Saturday, November 27, 2010


C says:

When Meatworks opened at Level 4 of ION Orchard a few weeks ago, I walked over to check out their menu, and a friendly waitress passed me their business card, which had their website printed on it. I checked it out when we got home, and was directed to their Malaysian website instead, complete with prices in RM. They also gave me the business card for their soon-to-open Brawn by meatworks, at Marina Bay Link Mall. This was even worse. The website doesn’t even work (and still doesn’t to this day). This is a pet peeve of mine – if you are going public with your website, you should ensure that it’s ready before then.

Anyway, notwithstanding that, we decided to give it a shot for lunch today. It was certainly a calm respite compared to the frenzied queues at Paradise Dynasty next door.

Alarm bells started to ring somewhat when A ordered the Meatworks burger, and asked for it to be medium rare. The waiter initially said it wasn’t possible, because they do their burgers medium well to well done. ?!?! He checked with the kitchen and came back saying they could accommodate.

The Meatworks burger comes with a sundried tomato relish, which is a large part of why A ordered it. The fries were good, and the patty was pink as requested, but somehow it was still quite chewy and very dry – it looked medium rare but tasted overcooked.

They have quite a selection of steaks, including some I’d never heard of before. On that basis, I decided on the Hanging Tender cut, again medium rare. The steak was quite thin, so my medium rare became somewhat medium. It had a good char to it, but the meat itself was really tough, dry and chewy. I had to eat tiny forkfuls because anything larger would be a challenge to chew and swallow. The mashed potato was good, but my friend W’s home made garlic mash is way better.

I have a theory, but that’s just it – only a theory. I was wondering about the chewiness of the meat, especially the burger since it was pink but still dry, when I remembered reading something in Jay Rayner’s book The Man Who Ate The World. He was interviewing celebrity chefs in Dubai, who told him the greatest challenge there was cooking with halal meat, because of how the animals are slaughtered (and their blood drained), which ultimately affects the flavour of the meat. While it’s not stated that this is a halal-certified restaurant, I did notice an absence of pork on the menu, and the fact that the chain originated from Malaysia.

For a restaurant that was practically empty, our food took ages to come, and so did the bill, and the processing of my credit card. The waiters were very polite though, and even said “I hope we’ll see you again”. Er... I’m afraid that’s not very likely.

A says:

The food’s just decent. The mashed potatoes were amazing and the fries were the kind I like, but for a place that calls itself Meatworks, the meat was only okay, and nowhere near great.

Service-wise, the staff are very friendly, but our food took forever to arrive.

Overall, I wouldn’t be back only because there’s already so much at Ion I really like.

2 Orchard Turn
#04-12 ION Orchard
Tel: 6634-0026


Anonymous said...

Hanging tender, as it is named, is meant to be tender on 3 conditions; that the piece of meat is sufficiently aged, properly portioned (as with all beef) and cook medium rare.

It has a strong beef flavour but it can be thin because of its structure. Hence grilling it needs some practice. Maybe they have not perfected it yet. BTW this use to be a butcher's steak, one that he takes home for dinner :)

As for hamburger, a good piece of hamburger is made from a chilled or properly thawed meat. So the "juice" remained in the patty. Nothing to do with Halal processed.

Meat with plenty of sinew will result many tough bits when you chew on it. Of course a good hamburger costs more than most burgers offered making it a challenge for a restaurant to sell.

Anonymous said...

Also to note, depending on how the meat patty for the burger was made would then determine the ability to do anything less than medium well. If the patty was minced in-house fresh from a piece of beef in this case the restaurant would be obliged to ask for doneness. Processed meats on the other hand should be only eaten cooked properly.