Grand Hyatt Tokyo Develops Original Keyakizaka Beef

JAPAN - The Grand Hyatt Tokyo has introduced Keyakizaka beef, an original beef developed by Keyakizaka’s Chef de Cuisine Yoshinobu Honda, in collaboration with Takeuchi Farm in Akiruno, which is the only farm that exists in Tokyo.
calendar icon 6 November 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

According to Japan Today, Chef Honda’s vision was to produce a premium, one of a kind beef to serve exclusively in his restaurant. By taking the time to carefully monitor the process and care for the cattle by hand making the feed as well as keeping a clean, stress-free environment for them, he was able to bring his vision to life.

After searching for the perfect farm and cattle for several years, Chef Honda traveled to Takeuchi Farm in Akiruno, Tokyo for the first time in April 2017 and was finally able to find the high quality Akikawa cattle that he believed were ideal to serve in his restaurant.

Starting from July, he and his team visited the farm several times a month, nurturing the cattle themselves and enhancing their diet by feeding them superfoods. The concept was that if superfoods are good for humans, they must also be good for cows, and should ultimately result in a higher quality product.

Takeuchi Farm is in an area that is known for its abundance of nature, greenery and fresh spring water, which is why many visitors find it hard to believe that the area is still considered part of a big city like Tokyo.

The farm puts about 140 female cattle on the market every year – all producing A4 or A5 rank beef, which is considered the highest quality of wagyu or Japanese beef, according to Japan’s grading system. Of these, only four to five cattle a month become Keyakizaka beef.

The cattle’s feed contains four superfoods – quinoa, seaweed, cacao and blueberries – which were chosen because these ingredients are also used in the restaurant.

The cattle are raised for 20 to 30 months on a diet of corn, grain and bran, after which they are referred to as Akikawa-gyu or Akikawa cattle, and once their feed is mixed with the superfoods, they become Keyakizaka cattle. The superfood feed seems to create a perfect fat to lean ratio, with the meat not being overly fatty like some variety of wagyu can be.

Takeuchi, the owner of Takeuchi Farm, prides himself on keeping a stress-free environment for the cattle by maintaining a high standard of sanitation and ensuring great care is taken while raising them, which is one of the advantages he has of managing a smaller farm.

Beginning 1 November, Keyakizaka started offering course and à la carte options highlighting this new Keyakizaka beef.

"We are very excited to be able to share this new beef with our customers. We serve many people from overseas at Keyakizaka who don’t always like to have a lot of marbling or fat in their beef," Chef Honda commented.

"In Japan, the marbling in wagyu has become the measuring point to determine the quality but for me, it’s not just about the marbling. It’s about finding the ideal fat to lean ratio to bring out the best flavors of the meat."

TheCattleSite News Desk

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