Years ago, when I was an undergrad in Melbourne, I didn’t eat out very much. Mostly because restaurants in Australian cities tend to be pricey, and cooking was the more sensible option on a student budget. Even lattes were a bit of a stretch – I allowed myself no more than 1 or 2 each week.
Now that I’ve been working for just over 7 years I can buy myself a damn latte whenever I feel like it. Trouble is, I’m back in Singapore, where it’s hard to find a decent Melbourne-style coffee. So I’m quite happy to pay more for one when the opportunity presents itself, and that means I’ve been handing over $5.50 every other day to the good people at Intrepid Gastrobar (40 Pekin St #01-01, Far East Square). I swear I’m not a coffee snob. I’m just making up for lost time.
On one of my regular coffee runs, Rommel – who runs Intrepid – told me about their 200 day dry-aged Australian Angus rib-eye. I haven’t had a dry-aged steak since 2011 at Peter Luger’s in NYC so I was definitely up for it . Then I found out it was a sharing portion for four people and realised I had some planning to do…
And so it happened that on Friday evening, I went back to Intrepid with Bryan and Elaine in tow. As it turned out, the 1.3 kg bone-in portion was just right for the 3 of us – and it was AMAZEBALLS. It was seared to slight crispiness on the outside and perfectly medium-rare within, with a gorgeous flavour that I can only describe as creamy and meaty all at once. I think it’s a compliment to the meat and the chef that we ate mostly in silence, punctuated by happy noises.
While waiting for the beef, we had a starter of pork crackling. Think sio bak, but fried not grilled. It felt like a heart attack waiting to happen, but tasted heavenly. I have a bad feeling I’m going to start finding excuses to eat this for lunch.
Stuffed as we were by the end of the meal, we still ordered a couple of desserts including a fusion-y rose-flavoured pavlova topped with cream, lychees, pomegranate seeds and pistachio crumbs. I love pavlova, it’s one of those desserts that’s pretty unique to the southern hemisphere so I order it whenever I get the chance. But I might be a bit of a purist because I still prefer it the traditional way with cream and berries.
And just because I loved that steak so damn much, here it is again with Bryan and Elaine included for scale.
(I am now giving myself a pat on the back for making it through this post without once caving to the temptation to use the word ‘epic’.)