Sunday, May 06, 2012

Masa Steak & Hamburg

C says:

Major props to A’s friend KH for suggesting this place for dinner. The guy who owns Masa apparently also owns all the restaurants occupying that corner of Robertson Walk, next to Wine Connection – Masa, Tori-Tama, and Yakiniku Yazawa round the corner.

As the name suggests, Masa serves steak and hamburger steak, but don't expect a casual, Ma Maison type place. At Masa, they only serve wagyu beef, so their prices are unsurprisingly pretty high. Their cheapest steak is $68, going as high as $220 for a 180g Chateaubriand, a premium cut from the tenderloin.

However, if you go for their hamburger steak, prices are a lot less frightening - $28 for a 200g patty, and $38 for 300g. Their starters, all featuring the same wagyu beef, range from $20 to $28, so these are much more affordable alternatives to get your wagyu fix at Masa.

We tried the carpaccio, and the seared tataki. The carpaccio was fairly traditional Italian, with thinly sliced raw beef, arugula and shaved parmesan cheese. The beef texture and flavor were amazing – because it was raw, you could really taste the flavor and unctuous fattiness of the waygu beef.

The seared tataki, served Japanese style with onions in a ponzu sauce, was also good in a different way. The sear obviously gave it more flavor and bite, but you also appreciated the flavor of the wagyu a bit less. I honestly don’t know which I prefer, but I do know I now want to try their steak tartare as well.

When you order your hamburger steak, you have a choice of 3 sauces – original, demiglace and ponzu, and 3 toppings – fried egg, garlic chips and cheese. I had the demiglace sauce and a fried egg; A had the original sauce with garlic chips.

The garlic chips were a bit of a letdown. They were thin and delicate but didn’t have a lot of garlic flavor. The fried egg, on the other hand, was a great topping, since the runny yolk just added to the already rich flavor of the beef.

The hamburger steak itself was outstanding. Cooked medium (we weren’t given an option), the patty was fall apart tender – you could cut it with a fork or chopsticks, and full of flavour. I liked my demiglace sauce, as it tasted the most like a reduced Western-style sauce, but it does get quite rich after a while. The original had a tart edge which helped alleviate the richness, but it was also less flavourful. Again, if you’re going with a few people I’d recommend ordering both sauces to share, so that you get the best of both worlds.

Unless you’re very hungry, I’d recommend just getting the 200g patty, since it’s quite rich and it does get a bit monotonous after a while. Better to have more variety by ordering the smaller patty and having a couple of the awesome starters as well.

Ask them about their desserts, because the menu isn’t the most informative (only listing Ice Cream, Sherbet and Dessert of the Day). Tonight they had vanilla and caramel ice creams, peach sherbet, panna cotta and gateau chocolat. A had the panna cotta, which was pretty good, and my caramel ice cream rocked. It was a burnt caramel, much like the one at Kazu, so it wasn’t cloyingly sweet and was a perfect way to end the meal.

An amazing find. We’ll definitely be back.

A says:

I recommend the starters (under $30 each). The hamburg steak is good and still affordable. We’ll definitely be back for that combo.

For a casual dinner, the conventional steaks are just too rich (in price) for my blood though. With the chateaubriand costing over $200, they better be good too. Maybe for a very, very, very, vey special occasion. Like winning the lottery.

Masa Steak & Hamburg
11 Unity Street
#01-03 Robertson Walk
Tel: 6836-2529
Open daily: 6 pm – 11 pm

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