Black Iron: Wagyu in Jerusalem

The main event was the steak, and the filet mignon was the highlight of that selection.

 Black Iron's wagyu beef (photo credit: ASSAF KERALA)
Black Iron's wagyu beef
(photo credit: ASSAF KERALA)

A few years ago, I was fortunate to visit Japan, and heard a lot from my fellow travelers about the Wagyu beef they tasted. Since I keep kosher, I wasn’t able to partake, but now I can, and so can you! Friends often say they’re jealous that I get to do these restaurant reviews, and this is one restaurant where their jealousy is warranted.

Black Iron, a new steak restaurant opened by Yaron and Etti Jospe, is an all-Wagyu beef restaurant that they say is the only kosher Wagyu restaurant in the world. They buy the cows in Australia, and then raise them for up to two years in Israel. Wagyu is a type of cow, and the meat has a lot of internal marbling. That marbling, which is not the same as the fat on the edge of the steak, makes it both soft and juicy. It has an intense beefy flavor, like steak on steroids (I don’t mean actual steroids; I just mean a really intense flavor.)

Black Iron has a refrigerator for aging the meat, and the meat is cut into different steaks and vacuum sealed. If you ask nicely, you can even choose a specific piece of meat from the refrigerator.

The menu is divided into two sections: Creative Plates (equivalent to appetizers NIS 18 – NIS 48), Big Bang (NIS 72 – NIS 126) and Steaks (priced NIS 62 to NIS 81 per 100 gr.). It is important to note that the steaks do not come with side dishes, which makes it more expensive than a traditional grill place or steak house but this is one place where “you get what you pay for.”

We asked Yaron to choose for us, and from the creative plates he brought us a small loaf of bread with “butter” made from beef fat (NIS 18), a lettuce endive salad (NIS 28), Wagyu carpaccio served on challah toast with crispy fat croutons (NIS 48) and “Straight to the Brain” (NIS 38), a large bone filled with marrow and topped with caramelized onions.

This last appetizer was the clear winner. I prefer to order dishes that I (or, to be completely honest, my husband and daughter who are the family cooks) can’t make at home. And they have never made bone marrow at home, and the dish had us scraping the bone with the spoon, looking for just a little more marrow.

From the Big Bang section we tried the Wagyu Beef Bourguignon, which is pieces of beef with root vegetables in a red wine sauce. It was delicious.

And now the main event, the steak. Yaron bought us a selection of steaks, each about 200 gr. – the size of most of the steaks here – although several steaks are available in 300 gr. portions or even larger. The Prime Rib, which is entrecôte with a bone (NIS 66 per 100 gr.) usually, comes from 700 gr. to 1.2 kg. It is sometimes called a Tomahawk steak.

We tried the picanha (136 NIS for a 200 gr. steak), the sirloin (NIS 162 for a 200 gr. steak), the entrecôte (NIS 66 per 100 gr.) and the filet mignon, which is not listed on the menu because it is not always available. If it is, however, I highly suggest ordering it. As I write this, I am salivating just thinking about it. Each bite was soft, juicy, full of flavor and served a perfect medium-rare. Simply an outstanding steak. Our other winner was the picanha, a popular cut in Brazil that is not often served in Israel.

Yaron surprised us with an amazing dessert of soft ice cream with caramel and a lot of other fattening delicious elements. A perfect end to a great evening.

Black Iron80 Agrippas StreetJerusalem.Sunday to Thursday, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday from an hour after ShabbatPhone: (02) 546-5650Kashrut: Rabbanut Jerusalem, and much of the meat is chalak

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.