We Tried Melbourne's Best, So You Don't Have To: The Ultimate Wagyu Restaurant Roundup
Wagyu is almost synonymous with ‘luxury’ in the culinary realm. Considered one of the top-tier types of beef you can find worldwide, Wagyu holds a special place in my heart. Its buttery taste and melt-in-your-mouth texture make it so hard to forget! You’re in luck because you can find Wagyu readily available in local butchers like ours at The Meat-Inn Place and across Melbourne’s countless steak restaurants. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to try Melbourne’s best Wagyu restaurants, so you don’t have to!
The Search is On For Melbourne’s Best
Every foodie yearns to learn the secret of Melbourne, a city known for its thriving food scene: its exquisite Wagyu restaurants offering the best Wagyu steaks. Wagyu beef is regarded for its unrivalled marbling, juiciness, and flavour; the very mention of it inspires awe and expectation. The Japanese word “wagyu,” which translates to “Japanese cattle,” has won the hearts and palates of gourmets worldwide. In this culinary journey, we embark on an odyssey through Melbourne’s most esteemed Wagyu establishments, ready to indulge in the finest cuts of this delectable beef. The mission is clear: to bring you the ultimate guide to Melbourne’s Wagyu delights based on our personal, in-the-field experience.
What makes Wagyu beef so special?
Wagyu is a piece of meat to behold. It’s a masterpiece of marbling and flavour, a testament to Japan’s meticulous process and history of cattle breeding. The Japanese treat cattle breeding as an art, and it’s not a surprise with the quality of beef it produces. According to Wikipedia, Japanese Wagyu can trace its genetics up to 35,000 years back. The Wagyu cattle have been originally bred for agricultural and hard labour, like farming. The Japanese didn’t really consume much meat due to religious preferences, and the local cattle were not crossbred with foreign cattle until the early 90s. From there, they were able to produce four kinds of Wagyu: Kuroge (Black), Aakage (Brown), Nihon Tankaku (Shorthorn) and Mukaku (Polled) – the Wagyu breeds that we know today. Wagyu beef takes the top spot worldwide because of its unique characteristics, from its intricate and delicate marbling to its buttery-soft texture and robust flavour. As a butcher with years of experience handling meat, I’ve seen the Wagyu up close and personal, and it really is a beauty that deserves to be known worldwide.
How did we choose Melbourne’s best Wagyu restaurants?
Melbourne has one of Australia’s most diverse culinary scenes, and it’s no surprise why. As a self-proclaimed food enthusiast and as someone who has been in the meat trade, selecting Melbourne’s best Wagyu restaurants was an exciting journey that highlighted my love and appreciation for all things Wagyu. Creating this list was an opportunity to make the establishments that honour and understand Wagyu known to diners. I researched extensively by scouring numerous menus, checking customer reviews, discussing restaurants with my fellow foodies, and restaurant-hopping all over Melbourne. Our criteria include:
- Wagyu quality: The Wagyu is the star of the show. We have judged based on marbling, tenderness, and overall grade of the beef offered.
- Ambience and service: A complete dining experience includes more than just the cuisine. The ultimate decision was influenced by the restaurant’s ambience, service, and general vibe.
- Culinary expertise: The chefs’ expertise and knowledge of Wagyu preparation were equally important. It wasn’t just about presenting premium meat but also about turning it into a culinary marvel.
What are some of the challenges we faced?
It took a passionate interest in the art of meat and a discriminating palate to unravel Melbourne’s finest Wagyu eateries. This trip allowed me to discover the restaurants that have perfected the art of serving Wagyu steak as a passionate person in all things meat. The eating scene in Melbourne is like a huge, complex tapestry stitched with various delectable foods, each of which is a distinct thread in the fabric of this energetic metropolis. Finding those special Wagyu eateries that stood out in this diverse cuisine culture was the task that lay ahead. Narrowing down the options was thrilling and terrifying, especially since almost every restaurant had so much to offer! The city’s restaurants provided a variety of Wagyu experiences, each with its character. Melbourne has a wealth of culinary treasures, from upscale fine dining venues to modest, unpretentious settings. It took some effort to pick just a few of them, but it was a fun experience nonetheless!
One such amazing encounter led me to a little family-run eatery in a peaceful city neighbourhood. I was welcomed inside by the reassuring scent of sizzling Wagyu. The enthusiastic chef proprietor enthralled me with tales of finding the best Wagyu cuts and creating delicious meals with them. The dinner served as proof of his mastery of cooking. In another case, an outstanding experience was provided by a little, tucked-away café in a picturesque neighbourhood. Even though the Wagyu meal served here was straightforward, it perfectly captured Wagyu’s greatness. Each soft bite was a testament to the chef’s commitment to the craft of meat preparation. Curious about which restaurants we’re referring to? Read on!
5 Best Wagyu Restaurants to Order Steak From in Melbourne
1 Rockpool Bar & Grill
Melbourne’s Rockpool Bar & Grill is a celebration of culinary prowess combined with an alluring atmosphere. Every meal reflects their unrelenting dedication to finding Australia’s best ingredients. The expertly dry-aged beef, obtained directly from reputable suppliers, has an extraordinary depth of flavour. Their commitment to the abundant oceans is seen in their seafood dishes, highlighting the voyage from the sea to the plate. The ironbark-fueled wood-fire grill brings out the distinctive qualities of different beef breeds and cuts. Every mouthful of food at Rockpool celebrates the commitment to provenance and the best Australian products made possible by Culinary Director Corey Costelloe. This is an unrivalled dining experience with a suggested menu comprising David Blackmore dry matured full-blood Wagyu.
2 Angus & Bon
Nestled in the heart of Prahran, Angus & Bon exudes the essence of a New York-style steakhouse with an Australian twist. From the moment you step inside, the ambience strikes a perfect balance between casual grandeur and old-world charm. This chic steakhouse is not just a dining destination; it’s an unforgettable experience. Angus & Bon stands out for their constant dedication to honouring Australia’s greatest seasonal and local products. Every taste seemed like a celebration of the diversity of Australian ingredients to this passionate food fan. The menu, which includes made-from-scratch pasta, fresh seafood, and a staggering selection of premium sides, is a monument to their commitment. The show-stealers, though, are the premium steak cuts. The steak option is unquestionably the menu’s standout item. A carnivore’s fantasy has come true. Each cut of beef comes from just the top producers in Australia, guaranteeing that it is of the highest calibre. Each steak may be given a unique touch with various sauces, ranging from the traditional Pepper to the enticing Truffle Butter. For someone who values the craft of meat, Angus & Bon went above and beyond. The Black Opal Wagyu Porterhouse was a beautiful blend of marbling and juiciness, while the Westholme – Grain Fed Wagyu was a revelation of softness and flavour. The Dry Aged T-bone and Ribeye Steak from O’Connors were just outstanding.
3 Steer Dining Room
Steer Dining Room, a gastronomic heaven, is located in South Yarra’s busy centre. My visit to Steer was nothing short of an epicurean epiphany since I am a meat lover. My curiosity was sparked by the promise of the largest assortment of Australian Wagyu, Black Angus, and Hereford beef with a light Asian flavour, and the experience well exceeded my expectations. A subtle Asian influence is combined with the refinement of Australian and Japanese Wagyu in Steer Dining Room’s enticing story. The atmosphere was modest but pleasant, and it was the ideal representation of the event that awaited me from the moment I stepped inside. A wide menu exploring Wagyu’s fascinating world is at the Steer experience’s centre. Their menu has been thoughtfully created to celebrate the heritage and adaptability of this priceless commodity. Visitors are invited to learn about the variety and complex flavour characteristics of various Wagyu breeds, cuts, and locales. The Wagyu Odyssey explores the precise breeding, exact feeding, and committed care that goes into each kind. The Wagyu degustation menu at Steer is a dream come true for meat lovers like myself. Their “Signature Wagyu Degustation” tells the story of this expensive beef in an aesthetic way. Following a demonstration of four Wagyu dishes that are a complete pleasure for the senses, it begins with nibbles that tempt the palette and ends with a dessert that brings the Wagyu experience full circle.
4 The Meat & Wine Co
The Meat & Wine Co. was nothing short of a culinary surprise. This Afro-centric restaurant offers an excellent selection of top-quality meats, top-tier wines, and a commitment to fine dining. The delightful and excellent experience that awaits customers at one of their vibrant steakhouses is disguised by the name’s seeming simplicity. This restaurant, tucked away just a short stroll from Melbourne’s busy CBD, offers a contemporary fine dining experience that is a genuine gastronomic joy to hungry diners. The venue spans three storeys at Freshwater Place and has a view of the serene Yarra River and Queensbridge Square’s urban cityscape. Dining at The Meat & Wine Co. is an engaging experience that extends beyond the food. Thanks to the open kitchen design, you can see the skilled cooks creating culinary delights right in the centre of the Southbank restaurant. Your eating experience will be made much more exciting by this theatre of culinary talent. The Meat & Wine Co.’s menu exemplifies why it is regarded as one of Southbank’s best steakhouses. Their commitment to producing the best steak is unmatched, from their special Monte beef to the grain-fed short horn and in-house dry-aged steak programme. Every dish conveys a tale of quality and elegance; every mouthful is a trip through the art of preparing a steak.
My most recent journey to Meatmaiden reminded me of our travels to the US. They have reinvented and reworked classic American steakhouse and smokehouse fare. This restaurant has been developing its culinary story since 2014 and has developed an extraordinary formula for success.
Modern Steakhouse Meatmaiden celebrates unassuming grace. Every meal reflects their dedication to finding the best local ingredients for their custom-built grill and wood-fired smoker. But the refreshing lack of pretence here is what really makes this restaurant stand out. They genuinely want you to have an amazing time; they are not there to intimidate you with their culinary prowess. You may want to consider getting a bib at Meatmaiden to go with your enormous quantities of ribs, steak, and slow-cooked chops. Traditional American steakhouse and smokehouse fare is reinvented into delectable culinary works of art. The flavours are smokiness, softness, and a strong, distinctive flavour. The Maiden’s Mood menu is a lovely option if you struggle with ordering like me. It features seven shared meals, including the greatest products off of their grill and smoker. This meal is a gourmet adventure, with tantalising salads and delicious sides.
Depending on the kind of Wagyu you’re buying and its grading, the cost of Wagyu steaks may differ. Generally, Japanese A5 Wagyu steaks can cost up to $100 per 300g, while Australian Wagyu can cost you around half the price of its Japanese counterpart. The Meat Inn Place offers one of the best deals and prices when it comes to locally-produced and Japan-imported Wagyu beef.
Yes, Japanese Wagyu is highly available from local butchers, online butchers, and major supermarkets all over Australia. Order from The Meat Inn Place today to satisfy your craving for top-tier steaks.
Your steak experience will depend on personal choice and taste preference. You can order your steak well-done, medium, medium rare, rare, etc. You can ask the restaurant staff, and chefs to recommend steaks based on your preferences.