by Roki Ferrer

Whenever quality beef comes up in conversation, Kobe and Matsusaka always take the stage. But little do we know that the lesser-known Omi beef is actually the oldest Wagyu beef brand in Japan. Omi originates from the Shiga Prefecture (formerly Omi Province) in Japan and has gained popularity from the Azuchi-Momoyama period to modern day Japan as it is continuously shipped between Shiga and Tokyo.

Omi cattle is raised in flatlands and fed with straw from local rice fields and water from Lake Biwa, also known as Mother Lake, in Shiga. These conditions produce the clear marbled fat and high-rated taste that define Omi beef, often considered even superior than its more popular brothers.

Chuck Slices
Deeply Marbled Omi Beef Chuck Roll

No need to travel all the way to Shiga Prefecture to get a taste of this coveted meat. Alternatives Food Corporation (AFC) brings Omi beef to Filipino restaurants and diners nationwide. AFC is the premiere supplier in the food service and manufacturing industries that provide “Global Quality Outsourcing”. As carrier of the Snake River Farms (SRF) American Wagyu, AFC is but fitting to bring Omi to the Philippines.

During the launch event at Ikomai & Tochi in Makati, a special dinner conceptualized and prepared by Executive Chef and Owner James Antolin puts A5 grade Omi beef front and center. The presence of Chef Umemoto Koushi who flew in from Shiga made the evening more special as he masterfully prepared and butchered slabs of rib eye and chuck roll, which later on landed on our ten-course tasting menu.

Chef Umemoto and Chef Antolin

Chef Umemoto is a professional of Omi Beef. Trained for 31-years with specialty in Yakiniku, he is a native of Shiga and was born there in 1967. He took over his family’s Omi beef Yakiniku shops when he was just 21 years old. He is now the owner and group chef of Manyou, with six (6) shops all-over Japan.

Chef Umemoto
Chef Umemoto Koushi and the Omi Chuck Roll
Center Cut from the Prime Rib; best for Sashimi

Here is a rundown of the different Omi dishes the AFC executives, Japanese restauranteurs, and media partners sampled that night. Let these inspire you to prepare melt-in-your-mouth Omi at home!


Hand-crafted Sushi

Sashimi Cut
Omi Chuck Sashimi
Sushi Duo
Omi Rib Eye Sushi topped with Sea Urchin & Nagoya Style Sushi (U.S. Black Rib-eye SRF)


Wafu Omi Rib Eye Steak Salad


Open-faced Gyoza with Omi Striploin, Miso Mustard
U.S. Black Striploin SRF Beef Croquette with Quail Egg


Passion Yuzu Sorbet

Main Course

Rib Eye

U.S. Black Rib Eye SRF Kushikatsu 
Omi Rib Eye Yakimono

Saikoro Beef Two-Ways

Saikoro Omi

Saikoro US
Top : Omi Striploin ; Bottom: U.S. Black Striploin SRF
Omi Beef Short Rib Udon, fresh wasabi


Warm Miso Butterscotch Tart with Okoge (scorched rice) Ice Cream

Together with other SRF products, Omi Japanese Wagyu Beef is now available in S&R stores nationwide in 300g portions fit for your home kitchen. Large orders for commercial and restaurant use can be placed through the AFC website and social media accounts.

Check their pricelist on AFC products at and and follow their accounts on Facebook and Instagram @afcphils for updates.

Just in time for the holidays, SRF has a special Christmas pack prepared for you.

christmas package black[9]

About Alternatives Food Corporation

Alternatives Food Corporation (AFC) is a top tier broad line food service supply integrator based in the Philippines. The company began in 1998 as a private enterprise that focused on the compelling need of the local food industry for stability, quality and value. Today, the company continues to meet this need with the help of various partners in its international network of supply resources. From native potato starches, flakes and granules, AFC now carries beef, pork, lamb, poultry, seafoods, modified starches, sesame seeds, functional blends and spices.