Manila eats: Here's where you can enjoy Saga Wagyu beef

Jeeves de Veyra

Posted at Aug 15 2022 06:41 PM

Saga Gyu plaque and certificate on display at Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant. Jeeves de Veyra
Saga Gyu plaque and certificate on display at Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant. Jeeves de Veyra

MANILA -- Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant of Diamond Hotel Philippines was recently awarded the official Saga-gyu (Saga Japanese Wagyu) plaque.

Representatives from JA-Saga, an agricultural cooperation in Saga, Japan, awarded the Saga-Gyu plaque and certificate to Diamond Hotel’s general manager Vanessa Ledesma Suatengco, and food and beverage manager Grace Mercado. 

Only establishments that have who passed screening after their application can receive the official JA-Saga plaque and certificate.

Kanahara Toshihide, chairman of Central Union of SAGA Agricultural Co-operative, with Diamond Hotel F&B manager Grace Mercado, and GM Vanessa Ledesma Suatengco. Jeeves de Veyra
Kanahara Toshihide, chairman of Central Union of SAGA Agricultural Co-operative, with Diamond Hotel F&B manager Grace Mercado, and GM Vanessa Ledesma Suatengco. Jeeves de Veyra

Saga prefecture is located in Kyushu in the southern part of Japan. While the beef coming out of Saga is not as well-known as that from Kobe, the cows are given the same care and attention to ensure that they adhere to the regulations of the Japan Agriculture Co-operative. 

The result is beef with that distinct fat and marbling that the high-grade wagyu is known for. Saga has more cows and is able to produce bigger quantities of more high-grade beef that they are able to export in significant quantities.

A slab of Saga beef. Jeeves de Veyra
A slab of Saga beef. Jeeves de Veyra

Yarakuen is one of the few places in the Metro to enjoy teppanyaki theater at its best. For two hours, a group of 4 to 6 guests can book one of the private booths just outside the main area of the restaurant. 

An assigned teppanyaki chef works his magic around the griddle cooking up meats, seafood, vegetables, and various types of yakimeshi rice for the appetites and the entertainment of guests. This comes with unlimited regular drinks, appetizers, salad, and dessert including Diamond Hotel’s ice cream from the lobby lounge.

Yurakuen's Teppanyaki theater. Jeeves de Veyra
Yurakuen's Teppanyaki theater. Jeeves de Veyra

While Saga beef is not included in the all-you-can-eat selection, it is available in individual 180g to 200g servings. Seeing a teppanyaki chef slice it up in front of you, watching it sizzle while the melting fat gives off an intoxicating beefy aroma, and finally having it fresh off the teppanyaki griddle simply seasoned with salt and pepper is perhaps the best way of savoring these indulgent cuts of meat. Just score the meat with your teeth and just let the beef melt in your mouth.

Saga Gyu Teppanyaki. Jeeves de Veyra
Saga Gyu Teppanyaki. Jeeves de Veyra

A different way of enjoying Saga beef is as the chosen protein in Yarakuen’s Seiro Mushi. This is where meat and vegetables are steamed, letting all the flavors come together in a wooden box. It is a much healthier way of eating this and it does let the meat show off subtler flavors, especially when taken with sweeter vegetables such as pumpkin, and carrots.

Seiro Mushi. Jeeves de Veyra
Seiro Mushi. Jeeves de Veyra

These Saga beef dishes supplement the teppanyaki theater, and sashimi, sushi, and Japanese favorites in the restaurant’s premium menu, making Yarakuen an even more essential stop for Japanese food lovers.

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