Sitting just outside Novotel Singapore Stevens is this inconspicuous round white building which houses The Gyu Bar, a restaurant specialising in A5 beef from the different prefectures in Japan.
I’ve visited the Gyu Bar before for their lunch sets and felt that they were better than average, so this time round I decided to try their Signature Wagyu Platter that’s priced at an eye popping $238 for 300g.
The platter is a visual winner. Cleanly plated and labelled so you can admire the insanely good marbling pattern that’s expected of A5 wagyu. I had requested for the chef to grill the meat for me, and I liked that they still brought out the whole platter for viewing pleasure. The platter comes with an assortment of dips such as wasabi, BBQ, fried garlic chips, salt which they will advise later on which dips goes well best with the respective cuts.
The mushrooms and green peppers are also from Japan, and, just to complete the purity of the dish, they’re organic.
First to arrive are the Hokkaido A5 Ichibo (rump) and karubi (boneless short rib). The rump is leaner as compared to the karubi but despite how this was, it was still really soft and juicy! The chef grilled this to perfection as well , evident by the slightly pinkish hues. I love that each slice was of optimum thickness, because with this amount of marbling, if each slice were too thin, it would be as good as eating nothing.
Tenderloin is commonly known to be the most tender part of a beef. Make that A5 and you have a smooth like butter mouthfeel experience. Despite being a lean cut in nature, the Miyazaki tenderloin is not the least bit chewy or rubbery. Instead, like the rump, it retained its juiciness, thanks to the skill of the chef.
I expected the shiitake to be juicy and earthy, and that they were. The shishito were well blistered, spotting a nice char and delicate flavour.
The highlight of my meal was this dish. Not to say the other meats were bad; I have tried the rest (tenderloin, karubi, rump) at other specialty restaurants but never ever have I tried Olive Beef. I was a little taken aback when I saw how long each slice was as I thought it might be too much for a single bite, but my worries quickly dissipated after dipping it into the egg truffle. The egg truffle dip was insanely good! The egg was superbly creamy and when eaten together with the Olive Beef, the result is a mythical dance of fairies on your tongue. It’s simply magical.
For the uninitiated, Olive Beef comes from a breed of wagyu that feeds on dried leftover olive pulp (the history of how this came to be shall be for another day). This results in meat that is higher in healthy fats than other wagyu breeds, and is full of umami flavour. If I’m not wrong, only a handful of cows are harvested from Kagawa prefecture every month, making this one of the most elusive and exclusive wagyu ever. An ala carte serving of Olive Beef at The Gyu Bar will set you back by about $120. No doubt pricey, this is worth every penny and I would head back just for this again.
300g sounds like a lot of meat but for 2 pax, it definitely wasn’t enough even with a bowl of Hokkaido rice ($4) each. I ordered their Truffle Salted Kombu Chawanmushi and was so glad I did so. The umami in this little bowl is egg custard was mind blowing and I really loved the texture of the wobbly custard. It was cooked to perfection — slightly softer than tofu texture. Oh, did I mention how generous they were with the truffle shavings?
The Grilled King Prawn with Mentaiko was rather ordinary. It had the smoky grill taste but I thought the mentaiko was a little too overwhelming which made the prawn a tad too salty. Would advise you to skip this if you’re thinking or ordering.
Overall, The Gyu Bar is a great place to try A5 wagyu from the different prefectures. What I thought was a slight pity was the layout of the place; if you are a 2 pax table, you’re likely to be awkwardly seated in the middle of the restaurant or right by the entrance. The bigger seats like the one above are reserved for groups of 4 or 5. Not much of a privacy or coziness given a total spend of $300+.
30 Stevens Road, #01-08, S(257840)
Daily: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm
+65 6732 0702
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