“The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook.” – Julia Child
Don’t get me wrong. I like a sweet and earthy carrot and beetroot salad or a sharp tomato and onion combo even when I’m not making a half-hearted attempt at staying healthy. But few dishes evoke as much visceral pleasure as a sliced-through slab of steak with a juicy pink centre. The sizzling sound of beef fats melting on the grill is music to my stomach. Old-fashioned American steakhouses pique my interest as much as the latest multi-concept restaurants in town.
My first choice is always a bone-in ribeye served medium rare, but why stick to just one choice when more chefs are experimenting with offcuts like bavette and shoulder? I make a mental note of every good experience: Wolfgang’s Steakhouse’s dry-aged Porterhouse Steak for Two, CUT by Wolfgang Puck’s Snake River Farms sirloin, and a gutsy 1.3kg Australian Black Angus Tomahawk from Wooloomooloo Steakhouse, the latter of which my two girlfriends and I happily polished off. A good drizzle of bordelaise sauce, a side of thick green asparagus and a glass of red with bright, fresh acidity later, I’m happy as a lark. Fortunately, posh steakhouses aren’t the only places to taste good beef. Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare, an Italian restaurant known more for their seafood, serves a bestselling Westholme Wagyu flat iron steak that is just as soul-satisfying.
Among our team, however, I’d say that the steak whisperer is none other than wine editor June Lee. Her love for beef borders on obsession and she’s not afraid to show it. From Argentinian chuck ribs to Korean kalbi, she has turned her chophouse dining experiences into passionate musings in Food Talk (page 108). If anyone can write a book about the search for the best steak, it’s her.
With demand for quality beef rising, serving a steak with no provenance just doesn’t cut it anymore. Paddock-to-plate tracing means you pay for the quality of beef as what is described by your grocer. To find out more, turn to page 54 and read associate features editor Eunice Lew’s piece on the different country producers and how you can get the best out of your beef.
Our cover shoot at Salted & Hung