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On The Menu: Food news & reviews


This week I've been eating... wagyu beef

I know what you're thinking: la-di-da eating steak that sells for north of £150 per kilo. Well, before the bricks get flying, let me say this particular hunk of beef didn't come from a shop with a royal warrant or a restaurant with a Michelin star, it actually came from Asda. The Japanese meat, which legend holds is massaged by farmers and fed beer in its native land, comes from Britain's first wagyu herd and goes on sale at £10 for 300g in selected stores next week. Pretty good it looks, too. The deep-red meat is decently capillarised with the thin white streaks of fat that traverse the steaks. I loved the deeply savoury flavour and velvety texture. If you fancy indulging, the best way to cook it is the Japanese method: cut it into slices and flash fry it, which prevents the rich internal fat from seeping out. As well as rump ,sirloin, rib eye and fillet cuts, the store will also be selling a wagyu burger. Asda.com, £30 per kilo

Chefs' special

A new episode of The Simpsons is due for broadcast on US TV this weekend, and its theme is food. Hence jokes about the former New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni, and the fashionable sous-vide cooking technique. In one episode Marge turns her hand to food blogging and the chef Anthony Bourdain makes a cameo. Matt Selman, who wrote the episode, said: "I just wanted to put things in the show that only really hard-core foodies would have any idea {about]... This was like a love letter to foodie culture."

Sure shells

"He was a brave man," wrote Jonathan Swift, "who first ate an oyster". He had a point, Swift. Photogenic they certainly aren't. And an off Belon or Colchester native, once suffered, is very likely to sour your relationship with molluscs for life. Helpfully, the Shellfish Association of Great Britain and food writer Colin Pressdee have toured the capital, Tabasco and oyster fork in hand, to find the 150 best stalls, restaurants and pubs selling oysters and put them in a new book. London Oyster Guide, £12

Top chopper

Do you like your carrot crudités just so? Your tomatoes cut into perfect eighths? Well you might want to check out the OCD chopping board, the perfect gift for the culinary perfectionist. The sturdy board is etched with measuring squares that help guide your knife to the perfect chop. As well as etched centimetre squares, there are dinky boxes that help you make the perfect julienne and allumette veg, and, what no board should be without, angle markings for a perfectly quartered apple. Firebox.com, £19.99

Fergus's finest

The eccles cakes at St John, the Michelin-starred restaurant run by Fergus Henderson, are a thing of wonder: fat, rich and a danger to your shirt front. Now they – and Henderson's other cakes (though not his oozy doughnuts) and a variety of breads – are to go on sale in Selfridges food hall from next Friday. So go, get one, ruin that shirt.