31 (Fri) March 2017
Darling Downs Wagyu MS 5+ Grass-Raised, Grain-Finished Ribeye Steak
at Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar
-Shangri-La at the Fort, BGC-
Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar is a chophouse and bar. Specializes in American-style beef steaks, among other grilled meats. Bar includes a nice range of specialty whiskies, including small batch bourbons and ryes that I’ve never heard of.
At first glance, the place showed promise.
Other dining establishments at the BGC Shangri-La:
- High Street Market Café (8.053 Seafood, 8.036 Lobster, Meh) – okay, as far as buffets go
- Canton Road (8.042 Mingnan Five-Spice Marinated Pork Belly…) – expertly crafted dishes, though a bit overcomplicated and way overpriced
This is how I order a martini: Bombay Sapphire Martini – double shot of gin, bone dry, lightly stirred, up, with a twist. It may sound absurdly pompous and high-maintenance – and that’s often the reaction I get from a server who doesn’t know any better – but it must be made exactly like this – and experienced bartenders get it right away.
Boozers agree that Ian Fleming may have gotten one style detail wrong: James Bond’s supposed preference for “shaken, not stirred.” Compared to stirring a cocktail in ice, shaking agitates and breaks and melts more ice, thus making the drink colder but also much more diluted. An aficionado like James Bond would likely prefer to keep the base liquor – e.g., vodka – close to its purest form.
The accoutrements – such as the individualized knives, different types of salt – further suggested promise.
At a fancy place, with indications of promise, I’m inclined to order something expensive, so that I can base my first impression on whatever the restaurant presents as a flagship dish (see for example 5.143 Good Award Kobe Beef Steak Course) and walk away without any doubt or regret.
So here, I ordered the most expensive of the ribeyes. In addition to the price, the obnoxiously long name would potentially give me much to riff on.
Indeed, this new menu trend about identifying the source ranch is silly – what the fuck does anyone know about 1824 vs Kimberly Red vs Darling Downs??!! And as with the ranch, is anyone supposed to care whether it’s based on Tasmania or Queensland or New South Wales or Victoria??!! I also think that Australian Wagyu is utter bullshit – even if it’s the same strain of cow, the Aussie version may as well be donkey for all its lack of flavor and toughness, notwithstanding a supposed 5+ rating – and how many people really understand what that rating implies? Grass-raised, Grain-finished??!!
My cynicism here is not to imply that beef is all the same. No doubt, the texture and flavor will depend on its genetic strain, how it’s raised, what it eats – and different countries, and different regions, and different suppliers will have different qualities of products. If so, the restaurant should provide explanations of those differences to facilitate informed choice, rather than merely using labels as a marketing scam.
In case unclear from the above, the steak was disappointing to the point of derision.