‘Tis the season for Wagyu, which means Nota Bene’s Wagyu burger – as popular as it is expensive – is back on the menu. To promote it, the restaurant is offering a $10 donation to the Japanese Red Cross Society for every $45 purchase of a burger and pint of Sapporo combo. Debauchery never seemed so virtuous.
Geoff O’Connor, chef de cuisine at Nota Bene, says the kitchen is still deciding on how to garnish the burger (it’ll probably be different from last year), but the patty will remain the same: plain, for the most part. “We want to let the natural flavour of the meat shine,” he says. The eight ounce patty, about two inches thick, is made of pure ground Wagyu beef with just a little bit of salt and pepper, cooked to order but recommended at rare to medium rare.
Why the temporary absence? “Wagyu is a seasonal meat,” O’Connor says, so it’s only available May through November. Why the exorbitant price? The beef comes from Cumbrae’s, where cows are grass fed for a year and then moved on to alfalfa, red clover hay, barley and molasses. Wagyu beef is highly prized for its marbling, texture and taste.
The burger will be available May 1, so start saving now.