This hunt for the best meats and steaks in Singapore was born out of a passion…a passion for slabs of perfectly grilled meat made available at value prices, to the masses of meat-lovers. When I started this journey, I had the impression that mid-range steakhouses would become the main attractions in terms of meat reviews. But after a little exploring and expanding of the mindset, I’ve found value gems that come from all sorts of establishments. In fact, a good portion of my ‘Superb Value‘ entries come from outside the steakhouse sector!
It’s therefore hardly surprising that today’s meat review didn’t stem from patronising a steakhouse, but from a curious visit to a place that serves massive portions of dishes infused with Japanese Curry.
While the Swiss foodie and I were attracted by the large portions of Monster Curry’s mains, it was their Tapas menu that grabbed our attention entirely. A tantalising range of choices were made available at 50% off! This was due to an opening promotion for their OUE Downtown outlet and so, while the discounts might not last, the flavours were pretty unforgettable.
Now, let’s get to the meat.
Beef Cube Steak ($15.80) was a plateful of well…beef cubes. The beef contained the familiar taste of barbecue and every bite was succulent goodness. I’m guessing that a sirloin or striploin was diced into cubes before being grilled to a lovely medium done-ness. Interestingly enough, the tender flesh almost snapped apart with each bite, which was rather unexpected.
The seasoning did appear to contain a hint of soy sauce…I think? I’m impressed with how well cooked the beef cubes were and I got the impression that a lot of effort went into the preparation. The the portion is definitely decent for its price. 8.5/10.
Next up was the Chicken Katsuni ($8.80) which is a classic favourite of mine when ordering from other Japanese-themed restaurants. So I chose this dish mainly out of curiosity, to see how it compares to the ‘others’.
Just like other places, the dish features a lightly breaded chicken fillet that’s been fried before being nestled in a soy-based sauce and served on a hotplate. There was a noticeable difference though, and it’s how lightly ‘coloured’ the batter was. It didn’t have that golden-brown look, but a more pale appearance, almost as if it wasn’t cooked enough.
But the feeling of comprehension quickly melted away once I bit into the tender piece of chicken. The entire piece was succulent and the sauce – being the right level of saltiness – was a great partner-in-crime. And yet, that wasn’t the best part.
What surprised me was that I only realised it was breast meat after finishing a couple of pieces! That’s how tender and juicy they’ve managed to keep the meat. This tapas dish was no product of mass production. Instead, it was well cared for by the kitchen staff at Monster Curry Downtown. 9/10.
The next tapas to greet our palates were Korean Soy Garlic Chicken Wings ($8.80). Very decently prepared, with a good balance of garlic and soy sauce. I’ve found some soy chicken wings at Korean restaurants to be too salty, but these contained just the right amount.
The flesh was succulent and cooked to perfection, with no red pigments on the bones. The batter though softened slightly due to the soy sauce, still contained the right amount of crisp. It delivered one of the more satisfying bites during dinner. It’s not one of the best chicken wings I’ve had, but it’s a close fight. 8.2/10.
The only seafood option was the Grilled Salmon Belly ($8.80) which pleased me and my taste buds on so many levels.
Firstly, the portion size was well worth the price tag. Secondly, the belly was grilled very lightly and despite having some char marks on the exterior, the skin was delightfully crunchy without having any of that blowtorch-gassy taste. Thirdly, the flesh was fresh, soft and of course, greasy goodness all over. Fourthly, the taste was light, salmon-esque(duh) and didn’t have a strong fishy smell.
Those trying salmon belly for the first time might want to note that it’s like the ‘surf’ version of foie gras. It’s inherently oily nature can be overwhelming, especially if the entire portion was consumed by just one diner. Taste-wise, you can confidently try . 8.7/10.
Service was prompt and most of the staff were friendly enough. Ambience gave off a clean and refreshing feel, which definitely contributed to us enjoying the food.
Should You Try It?
If you fancy value and love tapas-sized dishes, then yes, do give their tapas menu a shot.
Monster Curry (Downtown Gallery)
6A Shenton Way
#01-03 Downtown Gallery
Mon – Sat: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Tel: +65 6221 3933
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