Sutāchi – Affordable Beef Donburi With Foie Gras!
The words ‘affordable’ and ‘beef’ don’t normally appear in the same sentence. If you throw some foie gras in the mix, you’re generally looking at a pretty hefty price tag. It therefore came as a surprise when I found out that Sutāchi, a hawker stall in Chinatown Complex, serves up delicious yet affordable Beef Donburi (Rice Bowls)!
Sutāchi describes its food as a fusion between Japanese and Italian cuisines. The stall was opened last December by two young hawkerpreneurs, Yu Ting (32 years old) and Alex (28 years old). Interestingly, Yun Ting used to be an auditor by trade! A few years ago, she decided to take a break from her auditing career to pursue her interest in the culinary arts. She enrolled herself into culinary school, which is where she met Alex. After working for various restaurants, the pair decided that it was time for them to venture out to open their own hawker stall!
Sutāchi aims to produce gourmet fusion dishes at affordable prices. At just $7.50, you can get their signature Beef Donburi, which features New Zealand striploin. However, if you’re in an indulgent mood, you can get this rice bowl with an additional piece of decadent foie gras ($19.50 in total)! The presentation of this dish was truly mouthwatering. My eyes were immediately drawn towards the glistening piece of foie gras, which was pan-seared to a dark golden-brown. The beef was thinly sliced and laid over the rice to expose its rosy pink centre. The last component of the dish was the pickled vegetables, which looked very appetising with its vibrant purple colour. All of these ingredients were sat atop a generous amount of white rice.
I had to dive straight for the main attraction – the foie gras. Its charred exterior gave it a wonderful smokey aroma, which complemented its buttery flavour. In terms of texture, the foie gras was rich and creamy, so it left a layer of fat which coated each mouthful of rice and beef. However, the foie gras tasted quite gamy, which might not appeal to some palates. I felt that the gaminess was balanced out by the slices of beef.
The beef was cooked to about medium, though I normally prefer my beef cooked medium-rare. However, I felt that this actually worked quite well in this dish. The beef, which was still juicy and moist, had a slightly chewier texture which complemented the creaminess of the foie gras. Alex, who prepared this dish for us, explained that he actually coats the beef with foie gras oil by cooking them in the same pan. The beef indeed had the same smokey aroma as the foie gras, and was thoroughly coated in its scrumptious fat.
The white rice was slightly sticky and topped with a dark sweet Donburi sauce. The pickled vegetables were a refreshing accompaniment to the meaty components of the dish. The vegetables were crunchy and had a lovely sweet and sour tang. The acidity really helped to cut through the fattiness of the foie gras and beef.
If you’re craving for pasta but would also like to taste authentic Japanese flavours, Sutāchi is also known for its Salmon Mentaiko Pasta ($7.50). The pasta is mixed with chunks of salmon and comes topped with a dollop of Japan-imported mentaiko, which is blow-torched before serving to add a smokey char. After mixing the mentaiko in with the pasta, I found that its flavours were balanced well as I could still taste the distinct flavour of salmon.
The dish also features an onsen egg that is cooked sous vide. Breaking open the egg revealed its golden runny yolk which served to enrich the pasta. Despite adding creaminess to the dish, the egg had a neutral flavour which actually helped to mellow out the saltiness of the mentaiko. The spaghetti itself was cooked al dente, which added a satisfying bite. Overall, despite this being a creamy pasta dish, it was not too heavy so I definitely did not feel jelat when eating it.
Whether you’re in the mood for Japanese or Italian food, Sutāchi is a great place to visit to experience the best of both worlds. Other than the two above mentioned dishes, the stall serves other rice bowls, pastas and even chicken wings! I did find the stall a bit hard to locate though – it was tucked in the corner of the second floor of Chinatown Complex. However, given the quality of the dishes we tried, I’d highly recommend heading down there if you’re in the area!
Address: 335 Smith Street, #02-060, Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre,
Mobile: 9785 1382
Email Address: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Monday - 11:30am to 2:30pm, Tuesday to Saturday - 11:30am to 2:30pm & 6pm to 9:30pm, closed on Sunday.
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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