Last Updated: June 12, 2018
They met in a pub almost a decade ago and bonded instantaneously, Jimmy and Gerald were driven by the same goal — to redefine the accessibility of gourmet food by offering an affordable and laid-back dining experience for Singaporeans.
More than half a decade and kegs-worth of beers together later, the like-minded and ambitious duo found themselves gravitating towards materialising their dreams.
And this all culminates with the opening of their own stall, Meet 4 Meat, in Brunners coffeeshop along the bustling East Coast Road.
Inviting me into the kitchen, Chef Jimmy (an ex-chef at Wooloomooloo Steakhouse in Swissôtel), quips that instead of the conventional gas-stove, they use a flame-grill. According to him, this adds a robust smoky aroma and flavour to the different cuts of meat.
And now, the moment we have all been waiting for (cue drum rolls) — the food.
For those unacquainted to this fancy fare, the Beef Wellington ($27) is a preparation of tenderloin coated with pâté and duxelles (mushroom paste), wrapped in puff pastry and baked.
In Chef Jimmy’s rendition of this dish, instead of the traditional pâté de foie gras, a delicate piece of pan-seared foie gras is embedded in the mushroom duxelles.
All these goodness is placed atop the filet mignon, 180-grams of grass-fed Australian tenderloin.
Upon dissecting the massive chef-d’oeuvre, we were greeted with a mass of buttery decadence that was carefully encased in a crusty puff pastry.
The rich and creamy goose liver patty, combined with the earthiness of the finely-chopped sauteed mushrooms added a fine finishing touch to the Beef Wellington.
If you’re a fan of medium rare steaks like I am, be sure not to spend too much time Instagramming this phenomenal creation, because you’ll want to have it while it’s still hot.
The Marinated New Zealand Lamb Cutlets ($24.50) was the fulfilment of our gustatory dreams; this dish was a clear winner for us.
The marinade used (reaffirmed by the menu, “Unique marinade! Can’t be found anywhere else in the world!”) was definitely one that was out of this world.
While I’m not partial to lamb meat, the marinade, which was a good balance of sweet and tangy, certainly worked wonders. Diminishing the otherwise unmistakeable strong gamey odour of the lamb, I found myself quickly devouring this dish.
The one-of-a-kind sauce was derived from a family recipe that Chef Jimmy had tweaked in his attempts to make the lamb cutlet more palatable to those who did not particularly like its gaminess.
We also had the 100% Aussie Ribeye ($18), a glorious 220-gram slab of steak, seasoned with a house-made blend of fresh rosemary, thyme, garlic, shallots and paprika.
Albeit succulent and tender, the flavour of the grass-fed beef fell short in comparison to the previous dish, which was still lingering on our taste buds.
All the mains came with a side of potato wedges, carrots and mushrooms, roasted with fresh thyme and garlic. The mixture of shimeji and button mushrooms added an earthy and herby element to the dish.
This was accompanied by the sweet-tart undertone of the sweetened balsamic reduction that was drizzled around the plate. Overall, these elements formed the perfect complement to the various meats.
Finally, we were given a serving of Aglio Olio ($6), a plate of handmade tagliatelle tossed with minced garlic, fresh chilli, extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley.
Like the previous dish, we felt that the intensity of flavours from the previous few dishes outshined this plate of pasta. However, we would still recommend ordering a plate to share simply because we loved the texture of the pasta, but maybe have this before the other meat dishes.
The tagliatelle is cooked al dente, and the best way to describe it would probably be how it is almost like a cross between two of our local favourites — mee pok and ban mian. It retains the firmness of the former, without losing the chewiness of the latter.
Between mouthfuls of meat, this simple and unassuming dish works best as a refreshing break for your taste buds. Don’t miss it as they only prepare about 200 portions a day, and it is usually sold out by 5pm!
I would say that this dynamic duo and their team have done a great job in reinventing the hawker centre western food scene. Gone are the days of mediocre grilled-meats on sizzling hot plates that are a tad too dry and overdone. Meet 4 Meat has certainly set the bar up by a notch.
So if atas food at kopitiam prices are what you are looking for, this is the place to go. I will definitely be back for more.
Expected damage: $6 – $27 per pax