Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fat-tastic Wagyu Donburi (Beef Bowl) at the Fat Cow!

Fat-tastic. Because the food was fantastic, and the restaurant is named Fat Cow, get it? OK, I suck at coming up with puns, so let's talk about the food instead!

The restaurant's very Japanese-inspired main dining area has 17 counter-style seats surrounding the mini kitchen area where (i) All the meat is grilled, and (ii) All the sushi, sashimi and chirashi rice bowls are prepared. Steak and sushi seems like a rather odd combination; We'll find out if that combination works another day though as today we're here for the beef.

Wagyu Donburi Beef Bowl at the Fat Cow

Fat Cow is first and foremost a steakhouse - serving up a choice of Aussie/US Angus and Wagyu cuts alongside A3-A5 Japanese Black Cattle steaks from several different prefectures. Dinner prices are expectedly pricey with 300gm portions running up to well over $300 after service charge and taxes. But for the less well-heeled among us (i.e., yours truly), their set lunches are around the $30-$50 range and represent much better value!

Each set lunch comes with an appetizer trio of salad (greens were fresh but the dressing was excessively sweet), miso soup (nothing too special) and scallop, crabmeat and prawn chawanmushi (served somewhat warm/lukewarm instead of piping hot like most other places).

Wagyu Donburi Beef Bowl at the Fat Cow

There are other choices ranging from chirashi (raw seafood over rice), curry, grilled miso cod and pork loin tonkatsu on the menu but we're only interested in the beef, starting off with The Fat Cow Wagyu Donburi ($39). This comes with a perfectly cooked onsen tamago and grilled-over-Japanese-binchotan-charcoal Wagyu strips over rice. The strips are delicious, with a wonderful aroma that characteristic taste of meat grilled over a hot charcoal fire. Of course they don't have that same melt-in-your-mouth, buttery goodness as A5 Kobe or other premium Japanese Wagyus; but at this price range it really is pretty damn good.

Wagyu Donburi Beef Bowl at the Fat Cow

The Fat-Foa Gura Don ($43) is next up: This rice bowl is topped with glazed, teppan (hot plate) wagyu beef with chunks of foie gras. Foie gras and beef, two ingredients that go oh-so-awesomely well together. Compared to the donburi you lose out on the chargrilled flavour but gain the creamy, buttery, fatty goodness of foie gras. Both are equally good, so order one of each and share :)

Wagyu Donburi Beef Bowl at the Fat Cow

A scoop of ice cream rounds out the set lunch - today was honeycomb vanilla ice cream which was decent but not spectacular.

Wagyu Donburi Beef Bowl at the Fat Cow

So there you have it - gorgeous rice bowls for lunch at a top steakhouse at a relatively affordable price point. There are one or two petty niggles: the rice-to-meat ratio is skewed a little too heavily to the rice side, and hot green tea costs $5/person, but all things considered we'd highly recommended a visit if you're in the area.

Fat Cow is at Camden Medical Centre, about 1 km walk (or bus) from Ion Orchard. Reservations recommended. Non-halal.

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