Fancy having stew cooked by LKY? That’s Benedict LKY, the affable and sometimes over-the-top owner of Stew Haus along East Coast Road. He is very proud, and certainly makes no secret, of the fact that he’s also called Lee Kuan Yew – a fact that was played out at length when his restaurant was featured on Makansutra Raw.
We came here on Saturday night with A’s Mart buddies, to bid a fond farewell to one of their own. Besides a variety of about 8 savoury stews, another of Stew Haus’ specialities is their pork knuckle, so we ordered a few helpings of the knuckle and a wide selection of stews to share. I’m just going to attach a few photos, because after a while the stews ended up looking the same… Taste-wise they were pretty different though, and we all had differing views on which was our favourite.
For me, the winner hands-down was the German oxtail, followed by the lamb shank stew. The oxtail was a full-bodied, richer version of its lighter and more subtle lamb shank cousin. The oxtail pieces had been slow-cooked to perfection, with the tendons in the meat breaking down to give a great thickness to the sauce. A preferred the Lamb and Guinness (sup kambing, as it was affectionately called) because it was lighter in texture, but flavour-wise was actually still quite strong. The alcohol had been cooked away but there was still a strong trace of Guinness.
The Osso Bucco here uses pork shank rather than veal, which was interesting but made for slightly tougher meat. The Hungarian Goulash was so-so, and I didn’t try the mussel stew, but the Chicken Stroganoff was surprising. We ordered it because it had come recommended over the Gumbo, but when it first arrived, it paled in comparison to the rich red-meat stews. At the end of the night though, as I was picking through leftover portions, I realised that after enjoying the various heavy, meaty ones, the Chicken Stroganoff was actually a welcome breath of fresh air, being tasty yet light enough not to overwhelm.
For a stew house, the pork knuckle was great – deep fried till the crackling was really crispy. The downside to that though, is the meat got a bit hard as a result. What I liked was that they deboned and chopped it up for you, so no messing about clumsily; you just get lovely bite-sized pieces of crispiness.
We had a sweet stew dessert – apples stewed in white wine, served with rum and raisin ice cream. I found the apple and wine combi a bit too strong for me, actually, but the rum and raisin ice cream was fabulous. Next time I’m just gonna have the ice cream.
Don’t expect fine dining, but if you feel like some comfort food on a rainy day, I think this’ll hit the spot. Unfortunately, (a) this place is in the East, and (b) stews really aren’t A’s cup of tea. Unless we arrange another group outing, I highly doubt that he’s gonna agree to traipse all the way here just for stew. Pity.
Service from the owner is very good. Unfortunately, one of the waitresses forgot one of the dessert orders. As for food though, stews really aren’t my thing. I’d recommend it only if you live within walking distance. Parking in the area is hard to come by.
695B East Coast Road
Open 11 am to 11 pm