A High Steaks Game

A High Steaks Game

For divine bovine that raises the steaks-uh, stakes, of the beef game.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

For a less than thirty seater restaurant, Deli’s Kitchen is fatalistically and foolishly overambitious. Kaarage? Check. Wagyu burgers? Check. Pork belly don? Check. Black Angus Gyu Don? Check that too bruv. Ox tongue served in every imaginable way that includes a wonderfully white bowl of rice? Yep, check. Wagyu Hamburg katsu Don? Check. Katsu Kagoshima pork loin? Oh yeah, check that old chap. Lamb shoulder portions named in honor of Genghis Khan, the Ultimate Chad who impregnated more women than history could count? Check that too.

There are probably a whole lotta good eats on the menu, and one of the outstanding offerings would definitely be their brilliant Black Angus Prime Sirloin Steak Don ($29++). While pricey enough to make you take a step back and reevaluate all your decisions leading up to this point, the return on your investment is arguably worth it.

A mountain of short grain rice is the solid foundation upon which the entire slab of stellar sirloin steak is laid on. The beef weighs in at an acceptable two hundred grams, which isn’t too little, but isn’t much either. The sirloin steak is done to a marvelous medium rare and seasoned simply with salt and ground black pepper, allowing the beef’s innate beauty to shine through. The beef is terrifically tender, and the fat marbling within is breathtaking. It was so tender all I needed to cut it apart was a fork and a spoon, and every bite was beefy bliss. Drizzled lightly with some savory steak sauce and garnished with a measure of crispy deep fried garlic chips, the steak was a superstar.

The salad on the side is there to make sure you get your fiber in, but it’s been significantly jazzed up by the generous addition of Kewpie sesame dressing all over it. And as we all know, sesame dressing makes everything better.

It might be expensive, but veggies, carbs and proteins in the form of that sexy, succulent steak are flawlessly fused together in this bowl of sumptuousness. The result is a mouthwatering meal so perfectly balanced that even Thanos would approve of it.

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When in Australia, there’s really only one thing you should be eating. Thick, juicy, massive, meaty, succulent steaks. Of course, there is no such thing as a bad steak in Australia, but some of them are truly legendary.

I present to you Kent Hotel bistro’s Michelin black Label T-bone, which the bistro proudly claims as a premium cut of steak exclusive to them. The three hundred gram steak joins forces with a yuge stuffed portobello mushroom, a salad and an absolute armada of chips, all of which (sans the salad) were doused in a gratifying gravy.

The T-bone steak was done to a magnificent medium rare, and while it wasn’t the most tender of T-bone steaks, it was still sufficiently supple and tender. The sumptuous beefy flavors will happily run riot all over your tastebuds and satiate your carnivorous cravings.

The stuffed portobello mushroom is coated in a cracking crumb, and even though most of said crumb had been softened by the deluge of gravy, the unsullied bits will have you going ‘crikey, this is a cruncher!’ Overall, this is definitely a sublime steak that you will never have enough of.

God I’m gonna miss Australia so much.

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I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get over just how inordinately fresh the steaks in Australia are. This here three hundred gram slab of scotch fillet (that’s Australian for ribeye) that’s the centerpiece on Mary Ellen’s Merewether Surf & Turf Platter (A$40) might not have the fat marbling I was expecting, but good God it was terrifically tender and impeccably juicy.

Of course, the civilized way to have steak is medium rare, and the three hundred grams of pure beef power is undeniably heavenly. Seasoned simply with just sea salt and pepper, the scotch fillet is simply scintillating as the inherent excellence of the bovine is allowed to take centerstage with its backup repertoire.

Oddly enough, contrary to the reports that I had received prior to stepping foot into ‘Straya, the seafood was rather disappointing. I’ve definitely had better and immeasurably fresher king prawns while dining out in Singapore than over here. However, the rich, delicious sauce drizzled upon the surf n turf platter worked to alleviate the shortcomings of the seafood. While the scallops certainly weren’t disappointing, they were rather run of the mill and aren’t really worth mentioning.

The superstar of the show is definitely the scotch fillet, and it’s ain’t hard to see why. Granted, the supporting cast could be better, but it still make for a rather delicious dining experience nonetheless.

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Down here in ‘Straya, the home of kangaroos, Tim Tams and Steve Irwin (may God bless his soul), a ribeye ain’t a ribeye, it’s called a scotch fillet. Either way, it’s still bloody delicious, and when you have a mad wombat who decides to marry a 300 gram grass fed Hunter Valley scotch fillet to a whole mountain of truffled mushroom risotto (A$35.50), one couldn’t really care less.

The ultra tender scotch fillet is grilled to a perfect medium rare, which allows the beef to just slowly start melting in your mouth. Seasoned simply with sea salt and black pepper, the natural beefy flavors are at the centre of attention, with the salt and pepper providing that extra oomph to the steak. The red wine jus that glazed the steak added an extra and very welcome depth of flavor to the already stellar steak.

As for the reservoir of risotto, the risotto was tremendously tasty and suitably thick. The brown sauce that surrounded it was rich and chock full of delicious flavors. Even though I couldn’t quite smell or taste the truffle in there, the risotto was so ridiculously redolent I relished every last grain of it.

The Happy Wombat certainly knows how to spread the joy to other species, and they certainly know how to turn humans in to happy humans by way of their fabulous food.

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While it is priced at a whopping $56.90++, The Hideout’s Australian Wagyu Sirloin Steak with a marbling score of 6-7 is actually worth the steep price of admission to Flavortown.

While they were overenthusiastic with the black pepper on their grilled veggies on the side, they got the seasoning bang on right for the steak itself. It’s pleasantly peppery and superbly savory, which is all a good steak really needs. As for the slab of wonderful wagyu itself, it pretty much melts in your mouth thanks to the magnificent marbling of fat going on in the steak. The red wine sauce on the side is rather redolent too. It’s rich, savory and very aromatic. It’s also slightly sweet, and it reminds me of molasses oddly enough.

The only problem with the steak was that it was cut too thin, and as such, the kitchen couldn’t thoroughly cook the cap of fat at the top of the steak without cooking the steak past medium rare. It would’ve been better if it was sliced shorter in length, but thicker so as to allow for more thorough cooking and searing without overcooking the steak.

Well, hindsight is always 20/20. With that being said, this is still a stellar steak, and you shouldn’t make a missed-steak by not trying this at least once.

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The most exciting thing about Meat Market is the fact that they use a wood fired open pit to barbecue all their meats. The wood they use changes on a monthly basis, which means that the meats you had a month ago and the meats you have today will not taste the same.

They were burning almond wood when I went if I remember correctly, and almond wood adds a mild, nutty flavor to whatever’s being grilled. This here slab of ribeye steak ($14.90++) is BBQ’d to a perfect medium rare, and is seasoned satisfactorily. The wood smoke isn’t very noticeable, but there is an underlying scent of smoke in every steak slice.

While the steak was savory, passably tender and satisfying to my carnivorous cravings, it was quite dry. Granted, it probably is just an ordinary breed of ribeye, but it wasn’t as juicy as I would expect from a ribeye cut. Perhaps they sliced it up right after it left the grill instead of letting it rest, but the end result was a dry steak.

Fortunately, the butter sauce on the side saved the steak from eternal shame, as dipping steak into it resulted in the resurrection of the bovine. The butter lubricates and provides the moisture that was so desperately lacking in the steak, and it’s mild salty & herbal qualities complement the steak seasoning well.

The ribeye is a little disappointing given the glowing reviews of this place that I’ve seen online, but this place has a whole lotta potential. I hope to return to improved offerings from the Meat Market sometime soon.

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Sutachi is a brand, spanking new Japanese food stall that’s opened up right next to Smith Street Taps at the second level of Chinatown Complex. They feature lots of bar bites (think truffle fries, edamame, grilled half shell scallops and so on) to go with the alcoholic libations next door. Talk about location, location location!

However, if you’re in the mood for a proper meal, Sutachi does serve up proper ricebowls and pasta. Featured here is their $19.50 Foie Gras Gyu Donburi, which sees and entire cut of steak cooked to a perfect medium rare, sliced up and rested next to a gargantuan slab of foie gras upon a bed of warm, sticky short grain rice.

The beef is almost certainly a cheaper cut like round or flank, but Sutachi managed to handle what they have expertly. The beef is very lean, but it’s surprisingly tender and juicy considering the absolute lack of fat on the bovine. The better part is that there’s so many thick slices of beef to maximize and extend the duration of your culinary enjoyment.

However, they almost completely ruined the fatty liver. Anyone can tell with one glance that it’s obscenely overcooked, which is why I’m baffled as to why the guy manning the cooking line didn’t. A few seconds more, and the poor foie gras would’ve probably caught fire.

It’s not that everything was terrible, but when the main motivation for ordering a $19.50 donburi turns out to be badly overcooked, the disappointment is real. Until they can figure out how to perfectly sear that gigantic, gorgeous glob of foie gras, my advice would be to go for the much cheaper gyu donburi at $7.50, as the beef is excellent and well worth the moolah.

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Steakout has been around for ages, and they’ve had a change of chefs a year or two ago. However, the last time I paid a trip to Steakout was also a couple of years ago, which means that there’s now only one question that steaks out: has the quality dropped?

Fortunately, the answer is a resounding no. This 250 gram slab of Angus ribeye straight from New Zealand costs $26.90 nett and is worth the moolah. Tender, succulent bovine is sublimely seasoned with salt & pepper, and served up with a redolent red wine sauce. That’s really all you need for a decent meal that’ll steak out in your memory.

Of course, the sides are still rather disappointing, but bear in mind that you’re here to chow down on the cow, not on the cow’s food.

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The Quarters’ charcoal grill is pulling some major overtime, as this $38, 250 gram slab of prime bovine also gets that lovin’ grillin’ alongside eight (!) other dishes.

To be completely honest, it definitely did not feel like Angus ribeye as the steak wasn’t as tender as we were expecting, and it’s definitely not as tender as a good quality ribeye should be.

However, where the tenderness fails, taste takes over. Superbly seasoned with just a touch of topnotch sea salt and some cracked black pepper, the beef is grilled to perfection with that beautiful seared crust on the outside which means more flavor. Additionally, the smokiness from the charcoal grilling is infused deep into the beef, granting extra scent and flavor.

At $28 nett, it’s one decently priced piece of steak.

This was a hosted tasting, courtesy of The Quarters, and thanks to @sir.fried.chicken for the invite!

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Birders' Steak Don ($19) stars a charcoal grilled topside cut of steak lying invitingly upon a bed of warm koshihikari rice with an explosive onsen egg and a smattering of crisp, deep fried garlic bits. While the beef isn't the most tender of bovines (it's a topside cut after all), it's still more than acceptable.
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The flavors, however, is where the money's at. Savory, meaty and slightly sweet flavors from the teriyaki (I suspect) marinade mesh perfectly with the sensually smoky aroma from the charcoal to give you one supremely sublime selection for any occasion.
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This was a hosted Eatup, courtesy of the good folks over at Birders and Burpple!

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Ironically enough, Pasta J is more well known for its steaks than it is for its pasta despite the obvious name. But when the steaks are as sublime as their Super Striploin ($31.90+, Pasta J has a 10% service charge), it's completely understandable as to why their steaks outshine their already attractive pastas.

Mind you, the Super Striploin is being terribly modest when it calls itself the Super Striploin. A sensationally seasoned slab of striploin is grilled to a magnificent medium rare and is served up with just a helping of coarse sea salt and said sea salt interspersed with chili flakes. Frankly speaking, the stellar slab of steak required neither sauce nor the salts served on the side due to the sterling seasoning skills applied to the meat. It's neither dry aged nor wet aged, but it's still just as delicious.

Every bite was chock full of simply magical meaty flavors mingling with the saltiness and spice of the seasoning. As for the beef itself, it's so tender you could probably cut it with a spoon, and it might just melt in your mouth. The texture was so soft and velvety it was almost like eating butter, but with extra meatiness and substance.

The steak is served with a selection of sumptuous sides, which comprise of a trio of Pasta J's fabled sautéed mushrooms that have almost all the water within fried out, roasted carrots that I initially mistook for sweet potatoes, and luscious, carb-laden creamy mashed potatoes. Pasta J's shrooms aren't just your ordinary fungi, no sir. Sautéing the water out of them has transformed them into intensely earthy and noticeably nutty mushrooms while still staying charmingly chewy. The roasted carrots are strikingly sweet, and the mash is delicious, heavy and creamy without overdoing it. These three stooges just serve to heighten the gluttonous pleasure from the divine bovine that rightfully takes centre stage.

Be warned, this striploin is so good, it'll strip away all your cash if you're not careful.

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Normally, steaks are either wet aged or dry aged for extra oomph. But not here at Picnic Café. A 200 gram choice cut of beef ribeye is beer brined for 24 hours before being slapped on a grill and done to a majestic medium rare. I mean, just look at the pink on that steak!

As proprietor and head chef Chris readily admits, the slab of bovine used is not Angus or wagyu, and is nothing particularly special. However, that beer brining process causes the otherwise tough proteins to break down into much more tender fibers, resulting in a truly tender piece of meat. Tacked on with the superb seasoning, it's certainly a meaty marvel to behold.

The palatable port wine sauce added an extra touch of lavishness to the already stellar steak, but I would have preferred it served separately so that I could properly taste what exactly the beer brining process had done to the steak.

I don't think I've ever managed to get so much satisfaction out of $24 before, and I'd gladly drop another $24 anytime.

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