Kitayama’s Corned Beef Will Ruin All Other Corned Beef for You

June 17, 2017

Kitayama Meatshop has become a household name, with the family-owned business bringing to mind juicy and flavorful cuts of marbled wagyu steak. Their wagyu cattle, bred with Brahman cattle to adapt to the climate, are raised by Umalag Farms in Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, on all-natural, GMO-free grains and forages. They are brought up without antibiotics, and the meat is not treated with preservatives, so that customers are guaranteed fresh and healthy wagyu cuts.

Kitayama offers two types of tapa: marinated tapa that is ready to fry (pictured), and air-dried tapa that can be toasted for a crunchy snack.

Though Kitayama is best known for their butchery, they also have a lesser-known but exemplary line of breakfast line including corned beef, wagyu tapa (wet and dry), and their elusive wagyu bacon (which was unavailable to us as they are often short on stock for the in-demand cut). But what really inspires us to actually wake up early even on a weekend and have breakfast is their corned beef.

The juicy (yes, juicy!) corned beef was an instant winner for the Pepper team, with its substantial threads of wagyu that disintegrates into oblivion with each bite, its coating of fat spreading its taste to each corner of your mouth like a gospel.

Kitayama’s corned beef was devoured in a matter of mere seconds by a viciously hungry Pepper.PH team shortly after this photo was taken. RIP.

Another Kitayama favorite is their crispy adobo flakes made from wagyu short ribs. Forget the tedium of ripping apart your leftover adobo into shreds and waiting over a hot vat of oil for the shreds to become a fine crisp, when Kitayama has done the work for you perhaps more masterfully than you could have ever done at home. The adobo is already pre-cooked and naturally preserved so that you can keep it on the shelf for months, and just pop it in the oven whenever the craving for adobo flakes hits. The fine and soft beef threads make the Kitayama adobo comparable to pork floss.

Also leaving us dreaming in its wake, even if it is clearly not part of their wagyu line, is their chicken skin chicharron. Made from excess skin not needed by the restaurants they supply, Marketing Head Vicky Lauchengco tells us that it is one of the store’s bestsellers since not everyone steps in wanting to necessarily buy a hunk of beef. This is also why the store has become something of a mini-specialty grocery, housing local purveyors on their shelves, usually items that already complement their products like rubbing salts and hot sauces.

Left: We know it’s not wagyu, but their chicken skin chicharron is exemplary and we needed to talk about it. | Right: Adobo flakes made easy—just toast it and eat it.

If it makes you feel any better about starting your day with wagyu, Lauchengco also tells us that wagyu is healthier than people give it credit for. “I’m not going to say it’s the healthiest,” she says, since wagyu is known for its fat marbling, but she does tell us that wagyu contains more Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and more monosaturated fatty acids (or “the good fat”) than other types of beef.

Lauchengco tells us about how they are able to preserve the whole cow by making use of the less popular cuts of meat (while a lay-person may be unsure of how to prepare it, their R&D team of chefs do all the work for you) through their breakfast line. In the works for Kitayama right now is the development of their cookbook, focused on how to prepare the odd parts of the beef, so that they can share their appreciation the oft neglected but just as tasty cuts of their beef.


Kitayama Meatshop is a specialty butcher that serves their very own brand of local wagyu cuts, pre-marinated meats and other specialties.

ADDRESS: 2293 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City
VISIT: 10AM-6PM Mondays to Thursdays / open til 7PM on Saturdays and Fridays / open til 4PM on Sundays
CONTACT: (02) 887-5848 / aira.grafilo@umalagfarms.ph
SPEND: PHP 150 and up
FOLLOW: Facebook

Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

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