208 Telok Ayer Street
6221 3323 | themarketgrill.com.sg
American-style meat and seafood spot, The Market Grill is a project by Loh Lik Peng – Keong Saik Snacks, Esquina and Ember are also part of his empire. Right on the corner of Telok Ayer Street, trendy people spill out of this small, buzzing eatery.
Its interior is very industrial chic – shades of the meatpacking district in New York.
Squeezed into this atmospheric spot is a small lobster tank, a row of tables to the left and, to the right, an open kitchen where you can sit on a bar stool and watch your steak being char-grilled by executive chef Colin West, formerly of Les Amis, Le Saint Julien and Braise. They don’t take reservations and there’s hardly room to swing a cat, so come pre or post the mad feeding rush; 9pm sees a lull in the dinnertime crowd.
The menu offers meat, seafood and more meat – from the charcuterie connoisseur board ($28), the delicious yet simple char-grilled lobster (about 500g for $42) and 21-day-aged grass-fed ribeye ($59), to the more modestly priced beef brisket (200g for $37), grilled beef burgers ($20) and cod fish burger ($20).
The steaks looked like the better bet (both the cod fish and its bun were rather soft), but the brisket and Wagyu rump ($38), were being tucked into with gusto by diners at the bar. They’s gone the whole hog with the sides, too – portions of fries, potatoes sarladaise, mash and purple slaw ($8 each) crowding the counter.
If we go again we’ll skip starters and also desserts (like apple crumble à la mode $14) and stick to the mightier mains – a shared lobster to kick off with, and then a more substantial steak each with a few sides to share.
Must-try dish: Chargrilled whole lobster