IN SINGAPORE’S eclectic dining environment, it’s not difficult to get most generic types of food in varying qualities.
But when it comes to steaks, you tend to gravitate to your preferred restaurant that does it just right. And if you get deeper into each type of steak, well, then you’ll have narrowed your options.
You could narrow it further, at which point you want a full-on experience. Which is what the various directors of Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse on Mohamed Sultan Road were keen on delivering. Lovely meat delivered in a little-heard (in these waters) Tuscan style where the thick slab of choice meat is prepared over a wood-fired grill at high temperature.
On a Wednesday night, most tables are occupied by diners ranging from lovey-dovey couples to boisterous groups of hipsters keen to lavish attention on themselves. The convivial setting — stylish without being serious — helps to set the tone.
Recently moved to new digs, the restaurant has been given a warmer, darker tone. Lots of wood, bricks, and those bold paintings on the walls. The only challenge is the low lighting makes photography a challenge.
Those who feel obliged to feed their phones before their mouths may want to be inventive about lighting the dishes.
The seating is comfortable and tables are apart enough that you can’t easily eavesdrop on conversations should your date take a turn for the worse. But you can always chat with the staff, who are attentive and happy to share useful nuggets of information about the meal you’ve ordered or spotted being served at another table.
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Meet The Meat
There are a few options — tenderloin, striploin, grass- or grain-fed rib-eye, all cooked in the wood-fired oven. But these are the little fellas, weighing between 150gm and 300gm. There’s a bone-in sirloin that weighs more since there’s a bone. These hail from a variety of sources — Japan, Scotland, US, UK and Australia.
The clear favourite of the restaurant is its range of F1 Karoge Washu bred wagyu and Tajima bloodline steaks from Australia, thick cut in Tuscan manner. These signature sharing steaks, the Costata and the Fiorentina, weighing in at 1.1kg that are show stoppers.
Just the sight of them elicits mixed reactions. Those who quietly salivate in its presence, and others who can’t help but yelp out longingly “it’s so biiiig”.
Served on a wooden meat board, the steak is charred on the outside but delicately pink once sliced open. It’s flavourful by itself, but if you want to vary the taste sensations, there are accompaniments — rosemary mustard, salsa Bernese, Bordolese (red wine and shallots) and tre formaggi (mascarpone, gorgonzola and Roquefort cheeses) to lavish on the meat.
Given its size, you have to bring a healthy appetite starved of food for some meals prior to the gorging session, or bring hungry friends. Easily a meal for four, when you add the starters, dessert and wines, you’ll be rolling out of there quite contented.
The burrata is a delight to dig into. Flown in every other day, the 300gm of young mozzarella cheese is firm and well accompanied by the Pachino tomatoes.
With the steaks and the burrata grabbing the limelight, the other dishes are also probably worth coming back for.
Lots of salads and pasta dishes are on the menu. The range of dishes includes oysters, scallops, octopus and pasta with prawns or blue swimmer crab or oxtail.
Dessert is a tempting array of expected dishes — tiramisu, gelato and pannacotta — as well a tasty bread pudding, which comes highly recommended. Match them with cocktails or a dessert wine.
While dinner sets the mood for the restaurant, there is also an Executive Set Lunch — two courses at $38 and three courses at $48 — along with other a la carte items. There’s wine aplenty to accompany the meal.
Bistecca, 26 Mohd Sultan Rd Singapore 238970 T: 67356739 www.bisecca.com.sg