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Fat Cow is a Japanese steak place, well-known for their good but pricey beef dishes. Thankfully their lunch sets were more affordable so we came during lunch on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The set lunch menu is below.
Do make a reservation before coming down! I think the place can get quite crowded.
The set lunch came with a salad, miso soup, chawanmushi and dessert. I love the chawanmushi!
The boyfriend's happy bowl of Fat Cow Donburi with charcoal grilled wagyu beef and onsen egg ($39).
I don't take beef so I was the only one who opted for a non-beef dish in a Japanese steak place haha! My Negitoro Don ($35) was surprisingly fresh and sweet for a beef place.
1. Very expensive (Morton prices without the portion size). 2. Open kitchen doesn't work as the staff are not interactive at all (not even a hello) and it is cluttered with cleaning equipment and boxes. 3. Service was appealing, even by Singapore standards. Forgot our rice ( and as the steaks come with nothing, that meant my dinner was a lonely hunk of meat). Very slow to offer wine list - had to ask for the list and ask them to come back and take my order. 4. No explanation as to what the sauce was that was served with my meal. No option to choose sauce or add horseradish or anything. 5. Limited menu seemed very light on starters and suitable side dishes. 6. Pacing was very poor - in and out in under 50 minutes. Not exactly the fine dining experience. 7. Complaints to waitress and manager got the normal shrug of indifference. 8. Food was ok - nothing special but no real issues with taste. All in all, very disappointing and very expensive.
I ate here recently and while the beef itself is very good (but no better than Morton's, Luke's or Bistecca IMHO) the service is very amateurish. The are two many waiters standing around yet the food service is slow and they struggle to get the food on the table in the right order (starters arriving after the beef for example). The starts are ok but nothing special which is pretty disappointing given the prices (we had the abalone, crab cakes and zucchini tempura). The beef is good as it should be at those prices.
The desert menu is a bit weak although the cocktail menu is quite good.
Overall what could be a cool place with an interesting concept is let down by the incompetent service which adds insult to the hefty bill.
I went with my family (including 2 kids) on a Saturday evening. We ordered quite a few starters to share, of which the chawanmushi and zucchini flower tempura were memorable. The tempura was sweet and nice. Very interesting item. The chawanmushi however was average. No matter how fancyful they do it, it's still steamed egg at its core. To pay more than $20 for it, I can't say is value for money. Generally all the starters were overpriced and portions were small.
We ordered 3 different wagyu beef to share among 4 adults - the Japanese A5, the US and the Aussie. They were all very enjoyable and yummy but if we had to compare (ignoring the price differential), the Japanese wins hands down.
Now, on to the terrible service. Firstly, they cleared our half-finished chawanmushi without even asking if we were done with it. Major dining faux pas. They were quite clueless about the food when we asked about them and not even bothering to find out. Another dining faux pas. As I said earlier, we had ordered 3 types of beef hence there were 3 sets of accompaniments that came with them. Instead of asking who amongst the 4 adults to serve the accompaniments to, the staff served 2 sets to 2 of the adults and placed the other set in front of my 5-year old niece. Why in the world would they think my niece would be the one having the beef? Sigh...
By this time, the poor service had already ruined any desire for dessert.
One sleepless night, I Googled and found Fat Cow online. Attracted by the sound of the beef tendon and foie gras starter, I made a reservation for a Friday night dinner with my husband. We will not return and here are the reasons why.
1. Ambience: The restaurant, or at least the part we saw, is windowless. I didn't note the ceiling height but we felt cloistered in, as if we were sitting at the bottom of a bento box...
2. Food/Beverage: Was the beef good? Sure. Was it exceptional? Not to us.
3. Value: I have the most issue with value at this restaurant.
(i) I had shabu-shabu while my husband ordered sukiyaki. He enjoys his sukiyaki with the usual raw egg dip. Before long, he finished his one egg and we asked for another. The egg took a while to arrive. What I had a problem with was how much we were charged for the egg - $3! Maybe it was premium egg that costs more than a dozen normal eggs. We hadn't check how much an extra egg would cost so that was our bad.
(ii) We also ordered a couple of sides to go along. Buttered mushrooms was ok at $12. However, sweet potato was $8 for 4 slices, halved. This was another item that I don't agree with how the restaurant has valued it. There wasn't any obvious culinary skill involved in serving up sweet potato pan fried for it to cost so much for so little.
4. Service: As pointed out by a previous reviewer, beef is sold by weight. Given it wasn't a special occasion, we went for the cheapest type, US Prime Beef, which was still a cool $40 per 100g. The waiter took our orders and then left us. Before long, he came back and told us that the $40 type is sold out. We were among the first at dinner and given this is Friday, I am very surprised that the restaurant isn't well-stocked. In addition, I am also very surprised that the waiter wasn't briefed before dinner service about food availability. Since we were already seated, I shrugged this off and ordered the next higher category, $52 per 100g. What we appreciated though was that when they had to move tables, they lifted instead of dragged the furniture. That was a nice touch.
The total bill for our dinner for 2 came to about $250 (about 6 thin slices of shabu/suki beef per person). Given that food quantity wasn't a lot and the level of culinary skills the dinner showed off didn't seem complex, I do not agree with how Fat Cow values its offerings, will not return, and will not recommend.
Way overpriced for what you get, service is terrible and the place will be closed in less than a year.
The menu is designed to deceive you. The waiter explains that the beef is priced per 100grams, but you have to pay for a minimum of 200 grams, and the chef weighs the piece that they have, so you have no idea what it is going to cost. We got a cut each of the Australian Wagyu and the US Wagyu for $360. Between four people that is a ridiculously small amount of beef for the price.
Starters were the dumplings and the sashimi special for $120 and it is itty bitty portions. Now the food was delicious, but there is no way you can justify that price for some raw fish that would fit on the average side plate.
The beef was decent, but it does not take that much experience to cook it medium. We popped a bottle of wine for $170 and that rounded out the whole overcharged experience.
A couple of tips for the management:
1. Charge less or serve more. Your menu is misleading, and I hate being ripped off.
2. If your restaurant is empty, why were some menu items unavailable?
3. Train your servers better. Every time I took a sip from my glass, the waiter refilled it. In addition, they hovered around our table watching us before ordering, and watching us eat. Majorly annoying when you are trying to enjoy yourself with friends.
4. Change the name and the location, they are both stupid.
5. Better yet, just close up. You are not offering an awesome enough experience for $160 per head