28 (Sun) December 2014
Chicago Cowboy Steak
at Chops Chicago Steakhouse
-San Lorenzo, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines-
with the Family
Winter Holiday with the Family: Day 5 of 11
- Day 1 (5.353 Lapu-Lapu Chazuke)
- Day 2 (5.354 Deep-Fried Tofu with Shrimp & Vegetables in Oyster Sauce)
- Day 3 (5.355 Seafood Pizza)
- Day 4 (5.356 Soya Cake with Three Kinds Mushrooms)
- Day 5 (5.357 Chicago Cowboy Steak)
For our first extended family time since I left home to work overseas, we’ll be spending the winter holiday together. Starting with Christmas in the Philippines, ending with the New Year in Korea. Having everyone around, just hanging out, makes it feels like home, wherever it may be.
Following the urban allure of Manila and the coastal charm of Anilao, the final day was spent amidst the modern glitz of Makati, an afternoon walking around Greenbelt Mall.
Chops Chicago Steakhouse is an American restaurant. Specializes in steaks, offering various cuts and grades and sources, some dry-aged. Based on prices (high), menu (detailed), sides (separate), and location (Greenbelt), the place would seem serious about steak.
The steak cost 5,100 PHP (115 USD), though about half of the 21 oz. weight comprised bone and fat, so I’d estimate 5,100 PHP for 300 grams (172 USD per pound) – the most expensive American-style steak that I’ve ever had.
The Chicago Cowboy Steak was good, I guess. The meat was seasoned with an odd spice rub, somewhat sweet, that overwhelmed the beef flavor, not in a good way. But then, after I’d sent it back to be cooked a bit more, the meat tasted cleaner on the second serving, as if the reheat had dissipated the spices. Tender, yes, but when is ribeye ever not tender? In terms of either taste or texture, I didn’t discern any benefit from the dry-aging – totally not worth the extra money, maybe not even by half. The “cowboy” (sometimes “tomahawk chop”) referred to the rib left in, extending beyond the meat for dramatic effect; the bone also boosts flavor, supposedly, though I couldn’t tell here. Cost aside, I did enjoy the steak in the end, the little that was actually meat.
As a direct consequence of today’s experience, I shall henceforth impose upon myself 2 limitations where steaks are concerned (at least when I’m paying for it): (1) no more ribeye -an all-around reliable cut in terms of flavor and tenderness, but it typically comes with way too much excess fat; from now on, sirloin or tenderloin only; (2) no more dry-aged – I suppose that I could the difference in a side-by-side comparison, but that difference in taste/tenderness is subtle, not enough to justify the double/triple/quadruple price differential; in fact, forget about the wagyu or Black Angus or Prime or other grading/source indicator that ups the cost; at any decent steakhouse, even the cheapest piece of meat should be good. Lessons hard-learned, conclusions long-overdue.
Happy birthday to me. The special occasion warranted the pricey steak.
(See also FOODS)
(See also PHILIPPINES)