Angus Steak House, Singapore
This place (Ngee Ann City #04-25, 6735-6015) is different. Normally when you hear of a restaurant called Angus House, you think of a rugged American steak house, right? Wrong. While the wait staff here wears traditional maid outfits (like they do at Lawry's), this is clearly Japanese food...or at least, a Japanese rendition of Western food. While that of course means that they feature wagyu beef if you want it, but more importantly, it also means that it doesn't feature the straightforwardly flame-broiled steaks that we've all come to love. Instead, the Japanese influence is very obvious, as if the rough edges had been rounded off and polished in a very delicate manner.
And normally I'd hate this kind of localization. But I have to admit that I didn't mind this place as much as I should have. In fact, the deep-fried fish starter was pretty darned good, even if I couldn't quite figure out what all that minced green stuff was underneath. The salad featured a Japanese ponzu-like dressing, while the cream of mushroom soup was likewise delicate yet still decently tasty. The main event, the hanbaga suteki ("hamburger steak") was covered in sauce (again, something I usually despise on steaks) and featured an egg sunny-side-up on it. It was about as far away from the rough (but tasty) American hamburger steak that one gets at places like the Pantry in Downtown LA (where all the workers are ex-convicts, BTW), and yet somehow I still wolfed this whole thing down quite easily. The finishing dessert was some kind of tiramisu, but that of course is delicate to begin with.
Strange. Normally this kind of Japanese-Western stuff would be a huge turn-off for me. Yet for some reason, I was drawn here and ate all of this very quickly. I guess that explains why I like Pepper Lunch so much (although for some reason I suspect that could be more because of the butter). Well, don't come here looking for a classic steak. If you do, you'll be sorely disappointed (and I still would not recommend this place to any of my friends). But I did see a number of other cuts (like ribeye and sirloin) on the open grill in the kitchen that I know somehow is still going to pull me back here again to try them...just to see how Japanese they really can be.