Asda wants to lure posher shoppers into its stores with promises of cut-price Japanese Wagyu beef, caviar and lobster, amongst other gourmet staples.

The Japanese meat is selling at Asda for £22 a kilo - around six times cheaper than you'll find in many upmarket food halls. But not everyone is impressed with Asda's upmarket offerings.


Stake raising

Wagyu beef is on the sweet side. Asda previously claimed their own version is a cross between Wagyu and Holstein cattle. "We imported Wagyu bull semen from Japan and used it to impregnate Holstein dairy cattle to produce a slightly less highly marbled meat which many British customers prefer."

And the Independent food citric, Samuel Muston, went into raptures over it. "I loved the deeply savoury flavour and velvety texture," he said. "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."

Wet, anaemic

Muston also described the meat as "decently capillarised" (whatever that means). Other critics were much less flattering about Asda's foray into aspirational dining.

"It was wet and slightly anaemic-looking," said the Guardian, "and most importantly it had only a few specks of fat distributed within its flesh."

A rack of venison with cranberry and port butter is also on offer from Asda for £35 a kilo plus a three-bird roast of turkey, duck and chicken - £20.

But don't forget your local butcher. A good local shop will often attract a long queue outside at this time of year if they're known for quality and fair prices, and they're more likely to offer meat which is locally sourced.