Monday, August 20, 2012

New king of steakhouses in Singapore: Ruth's Chris opens

A new king is crowned for the best steak in Singapore! Ruth's Chris makes its entrance to the Singapore scene, and causes a sensation. I have always loved Ruth's Chris steaks, be it in a restaurant in the US or when I am in Hong Kong, but now I can also enjoy their excellent steaks in Singapore.


Newly opened, now in Marina Mandarin.

I have long lamented the poverty of the steak scene in Singapore. See Lamentations and Mamou's in Manila. Even my friend, celebrity blogger Leslie Tay has blogged about Singapore lack of good steak scene when he visited Mamou's on my recommendation.

But as Singaporeans, we always strive to upgrade...so slowly but surely, the market is responding. First Morton's, then Cut by Wolfgang Puck fired their salvos. I thought Cut was excellent, and crowned it the king of steakhouses in Singapore. But recently...as recent as last week, an old US favourite Ruth's Chris opened up. And allow me to let the cat out of the bag...the King is dead, Long live the King. For me, now, Ruth's Chris is the ultimate steak place in Singapore. But read on...

Ruth's Chris is not only known for the great steaks served on porcelain plates heated to some 280C, but also their magnificent starters and desserts. We began with two starters...the famous crab cakes and a shrimp dish.

The crab cakes are made purely from crab meat...no fillers, no flour. Pure crabs, spices, a little vegetables, slap on pan, fry, serve on sizzling hot plate of lemon butter. Needless to say, impressive. The huge chunks of blue crab were sweet, fresh, aromatic. Very nice and highly recomended.

Barbecue shrimps in Creole butter

The shrimps were good, though for me, not the best I have tasted...thought it was a bit overcooked. But the sauce was very nice. Perhaps a touch rarer, perhaps if the shrimps (actually prawns as they were actually large, but the Americans call them all shrimps) were a bit crunchier.

I also had a salad

Called the Ruth's Chop Salad, this is a Ruth's Chris original. Iceberg lettuce, baby spinach are tossed with red onions, mushrooms, green olives, bacon, eggs, hearts of palm, croutons, blue cheese and dressing, topped with crispy onions....sounds like an advertisement of old. Nice crisp veg, light touch with the dressing and crumbs of wonderfully aromatic blue cheese within.

Some of my dining companions had the soup

I didn't try it, but those who did nodded in satisfaction as they ate, so I assumed it is good.

Now on to the main event...the steaks!

The ribeye

Rich, tender, fat. Magnificent. The heart of fat within is clearly visible. The doneness perfect:

I had a small cut to taste...very nice.

But for my mains, I had opted for the New York Striploin...aka Sirloin. Only USDA Prime cut is used in Ruth's Chris, so the meat was deliciously juicy and tender.

Legend has it that this cut was served to King, and when he ate it, he was so pleased that he drew his sword, and knighted the cut of loin...thereby from thence it was called Sir Loin...

I had requested as I normally do...medium rare, charred on the outside. Looked almost charred outside...I would have preferred a bit more charring, but this was way better than with most other steakhouses outside of the US (Mamou's excepted). The inside was pink and medium rare. The plate, being very hot at 260C kept the steak sizzling on the herbed butter.

This is what a great steak should be. The consistency achieved by Ruth's Chris is amazing...this was how I remembered the sirloin was served to me in Dallas, in Chicago, in Hong Kong. And equally superbly, now in Singapore. Great steak, and my new King of steaks in Singapore.

The meat was tender, almost melting in the mouth, though not quite, afterall, this was a cut of loin...not ribeye. The flavour was robust, full bodied. The beefiness was present and wonderfully aromatic. There was a touch of "foie gras" flavour, but I had earlier discussed with Stanley and he revealed that they do not dry age the steaks, but the USDA prime meat is wet aged. Interesting. The consistency and flavour was excellent, like dry aged steaks. Similar to, and equal to the dry aged steaks I ate at Smith's and Wollensky in Las Vegas.

Having eaten this great steak...its a hearty serving...the small serving is 340g, and you can also opt for a large serving which is 450g. Its time for desserts...though by then I had little room for sweets...I was satiated with the meat, and totally satisfied.

But the sides...I forget...Asparagus with Hollandaise

and mushrooms, sauteed.

Good, but with such great steaks, these had to take second position....but the desserts deserve special mention. The Apple Crumble

Done as only the Americans can do apple pie...nice crusty, crumbly pastry, beautifully sweet, sour apples within and topped with a rich creamy ice cream.

But the cheesecake is the star...someone mentioned "life changing cheesecake" when she tasted it...I am not in total agreement, as I am still recovering from the greatness of the beef, but don't necessarily disagree

Rich, a touch of salt within the cheesy interior, but creamy, mild-ish. Goes magnificently with the slight tartness of the berries.

This is an invited review tasting, so please be aware of what this may imply. Many thanks to Stanley Ko (pic above), President of the Hasmore...the holding company for Ruth's Chris and Linda Lee of MST Group who handles the PR. Great team.

But truly, based on ambience, service, and most importantly quality and taste of the steaks...this is the new reference standard for Singapore steak houses.

Ruth's Chris Restaurant
6 Raffles Boulevard
Marina Mandarin

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