Move over Kobe beef, Ito wagyu has landed


Wagyu beef is synonymous with really, really good steak. But there’s wagyu and then there’s Japanese wagyu. And now there is Ito wagyu.

Kobe Jones loves Kobe beef so much it named itself after it and is one of the first Sydney restaurants to serve Ito wagyu.

“We use Ito wagyu which comes from the Ito prefecture. In Japan, people talk about the prefecture first, then the cut and then the grade,” says Paul Misan, CEO of the Australian Restaurant Group, which runs Kobe Jones.

“Ito wagyu is rated the best in the world and has only been allowed to be exported from Japan in the last four months. The Japanese have been doing this for hundreds of years, they’ve developed and streamlined the breeding process so the cows have a lot of fat. Australia breeds very good wagyu, but Ito wagyu is a very specialised, high quality product.”

‘Wagyu’ means ‘Japanese Cow’ and the ones you want are the Kuroge Washu or a.k.a the Japanese Black. With an ability to marbleise fine-grained, speckled fat, the Japanese Black receives Japan’s highest-possible wagyu rating of A5.

Japan considers Japanese Black meat so precious that in 1997 it banned the export of the animal’s DNA. Research from the Japanese Wagyu Registry Association revealed that 99.9% of all Kuroge Washu cattle are descendants of a single cow named Tajiri. It’s her genes that make wagyu so delicious.

All A5 wagyu beef comes from the Kuroge Washu breed, specifically the Tajima strain raised in Hyogo prefecture. It’s called Kobe beef because Kobe is the capital of Hyogo.

Just like champagne has to be made from the Champagne region of France, real Kobe beef can only come from Kobe in Japan. The taste, texture and quality are the product of the local soil, climate and conditions.

But the pinnacle still is the Ito fillet Japanese grade 5: the highest rating in Japan and cooked at the table over a hot rock.

When ordering this dish, your meat will be cooked a perfect medium rare, ensuring the prized fat melts just enough to remain tender and reward diners with the mouth feel that makes wagyu what it is.

Kobe Jones is open for lunch Monday – Friday and now on Sunday from noon to 3pm. Dinner is available 7 nights a week.