Since reopening his Sydney restaurant Hartsyard after lockdown, chef Jarrod Walsh has switched to a five-course set menu that showcases produce he really loves. “It allows me to be more creative and it’s so much easier to manage wastage,” he says. “It’s actually the best decision we ever made.” His menu might include a raw coral prawn tart with finger lime, yellowfin tuna with smoked bonito vinegar and a Westholme wagyu dish using a lesser-known cut like intercostal, which runs between the rib bones.
“You see this cut a lot in Korean barbecue, sliced thinly and grilled,” says Jarrod. “That’s the inspiration. It’s perfect for a skewer because you want to cook it quickly and you don’t need a huge serve because the marbling is intense and the flavour is full on – it’s the most ‘wagyu’ cut you can find.”
Getting the caramelisation right means the flavour is shown to best advantage. “You don’t want the intercostal rare,” says Jarrod. “You want the fat to caramelise so it’s almost like crispy bacon.” Finding the right accompaniment is important too. A sauce made with fermented black garlic has just the right saltiness and acidity to balance the rich meat, with fresh wasabi adding lively heat. “There’s a lot of umami in the sauce so it wakes up the palate and you keep going back for more,” he says. “It’s an amazing cut to cook, and such a pleasure to serve.”