July 02, 2015

Fat Cow @ Camden Medical Centre ~ Is This The Best Beef Bowl In Singapore?

I love my beef, especially when it's an indulgence of a luxury kind from Fat Cow.

And that is exactly what the word "fat" in Fat Cow stands for, which is also a play on the word "fatt", meaning prosperity in Cantonese.

Be warn of the steep prices though. Premium meat comes with an equally premium price tag, and that's what keeping me from returning to the upscale restaurant since my last dinner visit in 2012. But with the launch of their lunch menu, hey hey, this fat cow is affordable afterall! And we heard many positive reviews of their beef bowl, said to be one of the best in Singapore!

One of the best? Is it the best? Well, I can't possibly be trying all the restaurants that offers beef bowl to derive a verdict of any kind, but the reputation itself is tempting enough for Nat, Lydia and myself to check it out.

Fat Cow is situated in a most unlikely place for an high-end establishment, on the ground level of Camden Medical Centre (near Tanglin Mall, on the fringe of Orchard Road). Stepping in, the interior is still exactly how I remembered it to be. Gorgeous latticework hanging off the ceiling, minimalist elegant lines flowing seamlessly from the lounge, dining area and to the open counter seats where patrons can watch the chefs at work.

What we can expect on the ala-carte menu are a selection of finest beef sourced from Japan, Australia and United States, as well as the Butcher's Selection which showcase some of the more unusual cuts.

The highlight is undoubtedly the signature Japanese Wagyu from the Saga (Grade A3 Tenderloin - half cut 110g $89 / full cut 220g $178, Grade A3 Sirloin - half cut 150g $120 / full cut 300g $225), Ohmi (Grade A4 Ribeye - half cut 150g $120 / full cut 300g $238) and Iwate (Grade A5 Ribeye - half cut 150g $148 / full cut 300g 238) regions.

After deciding on the preferred cut and weight of meat (I must give you a gentle reminder at this point to do your calculations first so that your eyes don't pop out upon seeing the final bill), Fat Cow will prepared it just the way you want: Shabu-Shabu, Sukiyaki or Sumibiyaki (charcoal grill).

My charcoal-grilled Australian Ribeye from Blackmore Ranch was exceeding memorable, each meltingly tender piece with slightly charred edges and perfumed with a smoky aroma is still vivid in my mind.

The Grade A5 Wagyu Ribeye with such amazing marbling is best savored shabu-shabu style, giving the thin slices a few delicate kisses in the simmering broth to retain all the beautiful natural flavors. Rice is finally added to the leftover sweetened shabu-shabu broth for a most luxurious tasting porridge.

With the launch of Kikaku Set ($98 per person) which is a tasting of their most popular dishes, and the Lunch Set (ranging from $26 to $48, available weekdays 12pm-3pm), the Fat Cow dining experience is certainly made more accessible to working-class mortals like me. I'm glad that entry to Fat Cow does not require a fat wallet anymore.

Choices for lunch set includes Sushi Moriawase, Bara Chirashi, Tempura Don, Kurobuta Tonkatsu and Gindara Miso Yaki amongst others. Yes, Fat Cow is not just about the cow.

But still, the three of us went straight for the cow, ordering the same Fat Foa-gura Don ($43) with additional Onsen Egg ($4). Each set comes with Salad, Chawanmushi, Miso Soup and Dessert.

Lydia and I love the silky smooth and flavorful chawanmushi, but Nat thought the egg custard with slivers of prawn, scallop and mushroom needs more seasoning. He requested for salt for his beef bowl too, which I agreed that a little addition did uplift the taste by much.

The cubes of Wagyu beef were grilled to my preferred medium rare doneness, tender with a pleasurable bite but somewhat lacking in desirous smoky aroma and not exactly wow-inducing.

Though the beef has its imperfection, I enjoyed the beef bowl as a whole. The foie gras was fatty and rich in texture, the runny onsen egg imparted a lovely creaminess to rice, the ratio of rice to ingredients was just about ideal, the sauce tying all different components together was tasty. There was a sense of comfort in each spoonful.

On hindsight, perhaps one of us should have ordered the Fat Cow Donburi ($39) which comes with slices of charcoal-grilled wagyu beef to compare if we like the beef sliced or cubed better. The menu description wasn't detailed enough for us to realize there is a difference in cut. Well, next time maybe.

So, in conclusion, though I can't say if the beef bowl from Fat Cow is the best in Singapore, I can tell you that this is not my personal best so far. Will share with you where is my personal best on this blog very soon. If you have any favorites which you think I should try, do let me know :)

Fat Cow
Address: 1 Orchard Boulevard, Camden Medical Centre #01-01, Singapore 248649
Contact: +65 6735 0308
Website: http://www.fat-cow.com.sg/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fatcowsg
Opening Hours: Daily 12pm-3pm & 6pm-11pm

Prices stated are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.

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