Mamou: Please won't you open a branch here?
Dry Aged USDA Prime Ribeye Steak with Bone 600g S$87.50
I can just imagine the first time the cavemen discovered that meat tastes better after roasting it over an open fire. It must have been something like this steak. Charred on the outside, medium rare on the inside. Tender and oh so juicy. There's nothing like a charred steak to bring out the caveman in you. "Captain Cavemaaaaaannn!".
Ahem, sorry, but I get excited about steaks.
When PChong told me that one of the best steaks he has had ever was actually in Manila, I couldn't help but sit up and listen. Afterall, the man has eaten at the best steakhouses around the world including Peter Luger's in New York. So the man should know what he is talking about. He was there again just two weeks before my conference in Manila and reserved seats for me at the restaurant.
USDA Prime Ribeye 400g
A great steak always starts with the meat itself and at Mamou, they use only USDA Prime grade Angus Beef. Only two percent of all the beef in the US are graded "Prime", so this is the best US beef you can get. The photo shows their 400g USDA Prime Ribeye which costs P1680 ($S52.50). But what I had was even more special. Mine was the Dry Aged USDA Prime Angus Ribeye with bone in, which is a 600g steak which costs P2800 (S$87.50). The dry aging process increases the cost of the meat primarily because of the wastage.
Dry aging is the process where the meat is left to hang for a period of time so that some decomposition of the meat starts. The aging process tenderizes the meat and increases its flavour. Protein that undergoes decomposition releases free glutamates (natural MSG) which increases its savoury flavour. This is why we have fish sauce, soy sauce, worchestershire sauce (Anchovies)and miso paste which are all proteins which have undergone some fermentation ie they are all sources of free glutamates. This was the traditional way cultures from all round the world flavour their food before some smart Japanese Scientist came up with Aji-no-moto.
Anyway, after the beef is aged, the outside of the whole block of meat would become grey and yucky, and this has to be trimmed off, which is why it is so much more expensive. The good news is that soon you will be seeing aged beef in Singapore as meat suppliers like Indoguna have started to age their beef here. Astons has also hinted that they will be serving USDA Prime Aged Beef soon.
Flambe over a hot cast iron skillet
The second part of the equation is of course, the cooking process. Once you get your hands on the very best US beef, you still need to know how to cook it properly. Over at Mamou, they flambe their steak over a hot cast iron griddle for a good few minutes before putting the meat in the broiler. The kitchen has a perpetual fire going on and is quite a sight!
Slicing the beef ala Peter Luger style
After broiling, the meat is then sliced before final charring in the Salamander (Grill). By this stage, a lot of the fats have actually melted and so the steak is swimming in a pool of its own oil. For the health conscious, this would be a complete turn off. For the steak lover, this is a sight to behold. Of course, you can choose not to eat the oil simply by tilting the plate slightly to drain the oil.
This is definitely the best steak I have eaten in a long long while. The meat is tender and the beef flavour is rich and robust. The steak had just the right amount of charring which gave the meat a nice smoky aroma. What can I say except "I wish somebody would just do this in Singapore!" 4.75/5
This stall has no connections with Peter Luger except for the fact that the chef owner has modelled her steak after the famous New York Steakhouse. Unlike Peter Luger whose signature steak is the Porterhouse (aka T bone Steak), over at Mamou they have the ribeye with bone. The ribeye is my favourite cut of beef, so I was quite happy with it.
Mamou is not fine dining. Like Peter Luger's it is a place where people go for a really good steak. The setting might be a bit too casual for such a fine piece of meat but at the end of the day, I don't think any Caveman would complain so long as he gets his piece of meat perfectly charred! So, do you know of anywhere in Singapore that has a steak like this?
Here's the link to PChong's blog post.
Serendra, Fort Bonifacio