Cha Cha Char Restaurant – Executive Chef Angelo Velante

This Japanese inspired dish comes from John Kilroy’s passion for Wagyu. The dish was conceived when Cha Cha Char opened in 1997 and has stood the test of time, through various chefs, ever-changing food trends and pre-social media.

This was a time when Wagyu beef was not mainstream, and a generation of chefs were awaking to a new whole world of marbling.

“Seasoned in French oak barrels for 18 months, the Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon, with its elegant structure and a dark cedary nuances, greets the richness of the highly marbled Wagyu beef. The layers of long, silky fine-grained tannins in the Cyril Henschke provide great persistence with the umami factor of the dish.”

1kg Wagyu rump cap
100ml vegetable oil, for searing the wagyu
200ml vegetable oil, for deep frying
500g medium silken tofu, cut into 6 cubes
700g rice flour
Sea salt to season
Freshly cracked pepper, to season
1 medium eggplant, cut in 2cm x 1cm batons
10g sesame seeds
50g smoked eel
100ml teriyaki sauce
200g self raising flour
150g soda water
10 wasabi leaves


Using a sharp knife, place the rump on the cutting board so that the grain of the meat runs horizontally in front of you. Against the grain, cut the rump cap into 4 even slices. Into a heavy based pan, place 100ml of oil. Sear the beef until it is caramelised on both sides. Rest.

In a small sauce pan, heat 200ml of vegetable oil for deep frying. Dust the tofu in the rice flour then fry until the coating is crispy. Drain. Season with salt and pepper.
Fry the eggplant in the same oil until soft. Drain, then season with salt and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Blend the smoked eel and teriyaki sauce. Reserve.

Mix the flour and soda water together to make a quick batter. Dip the wasabi leaves into the batter then fry in the same oil until crispy.

Cut the rump into square cubes, dip into the eel sauce to lightly coat then place on the plate.
Place the tofu and eggplant onto the plate then drizzle the eel sauce over the eggplant and around the plate.
Garnish with the wasabi leaves.