Steak Review: Fat Cow πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬

Visited the renowned Japanese-style steakhouse Fat Cow with my housemates; it’s located at Camden Medical in the Orchard area.

Photo by Tatler Singapore.

Two of my housemates have had steaks at Fat Cow before a few years prior, and they gave it rave reviews unanimously so it’s been on my restaurants checklist for a while now.

They offer a great selection of wagyu steaks from different prefectures; the ones shown here include Himeji, Saga, Tochigi, Hida, Ohmi and Miyazaki wagyu.

We have been enjoying home-cooked wagyu steaks for the past 6 months thanks to our resident aspiring steak chef Mark Twein, and even then there were many types of wagyu here at Fat Cow that are new to us.

Excited to try out the steaks! Couldn’t stop grinning.

We were seated in a private corner, probably since we were ordering ala carte rather than omakase. Upon entry we were also given zip-lock bags to hold our masks; a pretty nice touch on the restaurant’s part.

Starter: A sashimi platter.

Kinmedai ($29) and Otoro sashimi ($68) platter.

I didn’t try the kinmedai (splendid alfonsino); apparently it tastes rather fishy.

Otoro, on the other hand…

I absolutely love otoro; almost a must-order for me whenever I see it on the menu. It’s the fattiest part of the blue fin tuna belly, which practically melts in your mouth.

Next: The wagyu sandwich.

The Fat Cow Wagyu Sandwich ($88) – Toasted brioche, toriyama A4 tenderloin

So the story here is that I ordered a similar cutlet sandwich during my Tokyo trip earlier this year, cost around 500 SGD but ended up being really disappointing for me.

Breading and frying a densely-marbled piece of wagyu till it becomes dried up and chewy, then jamming it in between two pieces of oil-soaked fried bread is almost the worst way to prepare wagyu in my book – a waste of perfectly good meat. Texture ruined, no more melty buttery fats; the whole thing just becomes thick, sinewy & chewy.

And because this dish was introduced to me by our resident chef Mark, he wanted to make it up to me for the ill-advised recommendation by ordering the same thing here at Fat Cow.

Though he claims that it’s good, he’s always preferred his steak chewier in general, so to each their own. And I stand by my statement:

Wagyu cutlet sandwich is sacrilegious.

I do enjoy a good katsu or cutlet sandwich; I just don’t think it’s necessary to use (read: waste) highly-marbled wagyu for this purpose.

Main Course: Wagyu steak!

Time for the main course – what we came to Fat Cow for! I am a sucker for fatty steaks, so I picked the hida wagyu as advised by the server.

Hida A5 Wagyu Steak 150g ($188)

The sauce was amazing; the garlic was fried just nice so it’s crispy and not bitter.

The hida steak is almost 90% fats – the fattiest one on the menu indeed.

The outer layer or coating of the steak was crispy and the meat itself was tender and required minimal chewing; it was just so rich in fats that I could feel the meat melt on my tongue and the oil trickle down my throat, so texture-wise it was great, exactly what you’d expect of top-grade wagyu.

Unfortunately, all these were overshadowed by the fact that the entire steak just tastes overwhelmingly like blowtorched mentaiko.

And this wasn’t the only steak that had this problem – between the 4 of us we ordered 3 main courses:

  • A 21 days dry-aged nagasaki A5 wagyu donburi
  • A hida A5 wagyu steak (mine)
  • A saga A5 wagyu steak

And all three of these shared the same issue.

We took turns to try out the different steaks, but sans some minute differences in texture, they all tasted the same. We weren’t even able to taste the supposed nutty note that should be present in the dry-aged steak.

Hyped it up too much beforehand, somewhat disappointed by the steak.

We shared our feedback with the friendly team of servers, who then explained to us that the chefs don’t blowtorch the meat, so the overwhelming blowtorch-like taste was probably caused by the fact that the meat was partially cooked over a gas fire / grill.

My housemates mentioned that it didn’t used to taste this way when they visited a few years back, and the servers explained to us that they used to cook their steaks fully over a charcoal grill back then, but it takes too long to cook and resulted in a long wait-time, so they eventually switched to a half-gas, half-charcoal cooking method, allowing steaks to be served much faster.

It’s probably the gas fire portion of the new cooking method that made the meat taste like it’s been blowtorched.

We also told them that we definitely wouldn’t mind waiting longer for a good 100% charcoal-grilled steak on our next visit.


And as we were chitchatting over green tea and looking at what to order for dessert, the servers suddenly returned to our table and informed us that the chef would like to offer us another wagyu steak on the house, only cooked slightly differently this time, to see if there’s a difference in taste.

Of course we were all pleasantly surprised by such a nice gesture from the restaurant. They offered us a full steak, but because we were already feeling jelak from the sheer rich oiliness of the prior courses, we asked if we could just have a small tasting portion instead.

A smaller Tochigi A5 steak for the 4 of us to share.

The steak was served after a while, we asked them what was done differently – they replied that this piece was done mostly over the charcoal grill; they turned off the gas part of the grill, but since it’s been on for the entire day there was bound to be a bit of lingering smell.

This one turned out to be great, much to our satisfaction; there was a lot less of the gas or blowtorch taste, just a subtle hint of it in the crispy outer layer. And with that we could fully taste the natural sweetness of the wagyu meat and appreciate the tender, melty and buttery texture.

Food: 8/10

If only the steaks we ordered were cooked over charcoal! Their ingredients were fresh and top-grade; and we had nothing to complain about the sides dishes; everything else from the foie gras to the steak sauce was really tasty.

Not penalizing them for the cutlet sandwich too because it’s the whole concept of it that’s bad, not the execution. It tastes the same everywhere.

Customer Service: 10/10

The gestures from the restaurant and efficiency with which our feedback were handled really speaks a lot about the management of their restaurant, they could’ve easily just ignored the issue but instead, they chose to go the extra mile. And that really made up for our initial disappointment over the steaks.

Total Damage: $800 for 4 pax; so about 200 SGD / pax.

About the Restaurant

Fat Cow is a Japanese-inspired meat atelier where the promise of a bespoke dining experience is carried through from a handpicked selection of the finest Wagyu beef to its luxurious wines, sakes and signature cocktails. Guests may enjoy their choice of beef over a variety of Japanese preparation methods – Shabu-Shabu, Sukiyaki, or the ever-popular Sumibiyaki (charcoal-grill).” – TripAdvisor

If you wish to visit Fat Cow, here’s the address:

1 Orchard Blvd
#01-01/02 Camden Medical Centre
Singapore 248649

One thought on “Steak Review: Fat Cow πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬

  1. Hayashi Lim Lian Hing says:

    The only time I would accept gas grill is for unagi and mackerel! Definitely not recommended for beef.

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