Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse, Singapore

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Category: Western/Tuscan – Steakhouse

I’d heard many good things about Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse and had been meaning to go for some time. When we arranged to have dinner, I was having a steak craving and since my companion was indifferent to the various dining options I provided, we agreed that it would be a good time to give Bistecca a try.

25 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore 238969, Tel: 6735 6739, Opens 12 – 2pm and 6 – 10pm

Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse is among the row of shophouses next to the Temple on the main road. Most people visiting the area would park at UE Square, from which you could cut through UE or walk along Unity Road and then make a right down Mohamed Sultan Road. The restaurant will be opposite with a steep flight of steps leading to a dimly lit rustic setting with a retractable deep red outdoor shade above the entrance with the words “Bistecca”.

Damage: $$$-$$$$

Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse is more of an occasions kind of place. The prices are steep, but the food is lovely and service is great. If you’re going to shell out for a steak at Bistecca (and if you didn’t go alone), I suggest the Fiorentina steak ($188) – it’s the best steak I’ve tasted in Singapore thus far, and I’ve been on the hunt for the best for a while now. I might just say it’s better than Cut by Wolfgang Puck, and for a comparable price point, is on par with Wooloomooloo Steakhouse (although a direct comparison can’t be drawn since they were different cuts) and trumps Bedrock Bar & Grill.

To go: Yes, whenever the occasion calls for steak

As long as you have a team of 2 or 3, take to Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse for the Fiorentina. Good service, fantastic steak – I’ve not had a meatier, juicier, more perfectly done steak elsewhere. The 2 of us could barely finish the Fiorentina and were majorly stuffed, so if your team is a group of eaters with moderately-sized appetites, you should do just nicely. Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse Singapore Fiorentina Best Steak Bedrock Wooloomooloo

The steak is a organic-fed wagyu-cross which is dry aged. It is then grilled over a wood-fire grill which intensifies the flavour with a slightly smoky touch. On medium, the steak was tender and still a deep pinkish red on the inside, perfectly seared on the outside without crusting, and the juices flowed out readily with each slice. Steak is challenging to photograph, and the dimly lighted interiors didn’t help my mission, so go- see (and taste) for yourself. The side dishes were good too, although quite pricey. For dessert, we had a Panna Cotta which was soft and creamy, but you could probably find similar desserts elsewhere.

Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse Singapore Fiorentina Best Steak Bedrock Wooloomooloo dessert panna cotta

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Daijinmon (大仁門), Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan

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Category: Japanese – Barbecue

Daijinmon is the most highly-recommended Japanese barbecue place and is touted as the best one in Otaru on Tripadvisor. If a sushi/sashimi-overdose was possible, it certainly happened during the trip, and so we decided to have barbecue instead. Daijinmon has an incredible wait if you don’t place a reservation, and since we happened to be strolling in the area in the mid afternoon and spotted it within radius of our Google Maps, my cousin and I went ahead to scout it out while our family rested their feet from an entire morning of walking about and waited for us in the shade by the Otaru canal (小樽運河).

1-13-5 Ironai, Otaru 047-0031, Hokkaido, Tel: +81 134-23-2876

It seems to me that Daijinmon only has branches in Otaru. I’m Japanese-illiterate, so if you do visit their website and discover otherwise, please let me know so I can share this with everyone 🙂 It was easy to find with GPS since Google Map pins it in the right place. The signs outside are an easy spot- with mouthwatering pictures yelling about the juicy goodness of fine cuts being licked by a charcoal heat.

Damage: $$

Unbelievable is all I can say. If we’d had the same thing back home in Singapore, it would’ve easily costed us 4 to 5-fold more. We had slices of wagyu, beef slices of every cut, fine cuts of kurobuta pork, vegetables for the grill… everything, and it summed up only about $35 each.

To go: YES PLEASE!!

Are you kidding? If I were in Otaru, I’d go back multiple times a week! The place is comfortable, clean, has friendly service staff with a great service attitude, delicious cuts of quality meats with the tastiest sauces.

Daijinmon 大仁門 Best Beef Wagyu Meat Barbeque Barbecue Otaru Hokkaido Japan Food Review Travel Blog


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

Daijinmon was further away that it’d appeared on Google Maps. We navigated the neat grid-like roads of Otaru under the gaze of the afternoon sun, taking a left 3 junctions down into a side street, and by the time we were on the right street we were melting. The clean wooden facade of Daijinmon was immediately visible, and we loitered around outside waiting for Daijinmon to open again at 3.45pm so we could place our reservation. I was poking my foot around in the gravel to distract myself from the heat when the sliding door suddenly activated and a tall, slightly awkward girl came out, pulled a chair to the side of the entrance, and looked at us curiously.

Re-ser-va-tion?, I said, and drew with my fingers some imaginary notepad on which I took an imaginary note, and then pointed at my watch whilst saying eight peo-ple at eight o’clock, while my cousin lifted up fingers to show number 8. She gave a confused look, and quickly ducked back inside. We looked at each other and shrugged, not knowing if she’d gotten our meaning. After a while she came back out, and we asked her again about the booking. O-K, she said, O-K. It seemed she didn’t need our name or any contact, but perhaps that could be because they didn’t see many foreign chinese people in their restaurant? Either way, when our entire convoy arrived at 8pm that night, we were ushered inside and upstairs without a moments hesitation.

On the second floor, we left our shoes in a shoe rack and stepped onto the raised deck which was flanked by private rooms with wooden sliding doors on the left and right, walls fitted with ricepaper. It was cozy, with lots of dark wooden furnishing, and cushions on which guests could seat themselves around the table and grill. The menu was extensive but entirely in Japanese, so we did a fair amount of pointing, gesturing and attempted to get our point across in sl-ow hal-ting english, which seemed to work quite well. We ended up with a feast to behold, and we’ve fondly remembered that meal ever since. One of the best Japanese barbecues I’ve ever had, at a standard comparable to Gyu Kaku here (or maybe even better), and at an incredible price. This is just one of the many reasons I need to find my way back to Japan- and perhaps you should to, too.

Daijinmon 大仁門 Best Beef Wagyu Meat Barbeque Barbecue Otaru Hokkaido Japan Food Review Travel Blog

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse, Singapore

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Category: Western – Steakhouse

I visited Wooloomooloo Steakhouse when they first opened in Singapore, and I’ve gone back (and have been wanting to go back) at every opportunity. Wooloomooloo Steakhouse has a cosy spot in my book as a place that serves a great steak, is cosy (yet comfortable enough and not overly pretentious), and good to go with friends, family, and even that special someone.

2 Stamford Road, Level 3 Swissotel The Stamford, 178882 (Access from Raffles City Shopping Mall)

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse is tucked at a corner, just behind the escalators leading up to the conference venues, on level 3. You’ll be led from the entrance past chillers displaying a variety of wine and a classically-furnished bar area (think cigars and men in top hats) into the restaurant, which is surprisingly larger than it appears from the outside.

Damage: $$$

They’re reasonable (by that I mean around 70 bucks for an Australian Black Angus Beef 12-oz Rib Eye or Sirloin). If you don’t feel like spending a bomb, I’d pick them over CUT by Wolfgang Puck or Morton’s. In this price range, they trumph Bedrock Bar & Grill, and are comparable to Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse, although I’d go to the latter just for the Fiorentina.

To go: Yes, whenever possible

Christmas time is actually a really good time to go to Wooloomooloo Steakhouse. They usually have a very comprehensive 4-course Christmas menu for $68++ at lunchtime, including a steak option for the mains. The rest of the menu is fixed. For people who can’t eat a whole lot, a set menu makes more sense as well. As for the rest of the lucky ones with bottomless pits for stomachs, by all means, feast and be merry!

The ambience by day is comfortable, cosy, with light coming in from the full length windows, and with views of the Padang. By night, the place seems to transform into a warm, rustic and charming atmosphere, with gentle lighting illuminating the dark wood.


A MORE DETAILED RECOUNT

StartersThe bread that opened our meal was an onion bun which was served warm. The bun was soft, yet with a thin outer layer that provided a bit of bite, while the inside was fluffy and moist. I loved the onions atop, which was well complemented by the sea salt butter, although I thought some of the flavour could have been better kept at the edges which had been heated out a little too much.

The cream of pumpkin soup was next – creamy and flavourful. The highlight of this dish, however, was really the foie gras which was seared to perfection. Many places overcook foie gras, but this one wasn’t; the searing brought out the intensity of the flavour on the outside, while the inside remained soft and almost tofu-like.

Salmon on cream cheese

The appetiser was a smoked salmon dish on some cream cheese and topped with mint leaves. I thought this was an excellent choice, being light and full of fresh bright flavours, and really set the stage for the heavier (and meatier) mains and creaminess of the dessert to follow. I am personally not a fan of smoked salmon because I find it tends to be rather salty, but this was quite alright even for me.

The steak, oh the steak, was really my favourite part of the meal – as it should be, considering it is after all a steakhouse. It was a true medium, springy and still red through the middle, was tender through and kept its juices. The brown gravy brought out the meat’s woody notes, and the mash on the side was pureed into a cream.

Fruitcake dessert and coffee

The dessert was a Christmastime special of fruitcake, seated in a moat of a creamy vanilla sauce, topped with vanilla ice cream and a caramelised thin. I wasn’t a fan of the fruitcake (nor of most fruitcakes for that matter) because it was quite hard and the flavours were too synthetic and gummy for my liking, although the ice cream was fine. The coffee that came later was a great way to finish the meal and cleanse the palate though – strong and full-bodied with a mild bitter finish, accompanied with a little chocolate truffle cube.