Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wagyu Hamburgers at the Crowne Plaza

If you have ever been to Japan you might be familiar with Kobe or Waygu beef. It is basically the most delicious thing in the entire encyclopedia of edible Mammals. You might have to mortgage your house or sell your children to afford it, but your taste buds will thank you, and when you think about it, you might actually be saving money because College is really expensive these days.

OMG, look at that marbling! 
Eat it once, and like an opioid addict you'll be chasing that original high forever. Every single bite contains the flavor of an entire ordinary cow, and the flesh is so tender that you hardly need to chew. It's my favorite thing to cook and to eat.

So Much Tasty Fat!!!!
Sultan Center reliably stocks Wagyu beef, and although it totally blows the budget, once or twice a month I'll buy some and bring it home to cook. And it's AMAZEBALLS. The flavor of Wagyu is incredibly distinctive. Seared rare with a little brandy and soy sauce it's like Beefy heaven. So delicious.

Thus, Imagine my delight last night when I saw Dukes bar has Wagyu burgers on the menu. I'd actually forgotten about it, but I had one there a few months ago and it was really good. I was feeling celebratory after a good day and out with one of my oldest friends so I thought why not, and ordered one of those bad boys up, Medium rare. After much back and forth with the wait staff regarding did I really want the burger medium rare or not, they came out and asked me to sigh the following :

Yes, there is such a thing as a "Hamburger Policy",  evidently...

This is the best picture my dining companion and I could take since it was dark. It's a FULL PAGE release indemnifying the crowne against future legal action should they poison me with poorly prepared meat. I have literally signed shorter indemnity papers for motorsport activities, bungee jumping, and medical procedures.  The whole vibe was not exactly confidence-inducing but YOLO! So I signed it and got ready to eat an amazing Hamburger and then possibly die a slow and horrible death from salmonella, hepatitis-B or E-coli.

Much, Much later, my burger arrived, and it was a thing of beauty. Perfect bun, perfect cheese, perfect beef bacon, perfect veggies, crispy chips, and a little tiny pot of roasted onion mayonnaise. The food at the Crowne Plaza has been improving by leaps and bounds over the last year or so, and my companion's steak sandwich* was a thing of beauty to taste and see. Seriously, guys, I was so pumped to eat that massive, bloody, fatty, wagyu flavored burger.

But then I ate it, and it wasn't made of Wagyu. The meat was lean, bloody bright red, no fat or grease, and had no flavor of Wagyu. What I had was a reasonably tasty burger made from grass-fed beef of some description. I'm figuring they either pulled a regular grass fed burger from the fridge, or ground up some fresh beef, or ran out of Wagyu but figured nobody would know the difference, or the Wagyu burgers were nearing the end of their shelf life so the kitchen knew they couldn't get away with sending out questionable meat cooked mid-rare.

And whilst I'm honestly grateful that the kitchen or management erred on the side of caution in order not to kill me or have to admit that the wagyu they were serving that night was well past it's prime, when you are charging just under 10 OMR (26 USD) for a burger that is made out of the most delicious cows on earth, I would like to buy a burger that contains pieces of the most delicious cow on earth.

I ate it, paid and left. It is hard to imagine a scenario where I would show them the burger and they would say "oh, gosh, you are right, we will go get you a wagyu burger now" What would have happened, inevitably, was me saying that this wasn't wagyu, and them insisting I must be mistaken or don't understand beef.

So, I guess I'll just go back to cooking my own Wagyu from now on, and leave the Crowne Plaza to serve up their legally indemnified liability-free mystery meat to others. Bummer.

* My companion's Steak Sandwich tho... I would eat that for my last meal, it was so good. Seriously. 


Anonymous said...

Have you tried the wagyu burger at Slider Station? I believe its called the Zurich. Always wondered if it was actually wagyu

Sythe said...

Well that is a bit shit isn't it! I say we go back and order them again, and then go ape shit if they do the same crap again... saying they're selling Wagyu and then not (and charging for it).... fraud much?!