Despite the fact that my job pretty much revolves around food, I’ve never been one for fine dining — I’ve never been able to justify the price-to-portion ratio in my head (“$100 for a single scallop!?”), and the closest I’ve gotten to it is watching Gordon Ramsay cooking on YouTube.

Image Credit: Fat Belly

It would seem then, that Fat Belly’s Alternative Steak Experience is the perfect middle ground for someone like me — for $78, this “speakeasy steakhouse” in the Botanic Gardens area is offering a six-course meal centered around their alternative wagyu steak cuts.

With an open mind and open-er stomach, I headed down to try it out.

Raising The Steaks

Before we get into the food, something needs to be said about the ambience.

Image Credit: Discover SG

The entirety of Fat Belly is comprised of a cozy bar counter that sits 10 (it shares a space with its sister restaurant, Sugarhaus), and an open kitchen concept allows you to watch the chef prepare your meal as the fragrant smells act as a mouth-watering precursor for what’s to come.

The close proximity of everything makes for an rather intimate experience, making it a great place if you’re running out of date night ideas.

Image Credit: Discover SG

You know you’re in for a good time when your appetisers have appetisers, or a “pre-dinner snack”, as the chef called it. This part of the meal varies from day to day, and I was served Homemade Rice Crackers — sprinkled with beef salt and furikake, this light starter definitely got me in the mood for food.

Image Credit: Discover SG

The meal then began in earnest with the Foi Gras Creme brûlée. The ignorant foodie in me expected the dish to be sweet, but it gave off a truffle-like taste instead (alternative experience, indeed). Fans of savoury food will enjoy this, but it does lean on the stronger side and might be a little too overwhelming for some.

Image Credit: Discover SG

The saltiness of the previous two dishes had me craving for meat, and it just so happened that the next appetiser consisted of a Skewered Wagyu Beef Intercostal (that’s the space between the ribs, for those of you who didn’t know). Cooking the meat in red wine gave it an alcoholic aftertaste, and the addition of chimichurri sauce added another fresh dimension to the already-flavourful dish.

Image Credit: Discover SG

Next up was the Tajima Beef Char Siew, which I can only describe as “char siew on steroids”. Draped in a house sauce consisting of honey and fermented red beancurd, the distinct char siew taste was especially strong, and when paired with the accompanying kale made for a balanced and satisfying bite.

Image Credit: Discover SG

You’d think that three appetisers would be enough, but the chef had one more up trick up his sleeve in the form of a Wagyu Slider (not that I was complaining). Sandwiched between homemade potato buns and melted Gouda cheese, the mini burger gave off a buttery umami flavour, and was the perfect end to the string of appetisers.

Image Credit: Discover SG
Image Credit: Discover SG

Finally, it was time for the main event — the Marble Score 8 Grilled Tajima Tri-Tip, and a USDA 150 day Grain Fed Angus Flat Iron Steak from the a la carte menu as well. Eating the two side by side really exemplified how different cuts can provide wildly different experiences — the flat iron was so tender that it pretty much melted in my mouth, while the Tajima tri-tip was probably the most flavourful steak I had ever eaten in my life. There’s no wrong choice here.

Image Credit: Discover SG

And what better way to end a meal than with some dessert? The Molten Lava Chocolate Cake was extremely rich, and the addition of raspberry helped to mix things up as well. The cinnamon gelato from Sugarhaus that’s served alongside it warrants a writeup of its own, but that’s an article for another day.

I was always under the impression that fine dining wouldn’t fill my stomach, but I was surprisingly full at the end of the meal (I suppose six courses will do that to you). From sweet to savoury to every thing else in between, pretty much every taste receptor had been satisfied.


Image Credit: Discover SG

And even if you aren’t up for such an extravagant meal, their surprisingly affordable a la carte menu is worth checking out as well — the aforementioned Flat Iron Steak goes for a very reasonable $22, and sides like Truffle Fries and Sauteed Thyme Mushroom cost a mere $5.

Fat Belly’s Alternative Steak Experience strikes the perfect balance between fine dining and…well, normal dining, and proves that you don’t have to break the bank for a premium culinary experience (relatively speaking, at least).

If you’re ever in the mood to treat yo self, Fat Belly is definitely one place to consider.

Fat Belly
Address: Serene Centre, 10 Jalan Serene #01-04, Singapore 258748
Opening Hours: 6pm-10pm (Monday – Thursday, Sunday), 6pm-11pm (Friday, Saturday)

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(Header Image Source: Discover SG)

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