Restaurant review: Maruju Aburi Farm in Mongkok, Hong Kong
New farm-to-table wagyu restaurant in Mongkok
In the beef world, wagyu has become a household name. The word literally translates to “Japanese cow” so naturally most people associate it with Japan. When I tried it for the first time (grade A5, the fattiest Japanese grade), as part of an omakase menu, I was blown away. Actually I felt a little sick because I’d consumed more pieces than I could handle… it was the most luscious beef I’d ever tasted so I didn’t want to stop eating it but it was so extremely fatty. No wonder people call it the champagne or Rolls-Royce of beef.
So I was very excited to try Maruju Aburi Farm, a new farm-to-table restaurant in Mongkok that specializes in wagyu. Upon further investigation, they proudly use 100 percent full-blooded Australian wagyu which occurs when 100 percent full-blooded wagyu cows breed with 100 percent full-blooded wagyu bulls. In contrast with Japanese wagyu cows which are often grain-fed, all of the Australian wagyu stocked by the restaurant is grass-fed and the cows are raised free-range for at least four years; we’re told this is double the breeding time of other wagyu cattle. So while Maruju Aburi Farm is a wagyu restaurant, guests will need to order carefully to ensure their order meets their expectations.
Take for example this Premium Whole Wagyu Beef Platter ($580) which serves two pieces each from nine different parts of the cow: tri-tip, sirloin, tongue, brisket, shank, rump, top round, rib cap, and ribloin. As the wagyu is grass-fed, the texture was much leaner and tasted gamier. The quality of the meat was good but I think it’s slightly expensive for what you get as some of our pieces were cut so thin they barely made it off our grill. Wagyu enthusiasts may prefer to order a la carte and A5 lovers should ask for the restaurants M9 selection which is the top Australian grade. I’d be interested to see how the A5 and M9 pieces compare.
From the wagyu section, we also tried this Wagyu Beef Sandwich ($158). While it may not look as sexy as the almost raw-looking ones from places like Wagyumafia, this sandwich was very tasty. The beef was tender, the sauce was addictive, and I easily scarfed down three of the four pieces in addition to the rest of our dinner.
But perhaps my favourite item was this plate of humongous Hiroshima Oyster Cutlets ($128 for four pieces). Don’t they look like big chicken wings? The oysters were super fat and creamy, and the breading was thick and crunchy. Absolutely delicious.
The Avocado and Crab Roe Salad ($58) used imitation crab but tasted really good - very creamy. I probably wouldn’t reorder the Grilled Pork Belly with Salt and an Onsen Egg Doburi ($98) as the meat was quite tough though the flavour was good.
And who can resist green tea soft serve for dessert.
We went on a Tuesday night and the restaurant was quite full with most tables ordering the beef platters. Note that the chefs are trained to prepare the wagyu in various ways from yakiniku to tartare to ramen so get creative and ask for what you want. Overall it’s a fun way to have an accessible wagyu experience and its location is very convenient. If you go, definitely try the Wagyu Beef Sandwich and the Hiroshima Oyster Cutlets too. And leave me a note if you try the M9 selection - would love to hear what you think!
Shop 342D, 3/F, MOKO, 193 Prince Edward Road West, Mongkok, 3619 1768