​Beefy, bloody and bizarrely hard to get right, steak has an appeal far beyond the average piece of meat for me. The best steak I ever ate was my first Wagyu steak. The year was 2007, and it was served at a little-known diner called Astons Specialties at East Coast Road that would soon become a household name synonymous with quality and affordability steaks. Weighing 250g and priced at $150, the Grade 11 Wagyu striploin steak arrived perfectly pink in the middle, and it delivered flavour, tenderness and juiciness in a combination. Nearly a decade after eating it, I'm still moved by the memories of the experience.

So when I heard about the wallet-friendly ribeye steaks of quality at The Betterfield, I couldn't help but be reminded of Aston and its humble beginnings. And I knew I had to check this place out.

Recently relocated from Waterloo Street to High Street, the down-to-earth joint is sparse-to-brutal, with plain walls done in white, the service counter is canteen-ish, the square table on a single pole with four chairs around it just isn't the inviting place to spend time. In restaurant terms, it leaves something to be desired.

I ordered the MBS 4 Australian Wagyu Ribeye, and was surprised when told the dish would be finished by the chef at the tableside - a service often reserved for fine dining. The hefty piece that arrived at the table was carved into thick slices and torch-flamed. Trust me, there's nothing quite like a meal and a show. But here's the thing - it was pulled off with a feeble presentation on a metal trolley. To make matter worse, instead of enjoying the delightful aroma wafting from the torched meat, I had to suffer the stink of cigarette smoke from the server. Anyone can put on a suit but wearing it well is another story.

And the taste of this ribeye? Unctuously tender but lacking in flavour. Typically a ribeye would pack a 'beef-y' flavour because it's marbled with fat. And we know fat is flavour. Is it why the truffle mustard and sea salt were offered to complement the meat, I wonder.

🗒 MBS 4 Australian Wagyu Ribeye - 200g, ($42)

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