Rare Grill hosts Woodview Wagyu Beef Tasting, paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines!



On Thursday I attended a Woodview Wagyu Beef Tasting at Rare Grill, invited by its owner Chef Greg Bax, accompanied by my friend Gary Peterson. The different Wagyu meat cuts were paired with a number of Boekenhoutskloof wines.

Rare Grill’s Wagyu is supplied by brothers Brian and Garth Angus, Brian owning a cattle farm in the Free State. Brian Angus shared with us that his daughter is the fourth generation in his family running the family farm. He is the President of the Angus Breeders Association. Brian stated that Wagyu is the best beef one can buy in our country. He traced its origins back to Japan, when thousands of years ago only emperors and their Samurai ate Wagyu, it being of such fine quality. The rest of the population had to eat fish and nuts.

In 1985 just over 100 Wagyu cattle left Japan, sent to Canada and the USA. The South African Wagyu originates from this exported Wagyu cattle, fertilized embryos obtained from Texas. There are now 170 Wagyu breeders in our country. Brian explained that the genetics in the Wagyu breed is what makes it such high quality meat. On his farm Brian built a deboning facility, exporting the meat too, helping to employ more staff. Brian has sold his Woodview Waygu Farm in the Free State, and is moving it to Hilton soon.

We were told that Wagyu fat is the healthiest, and that the meat melts in the mouth. A 100 gram portion of Wagyu is adequate, as it is a rich meat.

The first Boekenhoutskloof wine which was poured was the Vinologist, a Syrah made with Swartland grapes, and sporting a funky label, compared to the conservative labels of other wines in the wine estate’s range. To this a platter of steak tartare sandwiches and meat balls was brought to each table. I loved the new Vinologist mural in the upstairs Rare Grill Tasting Room.

Garth Angus came to chat to us, a Tourist Guide who has switched to the family’s Wagyu Direct meat sales, selling to private households, and delivering to the door.

A Brisket slaw followed as a next course, paired with The Chocolate Block.

A stroke of bad luck for the event was an electrical fault in the building, and by the time the brisket slaw arrived, we were eating and drinking in almost darkness, making photography a waste of time. Even worse is that the power kept coming back, different coloured lights going on and off, like a disco in slow motion, which made any photographing even worse, frustrating for me as a writer.

What was intended as the highlights were a strip of rump, served with a spoonful of chimichurri, and a strip each of sirloin a ‘six’ and a ‘nine’ (unexplained) served with a Béarnaise sauce, eaten in darkness. Even Greg had to cook the meat by candlelight. He explained that the perfect steak is cooked at room temperature, in a very hot pan, at one minute per one centimeter on the first side, before turning the piece of meat.  I drank a glass of  Boekenhoutskloof Syrah with the steak strips.

Technical problems in the restaurant spoilt what could have been a wonderful educational evening.  Rare Grill has won awards as Best Steakhouse Eatery in the past, but the electricity problems did not do justice to its reputation.  However the Wagyu meat and Boekenhoutskloof wines messages were well conveyed, and Gary and I left on that note, having learnt something new.

Rare Grill uses Wagyu in its Burgers, and also serves grass-fed, grain-fed, and Wagyu steaks, depending on availability.


Rare Grill, 166 2nd Avenue, Kenilworth, Cape Town. Cell 076 460 0423 Facebook: Rare Grill Instagram: @raregrillza

Wagyu Direct, Garth Angus, Cell 083 452 1112 Facebook: Wagyu Direct


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whaletalesblog.com  www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide


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