Do you know when the age of aged beef in Singapore began? Unlike a lot of other culinary history which has been lost to the rummages of time, I can actually tell you this one. It was the in the year 2012. That was the year I stepped into W Hotel and discovered that Skirt had started to age their own meat in-house. Up till then, some of the meat distributors had been already been experimenting with meat aging. But Skirt was the first to have a dedicated meat aging fridge.
Since then, many restaurants have also started to age their own beef. The most notable is Wolfgang Steakhouse which opened its doors late last year. Their opening marked another milestone for the evolution of steakhouses in Singapore as they were the first to build a dedicated meat aging room in the restaurant.
The latest restaurant to enter the aged beef foray is The Ranch. This is Aston’s (of Aston’s specialities) high end steakhouse which ages their own beef in-house. They are using the award winning “Dry Ager” from Germany which are purpose built dry aging fridges. These are slowly making their appearance in Singapore and I spotted two of them in Wakanui. According to Aston, these machines are almost foolproof and the aging process is as simple as of labeling and placing the blocks of beef into the fridge, then sit back and allow technology and time to do the rest.
Aside from the ten Dry Agers at the restaurant, two other things make The Ranch stand out from the rest. Firstly, it is the only local brand that is really taking on the American steakhouses. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly for us consumers, Aston is again out to spoil the market by offering top quality steaks at bang-for-your-buck prices. It’s not exactly “Cheap and Good”, but definitely “Value for Money”.
A 400g, 30 day aged USDA prime ribeye on the bone, for instance, will cost $72 compared to around $128 at an American Steakhouse whiles a 1 kg slab of aged USDA Porterhouse which will usually set you back by $195 will cost $150 at The Ranch.
The steaks are cooked using ultra hot broilers which can reach up to temperatures of 1000°C. It is the same type of broiler employed by most American steakhouses, like Ruth Chris‘ and Wolfgang. The steaks are excellent. They are as good as the ones I have tasted at the other steakhouses. The funkiness of the meat is quite distinct especially around the edges the steak and near the bone and the meat itself is tender and beefy. 4.5/5
The side dishes are very good. Nothing fancy, just straightforward stuff that you expect to get at a typical steakhouse. Of note are their house-made fries. Not many restaurants bother to make their own potato chips nowadays, so they should be applauded for making the extra effort. Their soups are also very good, especially the French Onion soup. Again, they are all made in-house and very good.
If you are after a quick lunch, they are offering $15 lunch sets now. The 180g house made burger is great value and it even comes with a soup of the day, fries and salad. There are a few things that can be further tweaked but for $15, you really can’t complain much. The patty is very good and is made of some aged beef trimmings as well as chilled beef. 4/5 For those of you who don’t take beef, they also offer a choice of chicken and other items for lunch.
The Ranch offers high end steaks at competitive prices. The service might not be as flash as what you get at an American run steakhouse like CUT, but if you are just after well aged USDA prime steak, then this is the place you can get it at a great price!
I have known Aston since the day he opened his first restaurant at East Coast. The meal was hosted by him.