TAKING the unconventional route has certain advantages that come from not being schooled in protocols and patterns. Risk-taking is in your DNA and you’re likely to bounce back when you’ve been knocked down.
John Chan jumped into the food and beverage industry without any experience or expertise. From hawker stalls to restaurants, he’s switched and changed things around and has landed up in Novena Gardens with Tomahawk Contemporary Steakhouse.
His preference is for unexpected outcomes, and you’ll get that served to you in an otherwise conventional steakhouse setting. Warm wood hues and plump leather seats and a spirited drinks menu set the tone, but then deviates from the norm as the fusion of Asian influences becomes evident in your meal.
It’s a brain bender as what you see is not necessarily what you’re expecting to taste.
Lamb Empanada in Butter Puff Pastry ($12) is filled with green curry and Greek yoghurt, leaving your tongue a bit confused about this cosmopolitan curry puff that vanishes in a puff of spicy flavours.
Or let your palate rock and roll through sweet, salty, smooth, hard, crunchy and mushy experiences with the Burratina With Salted Fish ($32).
The Squid Ink Lobster Stock Risotto ($47) is about the crustacean stock, reduced from 15 litres of water and 10kg of lobster heads to a concentrated, thick sauce that brings to the fore rich umami flavours.
The spirit of adventure is also evident in the Char Siu With Coleslaw ($30), in which the Borrowdale free range pork belly is marinated with 17 ingredients including red rice yeast fermented with bean curd, and hickory-smoked before being served up with crunchy coleslaw.
When it comes to the steaks, there are four cuts to choose from — Wagyu Tomahawk Ribeye, WAGYU Porterhouse, Wagyu Boneless Striploin, and a Rhug Estate Organic Welsh Angus Ribeye.
The Australian Sanchoku Wagyu ($20/100gm) on the table is wet-cured up to a fortnight to break down the collagen between muscle fibres, hence increasing its tenderness. The end result is further torched, resulting in a more enhanced flavour, amplified with truffle black sesame sauce and side dishes.
This is a hunk of meat, so doggy bags are to be expected, in keeping with the restaurant’s dog-friendly approach.
Tomahawk Contemporary Steakhouse, 273 Thomson Rd #01-06 Novena Gardens Singapore 307644. tomahawk.com.sg