May 31, 2024

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Duo brings Waygu steak to Antwerp Kloosterstraat

Duo brings Waygu steak to Antwerp Kloosterstraat

From April 15, you can buy the best quality Japanese Wagyu beef at the Wagyu District Meat Shop on Klosterstraat. It's not surprising that this is expensive, since creator and pilot Kiarash Napavieh works with reputable suppliers. His mission is clear: bring the world's best steaks to Antwerp.

Guests from all over the world come to Mey Restaurant on Antwerp's Schengen Square. There, Kiarash Nabawiya offers an exclusive selection of wagyu. Now there's the next step: the meat shop, refrigerated display cases filled with world-famous wagyu (pronounced: wah-gjoe) beef. Kiarish Nabawiyeh: “It is not a butcher shop, but a point of sale, directly from the producer to the consumer. The meat is offered in different shapes and vacuum packed. Prices range from 20 to 50 euros per steak, which is meat that is not available at the regular butcher.

Anyone delving into the legendary meat of Japanese origin will have a lot to enjoy. There is history, there is the special method of reproduction, there are different breeds, producing regions and countries, different classifications, the taste of meat and the associated marbling, crossbreeding with other breeds, and so on. Kiaraş can talk about it for hours, and in addition to the store, he also launches two specialized websites with the necessary background. These sites will be available online soon.

Steak Challenge

Kiarash Nabawiyya has concluded exclusive contracts for the Benelux countries with the most famous suppliers of Wagyu meat. And they're not just in Japan. Get a large cardboard box filled with vacuum-packed cuts of meat. “The best steak in the world,” says the stamp on the box. There are no idle words.

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“This comes straight from Jack Creek Farm, a specialty farm in Australia. They've won this title two years in a row at the World Steak Challenge. Here, the Oscars are awarded on a global scale, by an independent jury of eighty member experts. Jack's Creek Farm won a cross between Wagyu and Black Angus The exact cuts of beef we receive depend on the quota.”

White lines

The hallmark of wagyu meat is the marbling, those visible white streaks. The higher the quality. This marbling is a genetic inheritance dating back 35,000 years. When fried, the fat gives an exceptional flavour, and the meat is soaked as if in melted fat.

Kiarash Napavieh: “Those Japanese cows were herd animals, and the fat gave them more energy. Only at the end of the nineteenth century did people in Japan begin to grow meat. Wagyu cattle are now considered cultural heritage there. Japan kept the market closed for a long time to ensure bloodlines.

The embryos were allowed to leave the country, and thus specialized breeders appeared outside Japan. Ranked #1 in Australia and the United States. The largest supplies to the Wagyu region come from there, from Jack Creek Ranch and Snake River Ranch. Kiarash tells an anecdote: “An American couple came to May on a special trip to celebrate their wedding anniversary. They once ate Wagyu beef from Snake River Farm, but they can no longer eat it. After all, these American producers export everything to upscale destinations like Taiwan, Singapore and Dubai. This couple once paid $950 for a steak, but here they got it for $150.

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Until now, you could find Wagyu meat in our country at only a few specialized butchers. Kiarach: “Most of them are from the Kagoshima region. It has formed a monopoly. We now have contracts with other regions, including Kobe. Kobe is the most popular – and most expensive – region by far. We are the only distributor in Flanders. Kobe is an absolute top and expensive but Also very fatty and to reduce that fat, people started crossbreeding with pure breeds like Holstein or Black Angus.

Another Japanese uniqueness is Hoikado snow beef. Kiarash: “It comes from cattle from northern Japan, which live on snow. The supplier slaughters only two cows per week.

Healthy fats

In addition to the exceptional taste, Kiaraş especially wants to emphasize the healthy aspect of this meat. “It's 80 percent trans fat. It's no coincidence that keto lovers love it. These fats have little effect on cholesterol. The remaining fat, which is saturated fat, is also fifty percent healthier.”

Kiaraş is also a pilot and runs the company FlyEtic. He charters private jets and passes on more than the full environmental cost to his wealthy clients. He wants his planes to play the same pioneering role as commercial vehicles in electric driving. FlyEtic is currently thriving and through those trips the boutique idea matured. “That meat is served to customers during the flight. Then many passengers also wanted to be able to buy it themselves. That's how the idea came about.”

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