MGM COTAI’s Grill 58 is known to offer only the best of premium cuts. This summer, Wagyumafia, the world-renowned premium Wagyu brand is making a stop at the steakhouse, where a comprehensive Wagyumafia experience is open to everyone including non-members. It is the first-ever exclusive Wagyumafia Progressive Kaiseki Dinner to be served outside of Japan.
Serving only from the top one percent of Wagyu beef, Wagyumafia was founded by self-taught chef-turned-Wagyu expert Hisato Hamada and entrepreneur Takafumi Horie, who strive to promote authentic, Japanese-reared Wagyu in a simple yet unforgettable way. Encompassing innovative, ingredient-driven dining, they merge tradition and modernity on the one dining table.
Originally in the business of beef export, the brand was created following a series of private pop-up dinners on the Wagyu theme. Hisato Hamada and Takafumi Horie later launched their first members-only restaurant, The Wagyumafia, in Tokyo in 2016. With a mission to educate consumers, restaurateurs and suppliers about authentic Japanese Wagyu beef, Wagyumafia embarked on an international tour to demonstrate the versatility and often overlooked qualities of Japan’s most famous beef. Energized by a collaborative spirit, it has embarked on a 50-city world tour, bringing knowledge and expertise together to create a series of exciting and high-profile chef collaborations which include Spain’s 3- Michelin star Azurmendi, London’s Soho House and Spago in Los Angeles.
Earning a coveted spot in Opinionated About Dining’s list of “Top 100+ Asian Restaurants” in 2018, the brand became a global sensation after winning the bid for the world’s most expensive Kobe beef in 2016, which also held the highest fat marbling score in Kobe beef’s recorded history. Driven by a passion to bring knowledge and awareness of true Wagyu to the world, founder and chef, Hisato Hamada, has lead the brand to host over 50 series of private pop-up dinners globally and now owns four members-exclusive restaurants in Tokyo.
The brand has four unique outlets in Tokyo, including the most recently opened WM by Wagyumafia, specialising in yakiniku. With Hong Kong as its first international location, the brand has plans to expand to Manila and London and will continue offering membership-only culinary experiences centered on Wagyu. To maintain the premium quality, it sources the most prestigious breeds of Wagyu exclusively from the top 20 Wagyu farmers in Japan, with whom they maintain unique relationships by providing the farmers with a platform to showcase their craftsmanship.
“I only work with nice farmers because I believe that happy people raise happy cows. When the cows are happy, my customers get the best cut. In the end, happiness matters most. Besides, at my restaurants people drink, laugh, talk and have a good time. No one should be uptight, so a good vibe is important,” says Hisato.
Often taking unconventional and innovative approaches to highlighting Wagyu, the group has introduced the now much imitated Wagyu Cutlet Sandwich. Giving a twist on the Japanese street food, the Katsu Sando, this signature dish features a fine and rare cut of Wagyu Beef breaded and deep fried, sandwiched between toasted Japanese milk bread and slathered with house katsu sauce.
A limited supply is available each day. In the spirit of Wagyu and whiskey lovers, Wagyumafia Old Fashioned is sure to please everyone. This glass of whisky is infused with the rich beefy flavor of Wagyu fat using a unique fat-washing technique, and paired with a slice of Wagyu beef jerky on the side. This special technique is also ingeniously employed in the signature Bourbon Washed Wagyu Fat Ice Cream, which imparts a rich, creamy and irresistibly silky sensation. Irene Sam, MDT