Fat Cow serves some really fat cows - premium brand wagyu from Japan and Australia, like the Grade A5 ribeye from Kagoshima (sliced for shabu shabu above) or Australian Beef Grade MS A8+ Ribeye from the Blackmore Ranch (grilled as steak below).
You can see the marbling of the A8+ grade beef in this medium rare steak.
It's love before first bite.
This Japanese-inspired meat atelier is the latest place where you can indulge in some of the best steak, teppanyaki, shabu shabu and sukiyaki available. Fat Cow is a concept by The Big Idea Group, the result of the merger between Kinki and the Marmalade Group. They take great pride in using ingredients flown in from Japan for everything from cocktails to dessert.
The vibe is contemporary Japanese with grid-like themes. There is a bar area upfront where you can chill before you head into the dining area.
The main dining area is a U-shaped counter that seats about 16. This is where you can watch the chefs work and engage in chit chat with them. There are private dining rooms as well, separated by shoji screens.
Well, it's not just the beef here that's great. I found myself liking the zensai or starters a lot. Here are three of them.
Heart of Palm Salad (Crisp Japanese onions, shaved heart of palm and Mizuna, $18). The crisp, moist white slices are heart of palm which provide great texture to the delicious salad.
Kegani Tofu (House-made silken crab tofu with truffle dressing, $25). This is probably the most luxurious tofu you can have - infused with king crab and topped with shaved black truffles. It's like chawan mushi for royalty.
Wagyu Ox Tendon and Foie Gras (Slow cooked wagyu ox tendon with pan-seared foie gras and braised daikon, $29). The sauce, oh the rich, thick, syrupy sauce! I would so love to be able to buy bottles of this sauce. It makes everything so delicious, from the ox tendon that's been braised for hours, to the aromatic cubes of foie gras topping the daikon.
But on to the main event.
It's a deliberately simple menu. There are four grades of beef, and you can specify how much you want. You can choose to have your meats done four styles - shabu shabu, sukiyaki, charcoal-grilled or teppanyaki. The servers are of course happy to advise on any combinations.
The Shabu Shabu uses a light stock, so that nothing overpowers the natural flavours of the ingredients.
Toss in these gorgeous fresh vegetables to sweeten it further.
And then indulge in the heavenly beef slices - so beautiful! We sampled all four grades of wagyu. The top two are the premium A5 and A3 grades of Kagoshima beef. Bottom two are Australian beef grade MS A8+ from Blackmore and Stockyard ranches.
Quick close-up of the Japanese wagyu and their excellent marbling.
We started eating the less fatty grades first, before proceeding upwards.
First up, the Australian Beef Grade MS A8+ Ribeye (From Stockyard Ranch, $52/100g). Tender and sweet.
The Australian Beef Grade MS A8+ Ribeye (From Blackmore Ranch, $85/100g), I found was the most "beefy" in terms of flavour.
Steamy hot slice of Japanese Beef Grade A3 Ribeye (From Kagoshima Prefecture, $80/100g) with thick ribbons of visible fat. But it's healthier fat (monounsaturated) compared to normal beef. The Japanese wagyu tastes almost ethereal. The beefy flavour is surprisingly very delicate.
The Japanese Beef Grade A5 Ribeye (From Kagoshima Prefecture, $95/100g) in the first photo above was the most tender, of course. Goes with the ponzu sauce or sesame sauce equally well.
The premium fatty slices swishing around in the shabu shabu pot will have created a nice broth, which can be made into a delicious porridge afterwards.
Would you like some steak while you wait for the porridge to cook?
This is an enormous slab of about 350g, which is more than enough shared by four people. OK, what am I saying, there's never "enough" when it comes to wagyu...
The Charcoal Grill (Steak) comes with two sides that change to reflect what is fresh and in season. The meat is grilled using binchotan (Japanese white charcoal). This is Australian Beef Grade MS A8+ Ribeye (From Blackmore Ranch, $85/100g). Can you smell how good it is? So tasty, so tender.
Desserts are also kept deliberately simple. You have fresh fruit, ice cream or the following two.
This is the Warabi Mochi (House-made warabi mochi seasoned with green tea and roasted soy bean flour, $18). The mochi is made with arrowroot flour, and is an incredibly laborious thing to create. The chef would not have placed this on the menu if he didn't have an assistant who loved making this despite the tedium.
- Kabocha Soy Soup (Warm sweet soup of kabocha and fresh soy, $18). Japanese pumpkin in light sweet soy milk. Comforting stuff.
But what drinks to accompany the sublime beef? Thankfully, there is a resident mixologist at Fat Cow, and he can make you various cocktails, including bespoke creations.
The Dealer's Choice is where you take a gamble on the mixologist's creation. He will concoct something for you, based on your preferences. Here we have a Kyoho Smash with Apricot Foam (Ron Zacapa 23 years, Fat Cow Kyoho liqueur, fresh yuzu juice, sugar syrup, fresh air flown Japanese purple Nagano grapes, apricot foam, $26). And no, those are not marijuana leaves!
I had to try the Hot Buttered Ume (Ron Zaccapa 23 years, Fat Cow Ume syrup, rose butter, $25).
It's like a rich, savoury tea with complex flavours (tangy, buttery, sweet and floral). And alcohol! I wonder if the Tibetans would say about this (given that they love yak butter tea)!
- Nichibotsu (Gran centenario anejo, Fat Cow Biwa Marmalade, Fat Cow cardamom syrup, fresh orange juice, egg white, yuzu, $25). Biwa is a Japanese kumquat. The nichibotsu tastes really light, so it's great for people who don't like strong drinks.
We really enjoyed dinner. I would love to go back for some of the starters - there's some yuzu grilled unagi as well, and also try the teppanyaki.
So Fat Cow is definitely an experience if you love good beef and fine food. However, you'll need a fat wallet or expense account to dine there comfortably. But there's no denying it's a great venue to celebrate important occasions.
1 Orchard Boulevard,
#01-01 Camden Medical Center,
Tel: +65 6735 0308
Open Mon–Sat: 6pm – 11pm
(right now it's only for dinner, but lunch is on the cards)
Many thanks to FoodNews and Fat Cow for the treat.