita beef the most.

Interestingly, after we went to Otsu, we went to visit our friends in Kobe, and two days after shooting this video we had a fancy Kobe beef dinner. I should have put air quotes around fancy. It was kind of a tourist trap. Actually, not kinda. Super duper tourist trap kind of place, and the beef wasn’t that great. While it cost a lot more than Steakland, it didn’t taste as good as Steakland, for sure. Hmm. We should probably make a video to protect people from tourist traps. I’m not sure how to do that yet, because we fell for the trap. Gah! We’ll thank about it a bit more.

Though I shouldn’t be that hard on it. The people beside us absolutely loved the Kobe beef they had. It was their first time having it, and they were thrilled. And while I can see that, yeah, even not great Kobe beef is still super great, there was a part of me that still thought, ah, move two stations over and spend 100 dollars less on better beef!

So, the final question is, where does Omi Beef rank compared to all the wagyu we’ve eaten over the years? Somewhere between Steakland and Akita beef, to be honest. The Omi Beef was absolutely delicious, and the fattiness is something we mentioned in the video that’s important. A lot of our older Japanese friends don’t really like wagyu anymore because they say it’s too fatty, but they liked it when they were younger. Now that we’re getting older, super fatty meat isn’t tickling our taints as much. Omi Beef was great because it had fattiness to it that didn’t overwhelm your mouth and make you feel like you ate a bag of lube. Steakland is fatty, but not too fatty. Omi Beef is less fatty and more beefy taste, which we like.

Also, I think it might be unfair to compare it to the Akita beef, because we had a big chunk of meat there, which allows for different kinds of cooking, and bigger, more varied mouth feels per piece. The Omi Beef pieces we had were thin, so we couldn’t taste them on a bigger bite scale with different textures on the sear vs inside the sear, if that makes sense. Does it? I don’t know. I feel like I’ve written so much about beef that it’s starting to get weird.

The point is, we really liked Omi Beef, and highly recommend you check it out. Hell, just go to Otsu, dammit! It’s a ten minute ride from Kyoto, without being as insanely busy, and has great beef, a gorgeous lake, and the best temple we’ve ever seen in our lives. I’m gonna share some pictures from our Otsu trip now, if you don’t mind:

Gosh I feel so guilty whenever we do extensively meaty meals because of our vegetarian/vegan viewers. I hope we can provide a bit of cultural history while talking about this, and maybe even a laugh or two. I’m not sure. We just found a vegan shop that’s supposedly well rated so we’re gonna check that out and hopefully we’ll like it enough to share. Hang with us, guys!

Lastly, here’s some bloopers, if you feel like some extra laughs :D

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Top Class Japanese Wagyu Experience – Omi Beef

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  1. Otsu looks gorgeous. It’s amazing how if you get out of the beaten tracks you can find amazing locations. I liked how you inserted the shots of Otsu inside of the beef video, and in general I like your editing more and more, and the music in your videos as well (no one ever mentions it, but music is sooooo important!)
    Martina, your hairclip in the video looked so pretty! You should have shown us how your hairdo looked from behind!
    Both bonus videos were awesome, I’ve never had wagashi before and I’d love to try it! One thing that’s a bit unfair to Simon in the battles, is that often the embedded videos show right in front of him as he tries to convince us that we should check his video, so we don’t see the food he’s chosen well. Though I think most of us watch both videos anyway, so it probably doesn’t matter all that much!

    5 months ago
  2. Could you name the temple you visited in Otsu, Shiga prefecture? – or maybe I didn’t read, sry <3

    5 months ago
  3. Wow, this video is just gorgeous! The sceneries! The meats! The lols! Honestly, even just the livestream had me sold on Otsu, but the photos, the lake, the temple, and the meal, simply awesome! Those beef appetizers look so interesting! (I rec1681447353203577ently had horseradish with au jus herb braised beef and it blew my mind as well) And the main dishes, so hearty. Do they specify what cut of beef is used in each dish? Wagyu is known for being fatty, but can every cut be fatty? In North American cows, some cuts are fatty (braise to render the fat and tenderize) and some not (raw or quick sear) and have to be cooked appropriately or they are not good, to the point of tasting green/gamey/hard if you do it really wrong. All of the dishes you ate seem to be raw or quick-sear which would be counter-intuitive for fatty beef here in Canada so it’s interesting that Japanese cooking has found techniques to make something delicious in a different way. As for old people “not liking wagyu any more”, let me tell you about old people XD often they say they don’t like something any more because a) it’s expensive and they are cheap (or being considerate if they think it’s pricey for you), b)it doesn’t agree with their digestive system as they age, or c)the last time they ate it was 20-40 years ago and it wasn’t prepared with as much finesse as it would be today. If they say they don’t like it, it’s at least a 50-50 chance that it’s really one of these reasons, so don’t be shy about sharing with them in the future if a chance comes up. As for the video, the mind-blowing was funny, but I think a few too many beep-test-screen in the middle for me, kind ruined the flow a little. Martina editing the joke sfx, perfect ;). Personally, I didn’t eat beef (other than ground beef) for many years as a young adult because my Dad overdid it when I was younger (like Simon’s Dad with the banana bread) so I had to learn a lot in order to cook it in a way that I could enjoy it. Montreal spice filet mignons were the ice breaker though. Now we have beef steaks and roasts often. Can’t decide if I prefer it as a filet mignon sandwich or slow cooked shank pho though. The student marinade of half Coca-cola, half soy sauce it still good too…. Hmmmmm…….. Just wanted to make a quick comment on your lately podcasts too: In my opinion, you are blurring the line between whether you really don’t know something and whether you just want to stir a conversation just too much. I feel like you are smart people but some of the things you say, make me question that since your podcasts make it seem that you are clueless about some pretty basic things. I’m not trying to imply that I think that you are clueless, but that your podcasts are starting to come off that way…..unintentionally? It kinda makes me low key mad listening to sections of them, I don’t know why? Even when you comeback to your own questions with theories, maybe if they were less flippantly delivered, it might be less offensive? I get that you don’t want to commit to theories that might be wrong, but please have some confidence that you’re not talking totally out of your butts, mm’kay? Weddings – catered or buffet. Been married 14 years now, had a buffet (cooked by my aunts and Dad), but we got married in our yard, had the reception in our garage/barn. The main reason people have them catered here – by force. If you rent a venue, unless you provide the catering yourself, the venue has to hire a minimum staff anyways for cooking/cleaning/etc so that they would rather have you pay for that through plate-service to recoup the cost – also, having heating elements for food near guests can increase their insurance premiums. With plate-service, the cost is also more predictable and there can’t be complaints of not enough food. Most plate-service family meals are inoffensive and bland, soft, and overcooked as a rule because – old people (and insurance). More people are trending towards buffets these days, but it takes a lot more planning and organization on the part of the couple/family to arrange these things because caterers often don’t have even bar service included. As for the don and the business cards. I can’t be totally sure, you would have to ask your friends because they would know, right?( it was their wedding) but that older special guest at the wedding was likely a family benefactor (i.e. friend of the family) or employer of the senior member of the bride’s family and the one presenting the card was the representative of the bride’s family and if he hadn’t done it to acknowledge the presence of the special guest, then it would have been an insult. The amount of “grovelling” is either indicative of his distance from the CEO in position or of how unexpected the honour was. If it was the case of being the CEO employer, getting a blessing on your child’s wedding is kind of old school but still in use. Getting married in the spring in Japan is probably like June in Canada – wedding-apalooza so probably he had several events to attend that day. The lady was likely his personal assistant – part for show, part for convenience. Taking the “reserved” table was well, the fault of the venue for being stingy with tables, and they fixed their problem by bringing another table, so no problem, I wouldn’t worry about it. Also, Martina, I am very bad with names too. When I get a new job, I have to say each person’s name back to them about 20 times before it sticks in my head – phone numbers however, remember them forever. Weird. Looking forward to the next video. Maybe a livestream?

    5 months ago
    • Can’t edit it, sorry about the rando tracking number that got copy-pasta in there – LOL!

      5 months ago
      • Hmm. Can you give me an example of what you mean by us being unintentionally offensively flippant in our podcasts? I’m not sure where we gave that impression with this podcast. Just so I could know what it is that’s irritating. We’re not doing anything for intentional effect. We’re just trying to tell stories.

        5 months ago
        • Hmmmm….how to explain this, I’m not sure that I want to, I feel like I’ve already been too critical now T_T…..and maybe it’s totally just me, I’m 100% ready to admit that. In the spirit of understanding, I’ll try……Here goes, your podcasts often have a format where you tell an every day story of being in Japan, for example, going to the wedding, and then something you don’t understand happens, (ex. the CEO guy at the reserved table) and then you wonder about it aloud (ex. who is this guy? why did he only stay for 20 minutes? etc.) Then, you come back with some theories to try to understand the situation. Now *I* understand that you’re trying to start a conversation, and it’s a great way of doing it usually, it’s just that sometimes, sometimes…..sometimes, you make it sound like you really have no clue at all, that any theories you posit are just wild guesses….or you take too long to posit something reasonable and by then, I’ve lost interest in what you think it might be because I’ve concluded that you’re over-acting because there is no way that you either don’t know (from your time in Asia and life-long interest in things-asian or I’ve actually seen videos of you talking about similar things in Korea before) or that you don’t have more plausible educated guesses and it’s the over-acting that I find irritating – “What could it be? I. Just. Don’t. Know? What do you think, Simon?” “Gee Martina, it could be literally, anything. Maybe people will tell us what they think it is in the comments?””Yes, like Simon said, write us in the comments, we’d love to hear what you guys think of the situation.” – seems fake like two newscasters reading a very bad script about a fluff piece (I was paraphrasing btw it’s not as bad as that). Seriously, even if you didn’t already know, and had no clue, are you telling me that you didn’t even think to ask your friends who got married what went on? Or even try looking it up before the podcast? Even if you go back and say something great after this, it sounds hollow because the delay between the question and the answer was too long. Also, I think that people look to you two for information on the subjects you choose to talk about, if you make it sound like your answers/theories are questionable, no one can rely on them. Even when I know the answer myself, I’m left questioning if I’m correct because even you guise wonder if you’re right? Maybe I expect too much knowing that you guise are actually smart and clever and take the time to really understand a culture through research if you’re curious about something? Anyways, after all this time, while you may not want to admit it to yourselves, you’re actually as much experts on things asian as most beginning professors in Canadian universities, it’s okay to have confidence in your own knowledge and share it with other people, isn’t that just the teaching-instinct in you kicking in? Maybe some professors on the first day of class ask you what you know about the subject and then refuse to start actually teaching you until they get some half-hearted guesses, but I always found those professors irritating too. Does any of this make sense? In order to try to improve “this”, I guess that maybe the tone of voice and the way that you frame the questions could be improved to indicate that you are being rhetorical, rather than inquisitive? Or maybe skip the questions all together and just give your opinions and then invite discussions or similar anecdotes from the listeners. Like I originally mentioned, it’s not every podcast, but whenever you do it, the “over-acting” tends to be throughout the cast – to varying degrees. It may be that you are just tired on those days and trying to get through the recording and somehow I’m sensitive to that.

          5 months ago
        • That’s not being too critical at all. It’s something that Martina and I discuss sometimes as well, in other forms. For example, she’ll ask me something, I’ll give her an answer, and she’ll ask if I’m sure, and I’ll say, no, I’m not 100%. Because I can never be 100%. I always prefer to be cautious than too assertive, you know?

          The problem is, either approach is going to give me shit from someone. If I’m too assertive, then people will be upset for not being sensitive, or for getting a tidbit of information wrong (and boy, the internet NEVER forgives you for saying anything wrong). Act overly cautious, and the more confident side of the internet gets annoyed for my spineless ness. So I gotta pick a side. I find your side more understanding and forgiving :D

          4 months ago
  4. Looks like you all had a great time , glad you enjoyed yourselves

    5 months ago