Farm to fork: Boutique beef on the menu at The Star Gold Coast

Love a juicy, tender steak? Get yours with minimal food miles thanks to the melt-in-the-mouth Queensland wagyu steak on the menu at Kiyomi.

You’ll find Australia’s Stockyard Beef on the menus of discerning restaurants around the world – from Japan and Saudi Arabia to the US and Hong Kong. But you needn’t go nearly that far to understand why this Queensland farm has earned global gourmet plaudits for its grain-fed wagyu. It’s yours for the tasting at Kiyomi at The Star Gold Coast, one of the few places in Australia to serve the premium Kiwami wagyu beef.

Chef Winson Law has served up Stockyard’s wagyu at Broadbeach institution Kiyomi for near on three years now. The wagyu striploin currently appears on the menu plated up with charred asparagus, pickled shallot and onion jus. Stockyard is one of many ethical local producers keeping Winson’s kitchen stocked in high-quality produce.

Chef Winson Law in Kiyomi kitchen
Chef Winson Law in Kiyomi kitchen
It all starts on the farm

The quality and consistency of Stockyard Beef is what has made it one of Winson favourite local ingredients. Consistency is a quality chefs value nearly above all else from their suppliers, because it allows them to keep delivering dishes to the standard their diners have come to expect.

Stockyard operates out of the lush Darling Downs on the award-winning Kerwee feedlot, a farm run by three generations of the Hart family, who have made sustainable agricultural practices and ethical cattle treatment a cornerstone of their business. Robin Hart and his son Lachie are both pioneers of the Australian industry, with Stockyard the first feedlot in the country to feed and market wagyu cattle from the original genetic line out of Japan. Producing wagyu is an exacting craft, in which the entire lifecycle of the cattle has to be considered. 

“Farm-to-fork ensures the highest level of quality, as the animal is raised with this purpose in mind,” Winson says. “We can be sure how the animal has been raised. The marble score of the Waygu tells.”

Winson uses the Kiwami wagyu striploin, with an Australian marble rating of 9 (the scale doesn’t go any higher than that). True steak connoisseurs know that the Beef Marble Score – BMS in the ‘biz – is what leads to the meltingly tender, indulgent taste of wagyu beef. The accumulation of marble is achieved by giving the animal a longer, stress-free life and the best-possible nutrition – as Winson says, the marble score can’t lie.

Stockyard beef cattle and drovers
Stockyard beef cattle and drovers
Adding fuel to the fire

Once the Stockyard steak lands in his kitchen, Winson takes a simple approach to let the quality of the produce shine. “We don’t want to overpower the wagyu, the wagyu is the main character,” he says. “We just want to keep it as simple as we can.”

Bringing the flavours of Tokyo to diners on the Gold Coast, Kiyomi follows the traditional Japanese gastronomic tradition of preparing premium ingredients with restraint. A subtle but vital component of Winson’s final dish is the Japanese Binchotan charcoal that the steak is seared over.

Asparagus and shallots on grill
Asparagus and shallots on grill

Also known as white charcoal, this pure carbon fuel traditionally made with oak tree branches from the Kishu province is revered for its purity and the gentle flavour it imparts during cooking. “It adds this kind of extra smokiness,” Winson explains. “And that smokiness is hard to get with local charcoal.” While he grills the steak, Winson applies a simple glaze of Hatcho miso – a dark, robust miso paste that delivers a punch of umami flavour.

To complete the dish, Winson sears tender spears of asparagus and two types of shallots on the grill over the Binchotan and tops it all off with vivid green nasturtium leaves and an onion jus.

Stockyard beef on the grill
Stockyard beef on the grill
Farm-to-fork is the future

Stockyard is far from the only homegrown ingredient to grace the Kiyomi menu – from seafood to vegetables, the restaurant sources as much produce as possible locally; much from the east coast of Australia.

Environmental issues have made the ‘locavore’ movement (which is all about locally grown and produced food) and sustainability something of a trend, Winson says, but that doesn’t mean it’s not overdue. “It’s time more people start using sustainable methods to raise animals,” he says. “That’s what we are going to keep doing, in the future.

In case you need further inducement to experience some local flavour at Kiyomi, Winson is planning to add a sashimi-style tataki dish using Stockyard wagyu beef to the menu this summer – don’t miss it.

Hungry for more farm to fork? Find out about the giant cobia on the Cucina Vivo menu from chef Dayan Hartill-Law.

Wagyu striploin dish
Wagyu striploin dish