Craving a piece of prime beef or a tasty rack of ribs? Well, you’re in luck. Singapore is saturated with meat-centric restaurants – from smokehouses and rotisseries to burger joints and steakhouses. Here, we’ve rounded up our ultimate selection of meaty meals to try across town.
Morton’s The Steakhouse
Speciality: Splurge-worthy steaks
Dining here is a decadent experience, perfect for a special occasion. Start at the beautiful bar, like we did, to enjoy some “Mortinis” before moving on to the luxurious dining room to enjoy a full-on phenomenal experience; everything from the delicious food to the superb service reflects that of the original, US-based Morton’s restaurant chain.
Up first was the Morton’s Baked Prime Ocean Platter ($85-$250, depending on size), a selection of sea scallops wrapped in bacon, jumbo lump crab cakes, oysters Rockefeller and, my favourite, shrimp Alexander. It’s not only fantastic taste-wise, but great for group sharing. The apricot chutney served as an accompaniment to the scallops is absolutely incredible; we ended up putting it on everything throughout the entire meal!
For mains, we tried the delectable centre-cut filet mignon ($80-99) and centre-cut prime rib-eye ($102), both perfectly cooked at medium-rare, accompanied by Parmesan and truffle matchstick fries – a must if you’re already splurging! Or, go for the equally sinful sour cream and horseradish mashed potatoes ($24) if you want your potatoes in creamy form! The flavourful, sautéed button mushrooms ($23) were also a standout side at our table – a surprising crowd-pleaser!
For non-meat-eaters looking to enjoy Morton’s, ordering the lovely Chilean sea bass ($77) is the way to go. This place does seafood just as well as its steak!
Apart from the apricot chutney? The cheesecake! Though the lava cake is the famous dessert here, I adored the New York cheesecake ($24) – and I’m not usually a cheesecake lover. It had a crème brûlée-type taste that I just couldn’t get enough of; I’d highly recommend it to round off your meal.
Psst: The Morton’s happy hour is a must. Offered every day from 5pm to 7pm, it includes six different martinis available for $15.95 each, and complimentary steak sandwiches are served to bar-goers.
– Amy Greenburg
Salted and Hung
Specialty: Australian-inspired, in-house curing and grilling with the mantra, “Four legs good, two legs bad!”
The vibe here is cool and relaxed, spacious, with a touch of chrome: a utilitarian feel. The open kitchen takes pride of place, surrounded by a bar with high stools, so diners can see the wonderful meats being prepped by Chef Drew Nocente and team. We troughed/grazed/ ploughed our way through the trendy Chef’s Sharing Menu ($68 per person), which included original and creative dishes like the charcuterie selection, beetroot tartare, pork sausage with pickled cabbage and mustard, and the blackmore 9+ wagyu tri tip with anchovy cream, sweet potato, pickles and chardonnay. If that all sounds too, well, meaty, the fish tail with jamon, fennel and crab sauce was beautiful, and well-timed in between two substantial meat courses – something a little more “refreshing” before the guilty meat sweats kicked in. Rounding off the impressive six-courser was pavlova with nasturtium and blood orange: an interesting combination, which could have done with being left to stand for a while before being served as it was quite hard.
It’s got to be the wagyu tri tip. The meat was faultless. We loved the fact that all cuts of the meat are used here, so no waste!
Psst: It was pretty busy even on a Tuesday night, so book ahead to secure a table.
– Emi Finch
Speciality: Charcoal-flamed barbecue meats with an Asian twist
Set in a quaint shophouse in River Valley is Fat Lulu’s, a casual and industrial-chic café serving up barbecue meats and dainty desserts. To start, we sampled the spicy Iberico pork “Sataytay” ($12 for five). The skewers of pork collar were charred with house sambal and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), and came piping hot from the grill. Up next was grilled Mangalica pork collar ($24) paired with lightly charred sambal okra; with just the right proportions of fat and lean meat, it’s definitely something we’d come back for.
Another recommendation is the spicy barbecue pork ribs ($28), which came with a generous serving of kecap manis, coriander and lime. The tender meat slipped off the bones and had a smoky fragrance. We also ordered theDuh Meat Board ($28), which came with sambal pork chop, wagyu chuck rib and a side of crisp, charred kailan. These all went well with our side of creamy potato gratin ($8).
Not only were the desserts delicious, but also entirely Instagram-worthy. We especially loved the “Atas” Kinder Bueno ($16), which showcased four distinct textures: chocolate bar filled with Bailey’s hazelnut cream, soft chocolate sponge, creamy chocolate mousse and chocolate sherbet. If you prefer something lighter and tangy, try the berries and white chocolate ($16) with frozen cassis foam, cassis granita, elderflower-infused strawberries and white chocolate ice cream.
Grilled Mangalica pork collar
Psst: The eatery can get quite packed so book ahead!
– Lindsay Yap
Specialty: A genuine American-style burger – simple and tasty, and the same recipe as the one served in the original New York Burger Joint branch.
Some things aren’t meant to be served up gourmet, especially burgers. The folks behind Burger Joint know this, which is why they franchised out the US restaurant to Singapore. And they brought everything over, too, even the beef, which is ordered direct from the same Nebraska farm. Burger Joint has its own butcher, too, who preps, grinds and patties the delicious beef each morning. Enter the restaurant from Gemmill Lane and you’ll find a no-frills, basement-style space; booths and wooden tables are surrounded by graffitied walls – ask for some markers and you can leave your tag.
When it comes to the food, it’s a pretty simple choice: hamburger or cheeseburger with bacon and jalapeño extras. Pick rare, medium or well done and your patty is on the grill, cooked to perfection. You can add crispy fries ($5.50) or feast on the portobello mushroom burger ($15) if you’re after something vegetarian.
When it comes to drinks, the milkshake ($11.80) is your traditional option; but, if you’re after something stronger, try the Boozy Milkshake ($15.80) with a shot of Baileys. If beer is more your style, Burger Joint features 18 beer taps, pouring pints ($16- $22) of craft IPA, ale, lager and pilsner.
To experience true burger indulgence, order the Double Bacon Cheeseburger with the works ($29.40). This is basically everything – bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles, ketchup, mayo and mustard – on two patties cooked to order.
Psst: The dining is super casual; you pick up your order from the counter, served in a paper bag – so keep an eye out if the place is packed.
– Tim Colman
Meat N’ Chill
Specialty: Flavourful grub in generous portions
If you’re craving some good barbecue, this family-friendly diner is the place to go. Located along a stretch of restaurants facing the main road, Meat N’ Chill offers a range of hearty meat dishes and sides perfect for sharing. We started off with two signature starters: Bro Bruce quesadilla ($8) and buffalo wings ($9). Served piping hot with ranch dip on the side, the quesadillas were stuffed with juicy, marinated pulled pork and cheddar; if you’re not too hungry, they would serve as a substantial main on their own. Fans of spice will love the buffalo wings, which are sweet, sticky and savoury with a kick of heat. Mains wise, the Shira XO braised beef short ribs ($34) are a must-order: fall-off-the-bone meat soaked in a rich, flavourful stew. As with most mains, you get to pick two sides – we highly recommend the sweet pickled apples and onions, which work as a great palate cleanser in between each mouthful.
Black truffle Angus rib-eye steak ($38), a generous 250g slab of meat grilled to perfection and sprinkled with fresh truffle. It was tender, juicy and flavourful; one of the best steaks I’ve had in a long time.
Psst: Come by on a weekday when it’s less crowded; we visited on a Wednesday night and shared the space with another couple, so it was quiet and intimate. Plus, you get 20 percent off most alcoholic drinks from 3pm to 8pm on Monday to Thursday.
– Anthia Chng
Specialty: Boldly smoked and tender meat, accompanied by traditional favourites like mac-and-cheese.
Low-key, high-fun and distinctly American in style, this smokehouse serves up delicious dishes with a side of rockabilly tunes. With two authentic smokers flown in from the US and a specialised cool room for charcuterie, you’re guaranteed big, robust flavours!
The barbecue platter for two ($95) offers tender ribs rubbed with spices, soft chicken soaked in buttermilk, and pork with crackling so crispy, you can hear the snap as you bite it. Do not count calories when you visit this place, it’s all about the taste!
The décor is fun and relaxed, with blacksmith memorabilia and Nebraskan number-plates on the walls (a nod to chef Andrew Baldus’s heritage), and long benches and shared tables – this is a great place for a group dinner with your carnivore friends.
Follow a taste of the famed blackened brisket with a pickleback ($8) – a shot of Jack Daniel’s whiskey chased by a shot of the in-house pickle juice, to really bring out the smoky favours of the meat.
Psst: Don’t leave without trying dessert, if you can squeeze it in. The lava cake with smoked ice cream ($12) is a sweet and delicious finish to the meat frenzy!
– Amanda Broad
Carvers & Co.
Specialty: Hearty roasts and comfort bites
A hidden gem in the culture-rich Katong neighbourhood, Carvers & Co. is a cosy spot for weekend catch-ups over meats and drinks. This 32-seater offers a casual café vibe with its industrial-chic setting – concrete walls, steel furnishings, wooden tables and sleek black chairs. We started off with theK-Town nacho fries($10), which came with a generous portion of minced kimchi and tons of nacho cheese sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the fried tripe bits ($8). While my partner went gaga over it, this starter really isn’t for the faint-hearted. I wasn’t a fan of the strong beef taste, but you may just fall head over heels with it should entrails be your thing.
Mains-wise, the menu here is a meat lover’s dream come true. The Carvers Plate ($30) features a trio of meats – beef brisket, cola ribs and sausage – as well as a side salad, creamy mash and roasted garlic. My favourite? Hands down the ribs, which reminded me of an upgraded version of char siew. It wasn’t fall-off-the-bone goodness, but it had a tender bite and well-balanced flavour I thoroughly enjoyed. The sides were a hit, too; the roasted garlic added a robust sweetness while the salad was a refreshing palate cleanser. Complete your meal with a sweet treat; we recommend the Crack Pie ($9.90), a sticky salted-caramel cake-pudding that’s irresistible.
The Carvers Plate
Psst: Don’t bypass the beer here; the Hofbrau Original on tap is a pocket-friendly $10 a pint!
– Anthia Chng
Red Eye Smokehouse
Specialty: Smokin’ American-style dishes
Who knew smoked food would become a dining trend emerging from 2016? Largely viewed as homestyle, rustic and economical, it’s also comfort food, thanks to the intensity of the flavours brought out during the cooking process (and those carb-heavy sides, let’s be honest). One place to try it is at Red Eye Smokehouse, easily found just 20 paces from Jalan Besar Stadium.
Meat cooked slow and long in the American smoker is front and centre on the menu here, and all the most popular beasts are covered: chook, cow and pig. For starters, we shared a small, but overflowing, plate of delicious Macho Nachos ($12/$18) – smoky pulled pork, guacamole, salsa, chipotle aioli and beans on a bed of corn chips.
Next up, a plate of selected meats: home-cooked, Italian-style sausage, beef short ribs, beef brisket and pork belly (prices vary, as everything is weighed and priced per 100g), accompanied by burnt-end beans ($5/$8) and wicked maple corn bread with honey butter ($5/$8). We washed it down with house wine ($15 glass/$70 bottle), and a couple of glasses of beer on tap: Red Dot Summer Ale and Kolsch Lager ($12 pint). There’s a short menu of “retro” cocktails, too.
Tender and luscious, the meat on the Angus beef short ribs (100g, $11) falls off the bone, just the way it’s supposed to.
Psst: This is casual, no-frills dining; simply select your meat, sides and drinks from the blackboard menu, and order at the counter. We like the low-key, unpretentious décor and the old-school enamel plates! Also, corkage is $20, so if you have your own special bottle of red wine to savour, bring it along!
– Katie Roberts
Stellar at 1-Altitude
Already a standout thanks to its breathtaking views and progressive Australian menu by Executive Chef Christopher Millar, fine-dining restaurant Stellar at 1-Altitude – the highest restaurant in Singapore, located at Level 62, 1 Raffles Place – is now exclusively serving Tajima wagyu beef sourced from the restaurant’s very own cattle raised in Northern Victoria, Australia – a first for the Singapore dining scene.
The most famous of all the wagyu bloodlines, Tajima originated from Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, and was first introduced into Australia in 1991. Considered to produce the highest quality beef in the world, the Tajima wagyu crossbreed is fed a specially formulated Japanese diet for a minimum of 400 days; the end result is wagyu renowned for its sought after tenderness, distinctive marbling and flavour.
Speciality: Alfresco barbecue buffet
Though this casual, alfresco poolside restaurant offers all-day dining daily, it’s the eatery’s Thursday to Sunday dinner buffet that’s especially worth going for – a hidden gem so good, I was tempted not to spread the word! Great for both a date night or big group get-together, the $88-per-adult dinner includes a barbecue buffet with tons of tasty sides, desserts and unlimited pours of wine (including Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and Whispering Angel Rosé – two of my absolute favourites!), prosecco, beer and frozen margaritas; the buffet is $68 without alcohol, and $48 per child. Note: If you visit Sunday to Wednesday, you can enjoy many of the same barbecue specialties à la carte, and without free-flow drinks.
Some of our favourite sides and salads included the spicy Asian slaw, the fresh kale salad and the chargrilled ciabatta bread with hummus. From the open charcoal-fire grill, everything is definitely worth a taste here – from lamb-rosemary sausage and sambal marinated tilapia to grilled, sustainable prawns with garlic butter and Thai-style chicken. We especially loved the roasted duck with delicious, sweet sauce and the grass-fed Australian sirloin so juicy and flavourful, we just couldn’t get enough. They’ve also got a seafood-on-ice station with freshly shucked oysters and tiger prawns.
For dessert, don’t miss the soft-serve ice cream station. Have it plain, or choose from one of the many ice cream sundae options, pre-filled with goodies like chocolate meringues, popcorn, chocolate crispies, chocolate sauce, fruit or other treats.
The roasted duck
Psst: If it’s raining, you may get a bit wet. My one and only gripe is that the restaurant needs to invest in a bigger awning for more coverage!
– Amy Greenburg
Shelter in the Woods
Specialty: This is primarily a rotisserie restaurant, serving succulent meat platters, foie gras and a range of perfectly cooked seafood.
Tucked away in the suburbia of Bukit Timah is this quirky, cosy haven of a restaurant. With a huge wine selection, Shelter in the Woods (aptly named for its location in Greenwood Avenue) is a place to indulge in fine food in a relaxed atmosphere. We salivated over the Shelter Charcuterie Board ($37) with a delicious range of pork rillette, and pâté en croûte and crusty breads.
From the charcoal grill we tasted the very pretty Bamboo Clam ($23), the Seafood Casserole ($39) in a light broth with perfectly cooked, and delicately flavoured, fish and clams, and the Mixed Meat Platter ($118), which had to be the highlight; serving two to three people, the platter included mouthwatering rib-eye steak, succulent baby chicken, and a tender rack of expertly seasoned lamb.
This is a great place to go with friends to have a really good chat over delicious food.
The dessert menu changes seasonally, but we were lucky enough to indulge in the poached pear topped with gold leaf ($15). The pear was soft and juicy, and the homemade ice cream was divine.
– Amanda Broad
This article first appeared in the March 2017 edition of Expat Living Singapore. Subscribe now!
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