Wed 2 Apr 2008
Since our favourite uncle ‘chef’ quitted from The Grill Western Food, a kopi tiam western food store at 567 Balestier Road, we’ve being searching for a good (inexpensive) black pepper sirloin steak replacement. It must be in a casual setting that we can dine wearing burmudas and sandals.
Kopi tiam based Botak Jones cannot make it as their standard dropped like crazy. I chance upon another kopi tiam based Western Food stall just opposite ‘Chomp Chomp’ and gave it a try. Ordered a medium rare steak and was very satisifed with what I was served. I returned 2 days later with my mum, but the cook was not able to replicate what he served me previously. I gave them another chance returning with Jaime…OMG, I nearly throw the hot plate back at the waiter. I ordered medium rare and they served me a well done steak, no wonder they took over 40mins to prepare it.
We decided to go back to town and found Phin’s Steakhouse along Liang Seah Street to our liking. The setting is casual enough, the steak is good and the prices affordable.
Sirloin steak with mushroom sauce
We enjoyed the Sirloin steak (not black pepper), but hate the parking along Liang Seah St.
Not giving up on our search, we decided to check out UNO Beef House at Toa Payoh. It’s part of a kopi tiam sharing the tables & seatings, but occupied a partitioned with it’s own shop front. The place was crowded. Everybody seem to be ordering western food from UNO. We noticed at least 6 tables with 3-4 pax each who were not served their food yet. We looked at each other knowing it’s gonna be a long wait.
We ordered black pepper tenderloin steak and it took more than 30 mins for the food to be served. It came with a sizzle, but one look at it, I know it’s not gonna be ‘Black pepper‘ enough for me. The taste comfirmed my observations. They shouldn’t have called it black pepper tenderloin steak.
I must say, the steak was surprisingly tender and juicy. I ordered medium rare and it’s done just right, however, the hot plate was too hot and the steak turned medium half way through. A nice little touch was the giant pomme noisette (fried potato ball) instead of the usual mashed potatoes. It was buttery and smooth inside, and crispy on the outside. I like it! Yummy!!
It was really not what we were looking for (black pepper), but we returned 4 times within the last 3 weeks and brought others with us. We forgot to take any photo of the steak due to the waiting…and me didn’t want my medium rare to turn medium. In fact, for the last meal, I ordered rare and it was perfect for me as I could enjoy the steak slowly.
The ample parking lots could also be a draw for returning.
Our search is still on. I heard the unlce (The Grill) is cooking for a western food stall in Yishun, if anybody reading this know where he is, please post a comment. I really missed his black pepper sirloin steak.
Next place to try, Tims Restaurant & Cafe at blk 95 Toa Payoh Lor 4.