Bistecca 26 Mohamed Sultan Road 6735 6739 | bistecca.com.sg

The scene: I last came to this well- known steak restaurant five years ago and was keen to know if it was as good as I remembered. I’m pleased to report that, while Bistecca has moved (only just next door), the service, quality and provenance of the food remains – even on a Tuesday night it was packed to the rafters. It doesn’t try to be anything that it’s not: nothing overly trendy; just smart and simple, with straightforward décor that includes a scattering of leather and large pieces of animal art mounted on the walls (in keeping with its commitment to all things carnivore). We ate outside, at the front of the restaurant, which had a bit more buzz to it; however, if you’re in a big group, I’d opt for the air-conned interior. And we hear there’s a sweet courtyard area to try in the new digs, too. The steak: It’s most definitely all about the Fiorentina ($188), a whopping 1.1kg hunk of F1 Australian black wagyu, 420- days grain-fed, BMS 6+ beef, served on a solid wooden carving board. This is big enough for three, so if you’re going in a large group you can order a couple and position them down the middle of the table for all to share. The meat was stunningly cooked, perfectly pink – just the way we wanted it – and ready-carved, making serving a breeze. It came with the obligatory mustards and relishes to accompany “the beast.” The sides: We devoured a few: Tuscan fries with rosemary ($13), creamed spinach ($13), minced spicy sausage ($13) and chargrilled asparagus with extra virgin olive oil ($15) were all fine accompaniments to the main event. The best of the rest: There’s a surprising amount on offer for those less meat- inclined. The burrata with Pachino tomatoes ($49) was gigantic and made for a fabulous looking (and tasting) starter. Again, the portions are big, so this could be an option as a main course. I’ve not

tasted tomatoes this flavoursome on the island, ever! The cheese tore so easily and the entire dish was so simple and fresh. The pasta options are well thought out too; the tagliolini ($26) – squid ink pasta with blue crab and fennel – was insanely good and, again, an option (amongst the many) for those not into meat. The sommelier is super knowledgeable and helped us select an easy-drinker in

the form of the Vignamaggio Chianti Classico 2013 ($93), which hit the spot. But, before you hit the vino, go for one of the sizeable G&Ts served in a tall- stemmed tumbler with an en vogue giant ice-cube to keep it nice and chilled; I tried the Botanist ($22), with orange and rosemary, which was rather on the strong side, but lasted a long, long time! – Emi Finch

163 OCTOBER2017

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