Steak lovers can savour the ultimate paddock-to-plate experience on a South Australian cattle station.

Story By Gretel Sneath

If you like your steak ‘mooing’, The Tasting Room’s paddock-to-plate experience offers a rare dining alternative. The distant bellowing of magnificent Wagyu cattle adds to the unique ambience of this multi-award winning regional steakhouse at Mayura Station, one of South Australia’s oldest pastoral holdings. Designed to showcase the property’s ultra-premium full-blood Wagyu, the innovative eatery tucked away on a limestone back road near Millicent builds on the cellar door concept by offering an exclusive on-farm dining experience.

Forget about tiny morsels perched on a toothpick; rather, relax with a wine from nearby Coonawarra while chef Mark Wright fires up a teppanyaki grill to demonstrate the best way to cook this highly marbled Japanese delicacy. “We wanted a fairly interactive experience as we’re really proud of this product and like sharing our story,” says Mayura Station’s owner, Scott de Bruin. Scott is building on the vision of his late father, Adrian de Bruin, a timber merchant who discovered Wagyu during business dealings in Asia. Captivated by the meat quality he dubbed ‘the Grange Hermitage of the beef world’, Adrian imported 29 full-blood Wagyu cattle in 1998, flying them in from Japan via America. Almost two decades later, the Mayura herd is fast approaching 7000 head, with rapid expansion driven by the rising wealth of its primary export market, the Asian middle class. Demand continues to outstrip supply, with cattle taking 900 days to reach maturity, and Scott remains committed to breeding only 100 percent full-blood beasts.

“When you dilute the genetics by crossing with other breeds, you don’t get the same fatty acid profile, and it is this unique profile that delivers the beautiful soft marbling and amazing flavour,” Scott says.

Mayura’s intensive production techniques combine traditional Japanese methodology with the latest technology, with a few surprise ingredients such as chocolate added to the mix in order to enhance the meat’s sweet robust flavour and silken texture. “We took it out for a while, but our wholesalers and end users noticed straight away that the flavour profile had changed, so we put it back on the menu,” Scott smiles, confirming that no expense is spared to create this luxury product. “It’s the Mayura Moo Cow Hotel here, complete with night lights, sawdust floors, home-grown grain, lush green pastures and filtered drinking water,” he says.

This story excerpt is from Issue #106

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2016