In Review

Enjoy the full Wagyu experience at Park Tower Knightsbridge

Five-star London hotel serves up new luxury beef-inspired menu

It is fair to say that Wagyu beef is having a moment. Since exploding onto the UK food scene several years ago, it has become the go-to meat for high-end restaurants looking to offer that extra-special dining experience. Yet its exclusivity also comes at a price, prompting some to ask whether it is actually worth it.

Taking its name from ‘wa’ meaning Japanese and ‘gyu’, the word for cow, Wagyu has established a reputation for being the best beef in the world due to its superb marbling which gives it a succulent melt-in-your-mouth taste and velvety, buttery texture.

Every Wagyu cow has a birth certificate, which identifies its bloodline, so every piece of beef can be traced back to its source farm, serving as a guarantee of quality.

At the five-star Park Tower Knightsbridge, a Luxury Collection hotel located just a stone’s throw from Harrods, head chef Gaurav Puri has crafted a new Wagyu beef menu which seeks to maximise the meat’s rich flavours in a combination of high-end and more informal dishes.

Available both at the hotel’s brasserie, The Hyde Bar, and for in-room dining, signature dishes include the Wagyu Carpaccio with wild rocket, sundried heritage tomato, black truffle puree and parmesan shavings, the Wagyu Luxury Collection Gold Leaf Burger with seared foie gras, and the Braised Wagyu Knuckle with carrot mousse, wild mushroom and petit pois ragout, burnt shallot and Madeira jus.

The highlight is undoubtedly the 200g Wagyu beef fillt with confit cherry tomato, Shimeji mushrooms, brunet garlic and Café de Paris butter, but at a cost of £170 will be out of the price range for most diners.

Wagyu Carpaccio

In keeping with its reputation for high-end opulence, The Park Tower’s beef is sourced weekly from Highland Wagyu, a 25,000-acre farm in Perthshire, Scotland, with the largest 100% Fullblood Wagyu herd in Europe.

The brainchild of British-based businessman Mohsin Altajir and his wife Martine Chapman, Highland Wagyu has only been running since 2011, but already supplies some of the UK’s most exclusive restaurants.

Its combination of 100% Fullblood Wagyu, Wagyu crosses, Aberdeen Angus, Beef Shorthorn, Highland and Dexter cattle has won widespread plaudits, with Michelin-star chef Tom Kitchen describing it as “the best beef in the UK”.

For those willing to travel beyond the rarefied confines of Knightsbridge and go directly to source, the pair have set up their own restaurant around 45 minutes-drive from Edinburgh.

Located in Bridge of Allan near Sterling Castle, The Grill by HW offers an entirely Wagyu-inspired menu that includes taster plates and, of course, prime, rump and grass fed cuts. Like the Park Tower, however, the restaurant has also sought to cater for different occasions and budgets, with a new lunchtime menu offering up ‘wee bites’ inspired by Middle Eastern street food and some Scottish favourites.

While not a destination in itself, the restaurant is definitely worth a detour if travelling from Edinburgh to the west of Scotland.

Wagyu Luxury Collection gold leaf burger at Park Tower Knightsbridge

The buzz around Wagyu, and its steep prices, have opened it up to a fair degree of derision. Rumours that cows are fed a diet of beer and massaged daily may be exaggerated, but the meat does owe its quality to a combination of highly selective breeding and refined rearing methods.

Wagyu, which while tender also has a high-fat content, may not be to everyone tastes or suit every occasion, but when done right it is hard to beat.

The Park Tower has taken a gamble with their Wagyu-inspired menu, and while not all dishes hit the perfect note, when it works there are few experiences like it for meat lovers in London.

The new Wagyu Beef Menu at Park Tower Knightsbridge is available in in-room dining and at The Hyde Bar which opens daily from 8am – 2am, with dishes starting from £28.

Suites at Park Tower Knightsbridge start from £660 rising to £5290.

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