What: Recently launched Novotel and Mercure on Stevens compound is a not-so-secret foodie hotspot with a convenient cluster of eateries offering a wide variety concepts and cuisines.
8-weeks old, stylish Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) restaurant The Gyu Bar—major nods to their stellar ventilation system, so you don’t leave smelling like barbecue after—is one of the latest adding to this repertoire.
What to expect: By the people behind fine-dining sushi-ya Sushi Kimura at Palais Renaissance, The Gyu Bar serves up an indulgent meat and sake experience, focusing on both premium and rare cuts of Kumamoto Kuroge Wagyu—know for their excellent texture, flavour and rich aroma without being too oily—chilled, never frozen from Japan.
Highlights: The Omakase Gyu Bar Beef Platter of five different, premium cuts (cut changes according to what’s available in the chillers, though we hear you can even get exclusive cuts like Tomo-sankaku, also known as tri-tip) is an easy choice.
It is not cheap at $178 for about 300g of meat, or 20 slices—ranging from mmm-inducingly marbled to the less fatty, deeply meaty and savoury—but it is actually enough for two (if you’re not ravenous) with rice and some other add-ons.
Also brilliant and return-worthy is their Sirloin Steak ($96, 150g). Wonderfully fatty hunk of meat is seared, right at the table, till rare before being taken to the kitchen to be sliced and plated. The only effort required is choosing between truffle salt, sea salt and freshly grated wasabi to savour these succulent slices with.
And if you’re really in the mood to indulge, Gyu Bar has got some beef-uni, rich-on-rich combos like the Uni Wagyu Yukke Cone ($28 for 3 pcs)—almost creamy, raw beef with sweet umami-ness of sea urchin—and Sukiyaki Beef with Uni & Yolk ($42, or $30 without uni), all served in a bowl atop a bed of warm rice.
Japanese Yakiniku carries its origins from Korean cuisine, so don’t be surprised when you see Korean-style dishes on the menu, like their homemade Kimchi ($10) or the Ishiyaki Bibimpap ($22) with a mild heat from added gochujang and kimchi.
It’s not surprising that the bill can add up, especially with their selection of flavourful, premium cuts. Lunch offers some value rice sets, priced $18 to $35, though dinner offers the full experience, with table-side service and a complimentary cup of organic sake in your choice of cup from the owners’ huge collection.
I'd say go at lunch for a taste of their Kumamoto Kuroge Wagyu, but dinner for the full Gyu Bar experience.
This was an invited media tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.
The Gyu Bar
Address: #01-08, 30 Stevens Road, Singapore 257840
Tel: +65 6732 0702/91503164
Opening hours: Closed Mondays; Tuesday to Sunday 12pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm