Just before I go on with this entry, I need to let you know that I am a firm believer of self-improvement. While I don’t have stellar financial achievements to share, I know that each passing day is an opportunity to become a better person. I believe in constant learning and that we all have room to improve, no matter how successful our past and current triumphs may be. Now that that’s been said…
As the “extra” day of this leap year drew closer, I started looking at improving an aspect of my life. While I’m fortunate that things aren’t too tight on my end, I still try to find ways of leveraging both my time and money. One of the ideas I came up with was to include my loved ones in my journey for the best steak in Singapore. This way, I won’t have to work up separate budgets for finding steaks AND spending time with people who really matter in my life.
So as February drew to a close, I started searching for a venue that would have a decent chance of delivering a great steak. In addition, this venue would have to be inviting enough for my other half, which would be challenging since her diet preference is almost the opposite of mine. Where red meat is a staple for me, my partner has a love for the greens and white meat. To make this search easier, I started thinking back to some of her favourite dining venues and one name made a startling jump to the front of my recollections; it was none other than the establishment that served her ideal version of the sticky date pudding.
This restaurant was of course, The Marmalade Pantry. The outlet we first visited was at The Stables in Fairways Drive. This time, we decided to give the one in ION Orchard a shot. So off we went and to my surprise, we didn’t have to wait long before getting a seat.
So they had only one choice when it came to steak, and it was The Marmalade Steak and Eggs. When asked where their steak was from, the staff replied that ‘most’ of their meat came from Australia. At this point, I feel that I must inform you that this ambiguous response means that there’s a good possibility that the steak isn’t from Australia. The menu went on to indicate that the cattle was 150 days grain fed and 250 grams in size.
When it arrived, it looked a lot more appetising that I thought. The idea of fried eggs with steak was a little beyond me when I placed the order, but the actual visual made a lot of sense. A couple of sunny side up eggs were laid on top of a beautifully seared ribeye, which in turn was rested on a bed of mashed, roasted squash. Somehow, the seared meat between two brightly coloured ingredients just made for a more ‘uplifting’ appearance.
At first sight, I realised that some of the sinewy tendon and opaque fat was still on the steak. Though the tendon is hard to rid, I think the fat could have been a little more rendered. But once cut, I could see that the chef got the done-ness spot on, and the meat was all tender and juicy. It was also well rested since my hot plate wasn’t stained with blood (actually, it’s water mixed with myoglobin) as I continued slicing into the meat.
The flavour was good and while I wasn’t disappointed, it’s definitely not a top contender for the best steak in Singapore. It didn’t match up with the ribeye served at Le Steak as well. Though not highly recommended, it’s a safe choice for meat-lovers who happen to be forced into dining here. The accompanying sauce was thyme jus, which I believe was made by pairing the meat trimmings and the mentioned herb. There wasn’t much flavour in the jus though, possible due to it not being reduced enough.
As for the sides, the fried eggs were rather lovely. The base was just crips, with the white still soft and easily pliable. The yolks were runny and of course, delicious when consumed as wholes. Despite being ‘roasted’, I didn’t get any homely, smoky flavour. It did taste fresh, so that’s a plus right there.
Any-moo, while it was a decent dish, I don’t think $40.00 is justifiable value.
Since my wife loves their Sticky Date and Toffee Pudding, we naturally ordered it for dessert. I was thoroughly impressed that the quality did not drop since our previous visit, which was at least a couple of years ago. While I doubt it’s baked daily, the pudding remained soft and fluffy without losing it’s form when being cut into. The rich toffee sauce was sweet, sticky and savoury without being overpowering. So the taste of dates would still shine despite being soaked with abundant syrup. The vanilla ice cream was smooth and creamy, and the crumble base added a nice crunch to the otherwise ‘softly-textured’ dessert.
The service was decent. Except for a waiter who thought suggesting ‘well-done’ for the steak was funny, the staff were pretty attentive and polite. The ambience is great if you’re looking for a place to have catch-up tea sessions, and decent if it’s for lunch. Dinner…not so ideal.
Should You Try It?
Yes, give it a go. Considering that almost half their menu is for tea-time snacks and dessert, I believe those are what we should try during future visits. While the steak isn’t fantastic, I definitely recommend the sticky date and toffee pudding.
The Marmalade Pantry (ION Orchard)
#03-22 ION Orchard2 Orchard Turn
Mon – Fri: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Sat – Sun: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
Tel: +65 6734 2700
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