Together with a few other bloggers, we were very kindly invited by Ruth’s Chris to a blogger’s dinner to celebrate the opening of their very first outpost in Southeast Asia, right here in Singapore.
Ruth’s Chris has almost 50 years’ history, starting with its humble origins on a street corner in New Orleans, and expanding to 133 locations worldwide. In Asia, there are a few outlets in Hong Kong and Taiwan, one in Japan and now at the Marina Mandarin in Singapore.
We expected bite-sized samples of their offerings at a fairly large event, but to our surprise it was a proper sit down dinner with only about 12 of us in total. True to the Southern hospitality that is a trademark of Ruth’s Chris, the tables were set with a detailed menu and even a Ruth’s Chris stress cow. We were also presented with Mardi Gras beads, which set the tone for an extremely enjoyable evening.
Unlike the crab cakes at most places, the ones here are literally just mounds of straight-up blue crab meat with barely any fillers, finished with sizzling butter poured on top. Without the distraction of breadcrumbs, you could really appreciate the chunks of fresh sweet crab meat. We were each given little yellow parcels, which turned out to contain half a lemon. This ensured that you didn’t get lemon juice all over your hands, and didn’t squeeze lemon seeds onto the crab cake either. Ingenious.
The barbequed shrimp with Creole butter was served family style, and we all lapped up the sauce for this. The buttery yet not excessively creamy sauce went perfectly with the accompanying garlic bread, as well as their in-house bread. *Note: They serve a wicked whipped salted butter with their bread too.
What distinguishes Ruth’s Chris from other steakhouses in Singapore is their New Orleans heritage, which they proudly continue to showcase in their menu. I chose the seafood gumbo and was not disappointed. The gumbo was chockfull of seafood flavor, and with the rice stirred in, was comfort food at its best.
A chose the chopped salad, which apparently has over 10 ingredients including romaine and iceberg lettuces, radicchio, diced egg, tomato, crumbled blue cheese and topped with crispy fried onions. The bites that contained blue cheese were particularly good, but overall I preferred the gumbo.
With the exception of certain bone-in cuts which currently cannot be imported from the US to Singapore, Ruth’s Chris only serves USDA Prime steaks. (For their bone-in cuts, they use Australian Wagyu.) Their steaks are broiled on a trademarked 982-degree Celsius oven, and served on a 260-degree Celsius heated plate, with their signature sizzling butter poured on top. No sauces are added, so that you can fully appreciate the flavour and quality of the meat.
(Photo courtesy of Ruth’s Chris Steak House)
Between us, we had one Petite Filet (230g) and one Prime Ribeye (340g). The steaks were cooked to a perfectly even medium rare, and well broiled outside. They were both amazingly tender – the Filet obviously so, but even the Ribeye required barely any effort to cut through. I preferred the Ribeye as it had a good balance between tenderness and beefy flavour. The Filet was remarkably tender but I found the flavour a bit too subtle.
The sautéed mushroom and asparagus sides were served family style, and if I hadn’t been so full from everything thus far I would have polished off more of the mushrooms, which were so simply prepared yet so delicious.
Stan, the President of the group responsible for the Ruth’s Chris franchise in Asia, was raving about their lamb chops, saying how excited he was that Singapore (unlike some of the other Asian outlets) allows the import of US lamb. While not on the menu for the evening’s dinner, we convinced him to get the kitchen to broil a portion so that we could see for ourselves what the fuss was about.
Man, he wasn’t kidding. The lamb was one of the most memorable bites of the evening. I’ve never tasted lamb with that much flavour, yet without too much of the characteristic lamb pungency that some Asian palates aren’t used to. The meat was tender and succulent, perfectly seasoned with rosemary and garlic, and just truly amazing.
We were told to save some room for dessert, and I’m glad we did. The cheesecake here is legendary. Besides the fact that a single portion consists of a whole 5-inch cake, everything about it was stellar, from the buttery crust to the perfect texture of the cheesecake and the topping of sour cream that added just the right acidic edge.
A meal here doesn’t come cheap – a steak will set you back about $85, but then again these prices are no more than other premium steakhouses like Morton’s, but certainly less than Fat Cow. Portions are large, so sharing and doggybagging are very much the norm and are indeed encouraged.
Their a la carte menu is available all day, and in a couple of weeks they’ll start offering a lunch menu too, with smaller cuts of steak, lunch salads, and some steak sandwiches and sliders too.
I’m definitely keen to try their lunch offerings, but right now I’m dreaming about going back for their lamb chops and cheesecake.
Getting a good steak these days isn’t cheap. But the portions here are HUGE so you get a lot for what you pay for. Although funnily enough the stand out dishes of the night weren’t the steaks, but the crabcake, lamb and gumbo (and the Creole butter that came with the shrimp). The desserts are also a definite must-try. Insanely good for what you’d normally expect from a steakhouse. The only problem is that they are GIGANTIC. One order of the cheesecake is probably enough for 4.
We had this meal as part of a special event, so it may not be indicative of an average visit, so we’ll post another review when we go back. And from what we’ve tried so far, we’ll definitely be back.
*Disclaimer: atetoomuch did not pay for our meal here, but rest assured that this did not affect our review in any way.*
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
6 Raffles Boulevard
Level 4, Marina Mandarin
Open daily: 11.30 am – 3 pm; 5.30 pm – 11 pm