PEr FYI

October 7, 2018

Hamburg Steak Keisuke, Singapore…like beef from pampered cows

Fancy a hamburg steak? Of course you do. It’s the food trend fave that’ll never die.

But not all hamburg steaks are born the same, and Keisuke’s is utter meaty marvels: juice-seeping, humming with flavor. There are just a few tables, so don’t expect much in the way of comfort or ambience. But what you will discover is a stripped-back but hugely satisfying formula for the prime beef hamburg set – with or without cheese. Beef from pampered cows come perfectly cooked and properly seasoned for one hell of a meaty mouthful. The 4 sauces: Keisuke original sweet-and-spicy sauce, demi-glace, oroshi ponzu (radish with vinegar), and teriyaki add to the flavor invasion. Maximise on the salad bar and the show-stopping egg station with its sunny sideup, overeasy, boiled, scrambled, half-boiled, omelette, and tamago yaki.

In my (not so) humble opinion, Keisuke has the best hamburg steak in town. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 15, 2018

Mr Rocky, Shenzhen…like having a cheesy version of Nashville in Shenzhen

Inspired by the wild wild west of the USA, this American bar in Shenzhen is your go-to spot only if you are desperately in need of some cheesy cowboy-style atmosphere and dying to tuck into burgers, steaks and pizzas and hit the dance floor for an evening featuring live bands and DJ sets.

Food is profoundly awful. The steak was tough as nails and disappointingly taste like the bovine equivalent of chicken breast, the pizza was chewy as bubble gum and the hot pumpkin soup was anything but.

An out-of-touch and bungled attempt to create a themed restaurant. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 7, 2018

Davio’s, Boston…well-known for their service as they are for their fare

Comfy armchairs and high-ceilinged dining room. The tables are sheathed in perfectly starched white tablecloths. The menu requires double the normal time to decide because there are so many tempting items calling out to you. This is Davio’s in Boston, Massachusetts.

The 24oz Prime Natural Aged Bone-in Ribeye was appreciably rich, flavorful, dense tasting for lack of a better word, and also noticeably tender. It was basically an explosion of beef on the tongue. Maine Lobster risotto, asparagus, fresh herbs, lobster cream ooze luxury. The rich Maine lobster with its unparalleled sweetness brings elegance to a classic. It’s a pure delight for all the senses.

The experience at most restaurants is as important as the food. If you are lucky to have Christina Chrissie serve your table, service is assured and seamless. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…davios bos5davios bos1

 

 

January 1, 2018

Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Singapore…just very, very good

It’s hard to imagine it now, but if you wanted to eat at a nice steakhouse in Singapore in the 2005, you didn’t have a lot of choice.

Dazzling modernity might not be an epithet that the casual visitor would associate with an Lawry’s today, but in 12.5 years ago, it was the jewels in the crown of Singapore’s restaurant scene. The dining area itself oozes character and charm. We dined in an unrushed, relaxed atmosphere, and the service looked effortless and matched the high quality of the food.

And the steak? There’s either good steak or bad steak, and this is firmly in the former camp. Nothing revolutionary, but exactly the food I love to eat. It’s a serious piece of meat, imbued with the sort of deep ferric tang that only experience can bring.

And so Lawry’s trundles on. You have to take your hat off to them, really. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 13, 2017

Gooseul Hambak, Seoul….big on flavours.

Hambak steak is the Korean-style hamburger steak made from ground meat and served with rice or mashed potato rather than buns.

Gooseul Hambak’s original hambak is a tender and juicy steak patty bathed in rich flavoured sauce. Enhanced by a velvety yellow egg yolk and some side dishes, it makes a simple yet great meal. The price is reasonable and the service extremely quick.

Whether you are just in the area, and like me, need a bite to eat this place definitely should be on your go to list.  I dig it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 9, 2017

Les Bouchons Rive Gauche, Singapore…deliciously affordable steak

Eating steaks can be an expensive business, but you needn’t spend big money to eat good ones.

Although not cheap-as-chips, Les Bouchons Rive Gauche is a quaint little French restaurant at Robertson Quay. Although I had a placed a reservation, the table I was allocated was in a twilight zone spot of the restaurant….partially inside and partially outside the restaurant. I ended up being moved to three different tables that one evening. That would have, on a normal night, spoiled my mood and appetite but the restaurant manager – Valentine, was absolutely gracious throughout and did his best to ensure we have a good experience.

Now about the food…you can demolish either the grilled rib eye steak with “vigneron” butter or grilled sirloin steak with herbs, both served with Mixed Salad & Free Flow of Home Made French Fries. Either one and you will end the evening feeling pretty damn satisfied.

I need to tell you about the fries. They are cooked in duck fat. Duck, fat and fries are three words that please most people. Combining them is a very beautiful thing. There’s no looking back once you have tried these brown and crispy fries.

While not quite as revelatory as the hype might suggest, Les Bouchons Rive Gauche certainly dishes out good steaks. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 29, 2017

Minetta Tavern Restaurant and Bar, New York City…The black label burger renders other burgers meaningless

This place opened in the 30’s so it’s wonderful to see the vintage décor of the old saloon-era interior intact. Being a full house, I sat at the refinished oak bar in the front of the room, elbow to elbow with other diners. The vibe is buzzy, exclusive, and properly chaotic.

The food rocks as much as the scene. The US$33 Black Label Burger – selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pomme frites is without question a mind-blowing rivetingly intense experience. Named the best burger in America by CNBC, a continent full of burger connoisseurs, The Daily Meal,  calls it “the stuff of legend.”  The beef is a blend of four different cuts—short rib, skirt, brisket and rib-eye. It’s like eating a dry-aged steak in burger format. The bun was airy but not spongy. There is a chewiness and lushness in the same bite. Each bite of this burger was lingered over and savored. Even the fries were perfectly seasoned, and nicely crisped. It held to the quality of the burger.

This is now my must-go place in NYC, but frequent Minetta too often and I’ll be broke and really fat. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 10, 2016

New Ubin Seafood, Singapore…steak is a melt-in-the-mouth delight.

This restaurant is bang on the money. It is a Zi Char place. It is not a steakhouse. No indeed. But the steak is so unashamedly good.

The main event is the US Black Angus ribeye steak served together with sea salt flakes and fried rice caramelized with beef drippings. What’s the steak like? Simply perfect. Affordably priced. A melt-in-the-mouth delight. Its intense, juicy twang – offset by a small pile of caramelized onions and Idaho potato wedges – is an education in how good beef can be.

Another lip-smaking items on the menu is the orh chien oyster omelettes with fresh live oysters. The fish roe – deep fried with petai and sambal, served with chinchalok is also chest-thumpingly good. Only item NOT to order is the utterly disgusting salted egg squid.

All in, this is a purist’s encounter with beef, and it is as uncomplicated as it is excellent. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 2, 2016

Morton’s The Steakhouse, Macau…it was so hit and miss

I have been to several Mortons and was excited to see that there was one in Macau. Like all other Morton’s Steakhouses, the restaurant’s interior is elegantly layered in dark hues, white linens and eye-catching light fixtures.

Morton’s prime burger – choice of cheese, crisp bacon, sauteed mushrooms or onions served with french fries was good but the Filet mignon trio – three mini filet steaks topped with Bearnaise, Blue Cheese Butter and au Poivre Sauce was subpar. I expected much higher end food. In the end, it was a case of a hit and a miss. I wasn’t wild about it.

Have eaten at Morton’s in other locations and this isn’t it – just go somewhere else. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 14, 2016

Le Scossa, Paris…makes you go ooh la la

Set on the corner of the busy Victor Hugo Place, Le Scossa is in almost every way an unexpected find. A particularly cosy and beautiful restaurant full of French charm, good food, friendly service, it is also great for people watching.

For starters, I had escargot – they call it Snails XXL on the menu – which was the best I had in Paris on my most recent trip. That and “the real pepper steak, 200gr beef filet” are high points. Both were masterpieces of seething, aggressive flavor. The steak cut was tender, well-marbled and oozed blood-tinted jus. The finesses of the cooking here are shining examples of why the French have for so long led the world when it comes to gastronomy.

A dignified gem, Le Scossa couldn’t feel much more Parisian. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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