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Getting to eat 'proper food' again...

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JR8
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Getting to eat 'proper food' again...

Postby JR8 » Wed, 20 Aug 2014 8:45 pm

You get here, you get used to eating local food, or sad interpretations of quality regional (western/JPnese etc) food. Blah blah, nothing, nothing at all stands out.

Occasionally you need a quality fix, to remind yourself it really exists here..

This is one such place...
http://thediningtable.sg/2013/12/fat-co ... arte-menu/
Fat Cow @ Orchard Boulevard.
Just been back again (3rd/4th time), for a very special occasion ... it's '''hideously expensive''' but hey quality comes at a price, maybe $600 for two, but really, wow!, again - totally worth it. Their thing is proper JPnese beef steaks, and they do it incredibly well.

I'd be interested in any other higher-end suggestions. I'm hearing things about the JPnese/sushi place at the Ritz-Carlton, anyone been?

Any other suggestions? I'm not into gloss, glam, or places 'to see and be seen', just *serious* cuisine. Doesn't matter if it's $25 or $500, just that it's regarded as being at the top of it's game.

Whether I can afford to go is another matter... we all need aspirations ;)

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:22 pm

Prime, at Le Meridien in Kuala Lumpur... delicious Wagyu beef... but pricey.

The Bangsar Babe weighs in:

http://www.bangsarbabe.com/2014/01/prim ... umpur.html

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Re: Getting to eat 'proper food' again...

Postby aster » Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:38 pm

JR8 wrote:Their thing is proper JPnese beef steaks, and they do it incredibly well.


On a side note, is there a good place to get steaks made from cherry-red, lean beef as opposed to Japanese "more white than red" marble-fatty stuff?

Also, have you checkout out the steakhouse at Nee Ann City (hope it's still there because the superb Thai place there closed down!)?

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Re: Getting to eat 'proper food' again...

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:27 pm

aster wrote:
JR8 wrote:Their thing is proper JPnese beef steaks, and they do it incredibly well.


On a side note, is there a good place to get steaks made from cherry-red, lean beef as opposed to Japanese "more white than red" marble-fatty stuff?

Also, have you checkout out the steakhouse at Nee Ann City (hope it's still there because the superb Thai place there closed down!)?


Prime also serves Angus beef... but it is in KL.

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 8:44 am

My husband and I make an effort to try a new restaurant every week, and when we are overseas, we would definitely try to book a few good ones as well.

Here are some of my recommendations for Singapore:
- CUT @ MBS: My husband's favorite if he wants really good steak. Note that this is not cheap.
- Ristorante Da Valentino: My colleague highly recommends the florentine steak. It is a traditional italian resturant, no gimmick, no fancy decoration or smoke gun, etc. We had pasta there and the husband approves.
- Black Swan: Serves good burgers if you need a quick fix.
- Oca Grassa: We had other dishes which was OK. We saw others having florentine steak. It looks & smell amazing but haven't got the chance to go back and try.
- Burnt Ends: Impossible to get reservations. But we enjoyed the meat. The other side dishes are mediocre.
- Forlino: We used to frequent forlino any they generally have a good menu. We haven't had a chance to go back since there are too many new restaurants to try. I think the head chef have changed so I'm not sure if the standards have dropped.
- Zott's True Alps: Interesting cuisine. We enjoyed the uniqueness that you don't see in most Singapore restaurants.
- Una at Rochester: Pretty good quality dishes but not much options.

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Postby Brah » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 9:20 am

Was never a fan of wagyu steak except to have it when in Japan as one of those things you do, and don't do again for a long time.

When living there it was easy to buy lean meat at the butcher and it was better and cheaper than the marble-y stuff.

Fancy places are for special dinners with the wife, I much prefer good and casual, but not food court or Chilis casual.

In the US you can get great meals at diners, including cheap and a great variety of breakfast items a fraction of what they cost here.

I have come to despise these >$30 for two hipster brunch places here - the Common Mans, ABCs, PS Cafes and the like - oh, we are grateful to them and go to them, but I curse the lack of being able to cheaply combine things, the cost and quite often wrongly done otherwise simple food under my breath.

I don't need a $6 cup of coffee, just a nice full-bodied S American blend of basic stuff that is prepared correctly, cheap and bottomless.

Great places for steak here? The French and Italian restaurants. Have not been to the Lawry's here so can't comment.

For good, properly done, and right-sized level of casual, Western food, Dan Ryan's works. Brewerkz, though expensive, was up there until they recently reduced their menu to the point of rendering it nearly pointless to go there any more.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 9:24 am

Wagyu prime rib! I can imagine that’s pretty amazing. Maybe next time we’re up in KL we’ll have a study of their menu and see...
There used to be a good steak restaurant in the Pavilion mall (Bukit Bintang) but it’s no longer listed... shame.
[Edit: It might have moved, or I had the wrong mall, it's this place, http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restauran ... utuan.html ]


My wife has also just reminded me re: a very good steakhouse in the Hilton Kuching. Really unexpectedly good. Unfortunately I can’t find a menu, as it was very reasonably priced too, and Kuching (and that restaurant) is a place I’d be happy to return to. http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restauran ... ml#REVIEWS

Ah Aster :) That’s like asking where you can get a can of Tiger, rather than ‘all this strong/dark/cloudy stuff’ from Bavaria; but horses for courses. We started going to the Fat Cow because we were trying to find a good steak restaurant here, IIRC the first time was for my birthday. The only thing that was on the radar was Morton’s, but that seems to be priced/located as a ‘T+E’/expenses destination. And the problem with places like that is they tend to lack a regular clientele, and so have no need to turn out the highest quality product since, either way, most diners aren’t returning anyway. I’m not saying Morton’s are like that, I haven’t been, but it’s a pretty common phenomenon. The reviews on Tripadvisor are also curiously polarised towards both ends of the scale, the review ratings on page one are, 5, 1, 4, 5, 4, 5, 5, 5, 2/5 ...
http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restauran ... apore.html * ].




* I’m also conscious of two added variables that play into the overall satisfaction gained.
- People being dined, or on expenses, can be less critical as they have no $stake in the steak!
- There can be a tendency for people to believe expensive products are inherently better whether they are or not. Played on cleverly by a long run of ads for Stella Artois beer – ‘Stella Artois, reassuringly expensive’ -

Image I’d link one of their TV ads, but Youtube is down right now...
[Edit to add: 'Stella Artois - Masterpiece' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odR0Vdt ... 5F0C41D800] . Their parallel marketing line being, as here, 'Perfection has a price' which considering the beer is also known as 'wife-beater' and 'loony-juice' is a most curious thing.

- Furthermore and lastly, I wish Tripadvisor would use weighted-ratings like say Beeradvocate does. I.e. if a reviewer rates almost everything as a 5, then that vote is weighted less than a person who votes a place a 5 but historically averages a vote of say 3.5. In other words, looking at those Tripadvisor ratings again, to get five * 5/5’s from nine reviews is patently silly. And getting a 1/5 and 2/5 within those nine is pretty alarming! [It would be interesting from a consumer-psychology perspective, to read the reviews and try and determine the factors that are playing into that, frankly pretty extraordinary polarisation].
Last edited by JR8 on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:05 am

@GND Very interesting list there, and I salute your ‘dedication to the task’ of trying to get to a new place each week. I like that idea, a lot, and in fact I think we should try and adopt it! We currently have an aim of, roughly, eating reasonably most of the time, and then perhaps monthly treating ourselves to something hopefully really special – a kind of self-funding extravagance :)
I’ll look further into some of the places you mention. If you were to suggest any one of them to try first, which would it be?

@Brah. I’d never even heard of Wagyu/Kobe etc beef until I lived in Japan, (the idea of cows being fed beer and massaged daily rather tickled me though*). Which makes me wonder whether you can even get it in the UK, outside of perhaps a super-high-end JPnese place or two. AFAIK there aren’t any JPnese supermarkets there that might stock it.

I agree with you, you have identified another market sector. 'Hipster brunch' expresses it well. It could also be named ‘Pay to see and be seen’, or ‘This months new happening $$$-place’. Think the inexplicably raved about, but absolutely hideously atrocious: Ku-de-ta, Marmalade Pantry etc...

Dan Ryan’s, yep, that’s my go-to place for ribs (on which note it’s been a while). Brewerkz, decent $ beer, but a pain for us to get to. Haven’t been for a while so don’t know how the menu has changed. I was at another German beer/food place this week, Brotzeit at City Hall. We’ve eaten there before and the food was authentic and good. The beer is bottled, rather than brewed on site, but it’s a comprehensive and well selected (and described) range.

*cf.
http://www.interlude.hk/front/nature-nu ... c-to-cows/

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Postby Addadude » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:39 am

Mortons of Chicago at the Mandarin Oriental is pretty good for steak - from what I've heard.

I've only had the beef buger at their bar ($30+++) and that was very nice indeed.
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Postby JR8 » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:25 am

Addadude wrote:Mortons of Chicago at the Mandarin Oriental is pretty good for steak - from what I've heard.

I've only had the beef buger at their bar ($30+++) and that was very nice indeed.


One wonders why it's so hard/impossible to find a menu on their website. And why their reviews are so polarised...

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Postby singapore eagle » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:45 am

We last went to Morton's a fortnight ago and I was very underwhelmed. The steak was nothing to write home about - in fact it was inferior to the $25 fillet mignon I get at our neighbourhood steak place (iSteak in Serangoon Garden).

Our favourite restaurant in Singapore is Les Amis. Consistently good food. The set lunches are good value for money too.

Oh, and I agree with Brah's comments on the "hipster brunch places" serving western food. They're uniformly terrible.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:54 am

singapore eagle wrote:Oh, and I agree with Brah's comments on the "hipster brunch places" serving western food. They're uniformly terrible.


THIS.

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Postby QRM » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:00 pm

I thought Mortons was crap sent my steak back, and even the restaurant at the pool side was very average they tried to fob off Mozzarella cheese as Burratta.

I still like Culina as you can go up to the counter and choose your slice of meat. Though having said that I have had one of the best meals there and equally one of my grimmest…

If you like steaks.. I just came back from Iceland and they have a secret, Icelandic horse meat, it was one of those OMG moments, stunning, now where to find an Icelandic horse in Singapore. Even my 8 year old is craving for it.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:14 pm

QRM wrote:I thought Mortons was crap sent my steak back, and even the restaurant at the pool side was very average they tried to fob off Mozzarella cheese as Burratta.


...Entirely my point. Since 98% of the clientèle wouldn't know what burrata is, they could probably get away with mozzarella - which furthermore, odds on, is probably Australian or similar... [sigh]

Now what USDA grade did they claim that steak was?


QRM wrote:If you like steaks.. I just came back from Iceland and they have a secret, Icelandic horse meat, it was one of those OMG moments, stunning, now where to find an Icelandic horse in Singapore. Even my 8 year old is craving for it.


I've only ever had it in France. Rather like a 'gamey' beef sirloin. Your daughter brings a whole new meaning to 'My little pony'!! :lol: :cool:

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:27 pm

nakatago wrote:
singapore eagle wrote:Oh, and I agree with Brah's comments on the "hipster brunch places" serving western food. They're uniformly terrible.


THIS.


and +1
To get there early is on time and showing up on time is late


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