When one talks about aged beef, you usually refer to hulking, well-marbled carcasses and steaks, hung or placed on racks in climate-controlled coolers to draw out moisture and achieve that distinct, beefy funk.
What Jukuho Farm means though, is something else altogether – situated in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, the farm’s forte is in producing beef from cows that have calved and been re-fattened. That means that cows are typically slaughtered after 100 months, far longer than the usual 26 to 28 months.
The lengthy process bestows the meat with exceptional flavour – flavour that head chef Isaac Tan, who has held court at Bedrock Bar & Grill since its inception in 2008, seeks to convey in the latest iteration of the restaurant’s World Meat Series.
His philosophy remains, as ever, centred around fine produce done simply and well. As is expected in a steakhouse, that means fire and smoke to desirous effect, with plenty of fresh seasonal vegetables in between.
(Related: What comes after the rock-star chef?)
He’s concocted three dishes designed to put the umami-rich aged wagyu on full display – the first of which is an applewood-smoked, flame-seared Wagyu tataki. Once sliced, the resultant slivers of meat are artfully arranged with a trio of white, yellow and pink pickled daikon, puffed rice, mustard and seasonal microherbs.
There’s also an unctuous tartare of beef – ribeye cap, hand-chopped and seasoned with smoky housemade ketchup, is laden over just-cooked marrow bone (from the cow’s femur, so there’s more of the stuff to go around). Finishings include deep-fried crackers to replace the usual toast, parsley salad and caviar-like tonburi from the mountains of Akita prefecture.
Finally, a wagyu striploin, seasoned simply and grilled over applewood, takes centre stage. Its paired with an equally intense combination of blended beef jus and cream infused with sancho pepper in lieu of your typical pepper sauce and an accompaniment of tallow-fried Yukon gold spuds.
Other highlights from Bedrock’s customary menu includes a refreshing burrata and tri-coloured heirloom tomato salad, courtesy of Italy and Holland respectively, doused with lemon vinaigrette and pesto; their signature 21-day dry-aged porterhouse steak, dressed with thyme butter and served with a selection of sauces from the classic to the novel; and their mac-and-cheese that’s maximalist in all the best ways thanks to a heady marriage of gorgonzola and Italian white truffle cream.
(Related: There’s a duck neck sausage at Pollen)
Though they haven’t introduced any new desserts for the World Meat Series, you could scarcely go wrong with Bedrock’s interpretation of the Bombe Alaska – meringue over a foundation of ice cream, chocolate balls and housemade butter cookies, which comes with an added dose of tableside theatrics a la flambe.
The World Meat Series is in its fifth year – previous entrants include Irish beef, and Te Mana Lamb from New Zealand – and will run until March 31 this year.
#01-05, Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, 96 Somerset Road. Tel: 6238-0054.