Trying new foods is without a doubt one of my favourite things to do. I like to think I’ve always been adventurous when it comes to trying new things, although my dad would disagree and regularly reminds me that I was a fussy teenager who wouldn’t even eat herbs!
But now as a 30-something foodie, when I was invited for a Wagyu burger at the Marriott Hotel in Birmingham, I couldn’t resist. I didn’t know much about Wagyu beef, and I certainly hadn’t tasted it, so I was keen to see what this emerging trend had to offer.
Famed for its deep red colour, rich marbling, tenderness and flavour, Wagyu beef originated in Japan, but over the past few years it has been reared here in the UK. The Marriott told me that the beef they’re using for the burgers is sourced from Yorkshire, which was interesting to hear. Wouldn’t it be great if Wagyu cattle start being bred in the Midlands – even less food miles to Birmingham!
On a sunny Friday lunchtime my friend and I headed to the West 12 Bar and Restaurant at the Marriott, which is on the Hagley Road. It was my first visit, and I was impressed with the warm atmosphere and comfortable booths.
The burger was delivered promptly and it was quite a sight. It’s served on a warm bun, with lots of salad, cheese, bacon, a home-made salsa and a big pot of crispy fries. In anticipation, I had only eaten a small breakfast and the meal was certainly sizeable, but we both managed to polish it off quite easily :o)
The burger was tender, with a rich beef taste and the accompaniments were complimentary without being orpowering. The meat was very juicy and had been cooked perfectly, which I think added to the flavour of the burger. For me there is nothing worse than an overcooked dry burger – especially when the meat is of such high quality, it just seems a waste!
The salsa was delicious and the thin and crispy fries were tasty. Dunked in the salsa they were rather moreish (hence the empty bowl at the end of lunch).
As it was a lunchtime we both stuck to soft drinks but the cocktail menu was extensive – if we hadn’t been heading back to work for the afternoon I certainly would have been tempted with a tipple or two.
As a first taste of Wagyu beef, I was very impressed. I feel the burger is great way to bring Wagyu beef more into the mainstream, in a way that’s affordable for people to experience this Japanese favourite. At £17 the burger is certainly one of the more expensive you’ll see on a menu, but as a special occasion or if you’re a real foodie, I’d definitely recommend giving the Marriott’s Wagyu burger a try.
I was invited along for a complimentary Wagyu Burger at the Marriott Hotel as part of their launch activity. I was not obligated to review the food and all of the views in this post are, as always, my honest opinions.