[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 刘大人]
The “steaks” are getting high now, as chefs worldwide are pushing the boundaries of beef by hanging meat for ever-increasing periods, and the resulting steaks are sensational. We are luckier than we know it, as we don’t really need to look very far. For gourmands seeking extraordinary culinary feasting, look no further than in the heart of Johor Bahru, amidst the familiar neighbourhood of Taman Pelangi.
Since October 2014, Eugene’s Grocery has been offering premium gourmet merchandise sourced and selected from around the globe and showcases these through their in-store restaurant menu for patrons to enjoy. Apart from enjoying a leisurely brunch or semi fine-dining, ingredients from the day’s list, ranging from chilled meats, seafood, pasta, truffle oil and various seasonings are available for pick-up over the counter for those who wish to cook at home.
Freshness guarantees flavour and quality of our proteins, that’s why Eugene’s Grocery prides itself at importing and distributing only fresh and chilled meat and never frozen (below -20ºC), whether it is a perfect rack of lamb or an expertly aged piece of beef. The meat is rapidly chilled down (typically between 0 to -4ºC) at the peak of freshness where no water is absorbed to preserve the nutritive values and eating quality, so you get the natural flavour of the meat. While frozen meat will be cheaper than fresh and it will also last longer, there may be a loss of nutrients and quality due to the moisture lost through thawing and are mostly used for deep fried or heavily marinated dishes.
What sets Eugene’s Grocery apart from the other grocers is the level of customisation provided in terms of meat preparation and marination, with broader and better range of services like meat portioning and marinating per our recipe. Every dish is painstakingly prepared with basic seasoning to retain its natural freshness and flavours. If we are not sure about the pairings, Edison and his team are on hand to offer their recommendations.
DRY AGER® Dry-Aging fridge
At the core of all reputable steakhouses worth their meat, the secret to Eugene’s Grocery finest steaks can be found in this DRY AGER®, the 100% Made in Germany dry ageing fridge and proud winner of the internationally renowned iF Design Award 2018. Being one of the first of its kind that combines with an activated carbon filter with an active UVC-ventilated disinfection system, which sterilises the air in the fridge every minute, the portions of beef are stored in the cooler to elevate a more luxurious, softer and buttery texture. We were further impressed by the fact that the humidity can be accurately controlled and set anywhere in 0,1% steps between 60% and 90% even without a water supply, thanks to the integrated HUMICONTROL® system.
For the uninitiated, the beef stays in dry ageing fridges for a minimum of 21 days and a maximum of 90, the time at which a steak sheds about 20% of its total weight and develops a robust, meaty flavour. The longer the meat is kept allows for the flavours to become more concentrated, resulting in softer and tender meat. In time, the meat darkens on the outside and forms a crust, similar to that of bread. Before it is cooked, this part is trimmed away, and the meat is separated from the bone or cut into steaks, and the dry-aged beef can be prepared in a frying pan or on the grill – just as a regular steak would. We couldn’t take our eyes off the Australian Wagyu and Black Angus beef aged between 42 to 60 days inside the fridge, waiting to be taken off the rack! 😉
For our benefit, we were given additional insights into the grading system by Australian Agricultural Company (AACo), Australia’s largest integrated cattle and beef producer. Established in 1824, AACo’s Wagyu cattle are born and raised in a naturally clean and safe environment, and the integrity of the product can be attributed to AAco‘s unique Wagyu grading system where each of the prime cuts is assessed using the Japanese standards for marbling. A marbling grade ranging from 4-6 is the most popular range of wagyu and an affordable product for everyday use in bistros, cafes and restaurants, while we can also expect the absolute best quality with marbling scores of 9+ especially in Japan, or more upmarket, fine dining restaurants.
They don’t call wagyu the “Rolls Royce” of beef for no reason, and Eugene’s Grocery wanted diners to try the variants of wagyu so that we can compare the nuanced tastes side by side.
60-day Dry Aged Australian Wagyu Ribeye (MB4-MB5)
Richly flavoured even with ZERO seasoning, the boneless Australian Wagyu Ribeye is dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days, leaving it well-marbled and its distinctive flavour comes from the decent amount of fat spread throughout the meat, making this signature cut an excellent choice. It was tasty enough and could stand on its own without the flavour of the sauces. Get up to 60 like the one we had or even 90 days of dry-ageing and, well, we’re talking ribeye royalty!
PS: The steaks which are a minimum of 200gm per cut, are grilled over a charcoal fire for that extra flavour and aroma and comes with fresh salad and mushroom soup, all for an additional RM30!
Chilled Australian Wagyu Ribeye (MB3-MB5)
For our next serving, we had the same beef (Chilled Australian Wagyu Ribeye), minus the dry ageing with a marbling score of three to five (MB3-MB5). With a nice charred finish from the wood-fired grill, yet still retaining pockets of moisture and juiciness in the meat, this non-aged steak cooked medium rare had a perfect combination of marbling fats with flavour, while being quite evenly cooked throughout as seen from the pinkness. Again, there’s no need to sprinkle any salt or pepper to counter the taste or gaminess.
Enjoy premium Australian Wagyu beef for RM45 per 100gm from 7-30 September 2018!
42-day Dry Aged Japanese Hokkaido Wagyu A5 Striploin (MB12)
We also had the 42-day Dry Aged Japanese Hokkaido Wagyu A5 Striploin which turned out unanimously to be our favourite among the three. A notable difference to the meat is its soft texture, intense aroma and tasty meat compared to other steaks. Interestingly, the meat is not marinated before it is placed in the cooler so we could consume its pure flavours after the ageing process. Its marble score of 12 also makes it one of the pricier options on the menu, but the flavourful meat makes it worthwhile.
What can we say? There is just nothing like dry-aged beef, which adds unmatched flavour and tenderness that marinating just can’t touch!
Wagyu Set Shabu Shabu For 2
If you love beef and also hotpot like us, then this Wagyu Set Shabu Shabu extravaganza is for you. Unlike our earlier western meal presentation, shabu-shabu offers a simple, social and sumptuous feast for the same meat, with a fun, social element to it and even easier to eat. Continuing our wagyu theme, this decent set for two is available all day and comes with a right combination of seafood, vegetables and chilled Australian beef (MB3-MB5)!
We were impatient to get started, so we dumped everything into the broth. Once the soup came to a rolling boil, we wasted no time in picking up our prized wagyu beef for that one defining moment!
Everyone was eagerly anticipating the moment when we could watch the meat collapse into the boiling broth as we pushed it. Our advice is to swish it around in the pot for a few seconds to soak up the flavours of the broth quickly as the meat’s sliced thinly, so it cooks pretty quickly. For better indulgence, try dipping the cooked beef into the beaten egg mixture and enjoy the taste. Incredibly tender and the fatty bits melted as we chewed, what more can we say? Oishiiok!
We have tried and tasted the different wagyu products, and the tenderness is out of this world! But hey, try it for yourself! We reckon this special beef is ideal for merrymaking, or every time we get the craving for something spectacular, so make sure you celebrate at Eugene’s Grocery and enjoy 15% off on your birthday treats. For a more intimate affair, there is a private room within the restaurant for accommodating between 16-20 pax, affording your guests the exclusivity for special occasions, with a minimum spend of RM1500 on weekdays or RM2,000 on weekends.
PS: Follow Eugene’s Grocery on Facebook for regular promotion and monthly specials. Dining reservations are highly recommended on weekends to avoid disappointment
📍 No.14 & 16 Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor
📞 +607-331 1353
🕚 Wednesdays – Mondays, 11.30am – 10.00pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
📱 Eugene’s Grocery
🍽️ NO PORK NO LARD
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