surprisingly delicious steak, and well-cooked at that, at this rather casual steakery in myvillage at serangoon gardens. it’s a rather cleaned-up, modernified take on what was previously a coffeeshop western stall (a rather local phenomenon of asian-interpreted fried western foods dished up good and cheap), with service courtesy of rather-friendly aunties and good food couresty of great ingredients and some impressive-cooking.
it’s not nearly in the same league as the rather more renowned, poshy steakhouses – but it does pretty well in its class, rather much more impressive than aston’s, to my thinking.
this place is barely ten minutes from my house – and yet, it’s taken this second incarnation (a move from their previous location at the coffeeshop just five minutes away) and more than a few years for me to finally visit. I’m glad I finally have, though, as it means we no longer need drive to changi for a bit of steak (it’s a tad exaggerated, but we do find that the best aston’s outlet).
it’s not entirely gourmet, even if it’s rather satisfying for a weekday meal. the mushroom soup arrives looking like it was poured out a red-white can – not my sort of thing, but my sister certainly loved it with lots of cracked black pepper.
but the fried mushrooms and calamari were rather top of their class, with crispy golden batter coating rings of squid and button mushrooms. it’s certainly more expert than I’d have expected – and highly moreish.
as the mains arrive, you get the idea that they certainly know what they’re up to in the kitchen. grilled chicken and steak arrive with fantastic sear and tender insides, and the sides (of which the menu includes more than a few) do great jobs as chaperons.
just look at that pink, eh? it certainly says more than I could.
the grillhouse in the name does seem a misnomer: there’s something casual about the place, with its open concept and the need to order at the counter on your own – and even the table service is dished up by aunties (of the sort that just cannot be rushed). it makes for easy eating, stress-free and completely effortless – especially with prices that lie below the twenties for a decent showing of meat, and the genial mix of families and teenagers that fill the place.
it’s now our weekday go-to for steak, and rather a compelling reason to eat local (an exception to that variant of murphy’s law that states you usually end up eating far, far away from your own neighborhood).
1 Maju Ave
tel +65 6285 8839
$$: 20 a person