This New Orleans-originated chain with over 135 branches hits all the right olfactory buttons when its signature steak arrives. Served sizzling and without sauces (butter only!) on a 260°C ceramic plate, the centre-cut filet ($90 for 310g) is the most tender and preferred cut for diners, with its melt-in-the-mouth texture. The 1965-founded chain is also known for ribeye ($85 for 340g) and New York steaks ($85 for 340g), all of which are USDA Prime from the US Midwest Angus and Hereford stock. The corn-fed beef is wet-aged between 21 to 28 days and grilled in their signature 982°C broiler oven invented by founder, Ruth Fertel, 50 years ago
This CBD restaurant wants diners to know it's taking its mission seriously with its spectacular Argentina-made five-metre long parrilla grill. The restaurant procures its most of its beef directly from the South American country best known for its vast grass plains where cattle graze in the open. Choose from five cuts of Argentinean steak: entraña (skirt, $31 for 200g), vacio (flank, $31 for 300g), oje de bife (ribeye, $35 for 300g), lomo (tenderloin, $38 for 300g) and bife de chorizo (sirloin, $35 for 350g) which will is expertly seared by an asador (grill chef) and served with three salsas — chimichurri, salsa verde and salsa criolle. The bife de chorizo – known elsewhere as sirloin or NY strip – is regarded as the most popular cut in Argentina, as its fat content and thicker cut is ideal on the parilla.
This modern Aussie-inspired steakhouse originated in Hong Kong in 2004, and is a banker’s ideal expense account standby. Wooloomooloo is so serious that you are greeted by the meat aging cabinet on your way in. The top deal is 70-day grain-fed Australian Black Angus Tomahawk ($145 for 1.1-1.3kg), which is broiled in a 650°C Southbend oven. The hefty bone-in cut for two is wet-aged between two to three weeks, which contributes to its deep, beefy flavours. When cut to serve, the steak turns out juicier in some parts. The smooth sauces are worth a mention – red wine Madeira, au jus (juices from the steak mixed with cream), peppercorn and mushroom.
With the name ‘Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse’, it is right to expect the pride of house to be the bistecca alla Fiorentina (Italian for “Florentine-style steak”). This is no ordinary porterhouse or T-bone, as the cut is known in English; the massive hunk of well marbled (score 6+) meat is from the Australia-raised Wagyu-Holstein cattle, dry-aged and cooked over a wood-fired grill, Tuscan-style. Whatever the doneness, the steak always sports an intensely charred crust. A couple can easily share theFiorentina(1-1.2kg for $178) or Costata (1-1.2 kg bone-in ribeye for $178) while larger groups can opt for a double-cut (2.5kg for $358). Individual cuts, fortunately, are also available.
CRITIC'S PICKFat Cow is Singapore’s super posh ‘meat atelier’ that has lived up to its promises – at a price, of course. Sushi and premium steaks are the draw, whether you dine at the bar seating or smaller dining rooms. Dipping sauces of garlic soy and ginger soy are served, but not needed, with the refined Wagyu Saga beef grade A3 ($80 for 100g) and A5 ($95 for 100g), best served from the charcoal grill. The higher the score, the more intense the fatty marbling and the more it melts onto your tongue, with just a hint of sweetness. The US Snake River Farms Wagyu gives an immediate beefy flavour, in the form of ribeye ($65 per 100g) and tenderloin ($75 per 100g).
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013 is Angus Steak House, serving “American cuisine delicately infused with Japanese flavours and styles.” What that translates to is a dining room staffed by waitresses in traditional French maid pinafore uniforms, with an automated piano in one corner. The action takes place on a charcoal grill at the open grill, where cuts of US Angus are marinated in sliced onions, carrots and salt for two days to soften the meat’s fibres, according to the chef. Each steak is served on a cast iron hotplate, with a choice of bubbling mushroom, black pepper or Japanese sauce – a homey soy and apple concoction. Tournedos or tenderloin wrapped in bacon (lunch: $41 for 150g, dinner: $48 for 150g) is a best-seller, and the soft, buttery meat is almost uncannily tenderised. Yakiniku, of course, is served in a smaller enclosed room.
For the folk at MASA Steak & Hamburg, nothing but Japanese Wagyu will do. The sister outlet of Yamaza yakiniku restaurant is an oddly casual diner-steakhouse hybrid, where nine cuts of premium meats and one humble hanbagu or ‘hamburger steak’ rule. The MASA Hamburg ($28 for 200g, $38 for 300g) is the most affordable option, and also resolutely Japanese, with meltingly beefy Wagyu patty seared medium by default, served on a hotplate. There are no buns on a hanbagu, but you can add on sides such as garlic chips. Bring out the credit card for charcoal grilled steak, starting from rump ($68 for 180g) all the way to a chateaubriand (mid tenderloin) priced at $200 for 180g. The chilled Wagyu is brought in from different regions such as Iwate Prefecture.
|This is not all: for more cuts of Singapore's best steaks take a look at PART ONE here|
From dining on scorpions in Thailand to llama in Chile, there is nothing that fazes June Lee, CSW. Finding the right wines to match can be a challenge, though. With 12 years' experience in food and travel writing, she counts snorkelling in the Maldives, living with nomadic families in Mongolia, and driving in Mexico as her most memorable adventures.