You don’t have to travel all the way to Australia for a good steak or meaty eats. From classic steakhouses to contemporary restaurants, there are plenty of places to get your Australian food fix. Here’s our roundup of the top spots to try now.
Osia Steak and Seafood Grill
Singaporean Chef de Cuisine Douglas Tay and his team, under the eye of celebrity Chef Scott Webster. Australian-born Scott’s repertoire spans 40 years, and includes notable events such as feeding an entire Olympic village in Calgary, Canada, plus stints at The Savoy in London and in glitzy Beverly Hills. Osia was recently awarded a Michelin star in the inaugural Michelin Guide Singapore 2016.
With an emphasis on sharing and seasonal produce, Osia presents contemporary Australian cuisine, using mainly ingredients sourced from Australia and the Pacific Rim. The Sharing Set Menu ($108 per person) hits all the right spots, opening with deep fried mud crab cakes and tender, char-grilled Fremantle octopus that tastes fresh off the barbie. Then comes a grill platter that includes items from more far-flung shores: a trio of perfectly cooked Norwegian Lerøy fjord trout fillet, tender Fermin Ibérico bellota chuletero pork rack and then back to Aussie shores with a Murray Bridge signature beef hanger steak. Having gone almost carb-free so far, we have just enough room for the hot chocolate soup with black pepper ice cream. This was a curiously moreish concoction!
Osia offers other set dinner menu options, too. There’s also à la carte menu, a set lunch menu and a Sunday brunch.
The hot chocolate soup. We’d lick the bowl clean if we could!
– Leanda Rathmell
Talented Singaporean Chef Aun Lim. Until recently the creator of awesome pizza at Cicheti on Arab Street, he has now turned his skills to the menu at Fynn’s.
Serving up modern Australian cuisine that would be right at home in Melbourne or Sydney, Fynn’s offers exceptional food at value-for-money prices. Sit inside or outside – it’s a relaxed vibe that pairs a muted beach theme with friendly service. Choose from an eclectic mix of global dishes that pay tribute to Australia’s multicultural influences.
We started with marinated olives ($6), and Hokkaido scallops ($12.50) on a bed of cauliflower puree – an interesting contrast of flavours. For mains, we stuck to old favourites: sirloin steak ($27) with porcini butter and fingerling potatoes, and crabmeat taglierini ($26) in a spicy sauce; all the pasta is made in-house. A reliable drinks menu lists wines, beers and other easy-drinking choices; but do check out the cocktail menu developed by the clever team behind Regent Singapore’s Manhattan bar – and don’t miss the superb Secret Garden ($18) cocktail.
The Spanish octopus ($17) with lemongrass and spicy apple slaw (I usually avoid octopus in case it’s too chewy, but this was sensational); and the chocolate semifreddo ($13) – a jumble of bitter chocolate mousse, crunchy sponge and semifreddo, topped with Maldon salt and pink peppercorns – amazing!
Need to know:
Fynn’s is open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, and serves a weekend brunch menu from 11am to 4pm. It’s just a few metres from the Esplanade MRT station entrance.
– Katie Roberts
Cheek by Jowl
Colombo-born Chef Rishi Naleendra, who’s had stints at Melbourne’s Taxi Dining Room, Tetsuya’s and Yellow by Brent Savage. After subsequently landing in Singapore, he took up the head chef role in the now-defunct Maca, from where he was headhunted to helm this Mod Oz eatery.
We had the highly recommended Chef’s Menu ($88) of four snacks and five mains, most of which are on the à la carte menu. According to Chef Rishi, the kitchen tries to update both menus every few months, while retaining signatures like the slow-cooked lamb shoulder ($38) with grilled zucchini, green olive sauce, herbed yogurt and puffed rice. Not big on lamb myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the pan-seared barramundi ($32) instead. Featuring locally farmed fish, prawn bisque foam, caramelised onion puree and charred lettuce, this well-executed dish had lovely textures and flavours. Our meal ended on an interesting savoury-sweet note. The fresh and bold plums dessert ($15) – burnt coconut husk, coconut sorbet, sherry curd and Sichuan pepper – was delicious.
The mackerel ($22) – lightly charred mackerel fillet set atop green tea jus, horseradish sauce and burnt lemon powder. Its savoury bite and tangy nuances proved a winning combination.
Need to know:
Reserve a table in advance; the place was packed when we visited on a weeknight!
– Anthia Chng
Head Chef Dinesh Nagalingam.
When a freshly baked, complimentary loaf of bread arrived at the table, I had to quickly remind myself not to eat the whole thing! For starters, we opted for the amazingly fresh colossal crab lumps ($34) served on a bed of iceberg lettuce with Louis dressing and mustard mayonnaise. We also tried the lobster bisque ($28) – smooth, creamy, and served with a dash of cognac and some lobster meat.
For mains, we couldn’t resist the classic steaks – an Australian Angus (Warrnambool, Victoria), grass-fed, eight-ounce centre-cut of filet mignon ($52); and an Australian Black Angus (Stanbroke, Queensland), 120-day grain-fed, 12-ounce rib eye ($70). Both were perfectly medium-rare, and we enjoyed them with sides of sautéed wild mushrooms in garlic butter ($14) and creamy corn ($16). All steaks are served with jus, peppercorn, mushroom and Madeira sauces.
Though we could barely squeeze dessert in, we tried the crème brûlée with fresh mint, strawberries and blueberries ($19). We also tucked into the classic Wooloomooloo hot chocolate cake with vanilla gelato ($14).
Those famous steaks were some of the best we’d ever eaten! In addition, Wooloomooloo does serve other lovely dishes such as roasted spatchcock chicken ($50), barramundi fillet ($58) and Dorper lamb cutlets ($72).
Need to know:
The new lunch menu starts from $22 per person, and the weekend brunch menu goes for $48 (or $98 with Prosecco). Enjoy great food with a perfect view of stunning Marina Bay through floor-to-ceiling windows.
– Jacqui Young
Stellar at 1-Altitude’s eight-course Antipodes Menu reflects Chef Christopher Millar’s Australian heritage, experiences and culinary adventures. Each course showcases his personal style of cooking: using modern techniques to get the most out of the best seasonal ingredients available.
While the menu has global influences, the underlying tone is distinctly Aussie, starting with a cheeky version of Vegemite on toast. Then you take a “Trip to the Garden” to see Stellar’s organic Living Garden, where a nitro-poached lemon meringue with crushed lavender sorrel will cleanse your palate.
Other highlights include the langoustines tartare and the bold, Josper-grilled Tajima wagyu – sourced from Stellar’s very own cattle raised in Northern Victoria, Australia, and served with blackcurrant ketchup. End with the “bacon and eggs” dessert – sheep’s milk yoghurt with elderflower honey and “bacon soil”.
This is an article that first appeared in the May 2017 edition of Expat Living. Purchase a copy or subscribe now so you never miss an issue!
Looking for places serving Aussie cuisine? Check out these 4 other Australian restaurants!