Saturday, October 21, 2006

Astons Specialties

Today marks the beginning of my makan sessions with a group of like minded food enthusiasts from various forums. Our choice of dinner venue was Astons Specialties at East Coast Rd. This joint has been highly recommended by many seasoned foodies and expectations were high as we made our way there at about 2000hrs. There was quite a queue of people waiting to get in and although I had made a reservation on Wednesday, there was no record of my name to be found, which naturally left me furious. Astons admitted that it was error on their part and although we had to wait for about 25mins for a table, credit has to be given to them for trying to get us a table ASAP. One thing I noticed about the place was that it was actually quite small and squeezy. There were barely 10 tables around and air conditioning was poor. They could well do with more powerful air conditioners or an air curtain at the entrance to prevent the cool air from rushing out.

Food wise, I shared the Wagyu beef promotion @ $38.90 for a 200g cut and the Ieat Super Burger with a friend. Both were done medium rare. According to them, the wagyu was supposed to have a marbling score of 5/6, which was pretty decent for the price. The wagyu came with 2 sides (I chose fries and pasta salad) which was pretty uninspiring. The pasta salad was almost tasteless and the fries were thin and had the same seasoning as that of Botak Jones fries. The wagyu was quite good though. Soft, juicy and tender. Every mouthful is greeted with a burst of flavour that slowly seeps down your throat. Not as good as the Kobe Beef I had at Keyaki, but certainly in a league of its own. Pity about the small 200g portion though. The accompanying mushroom (with garlic?) sauce was nice too, but I found it a tad too salty. The Ieat burger scored high salivation marks for its appearance. Toasted bun atop bacon strips, deep fried onions, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, a slab of chopped sirloin and drenched with BBQ sauce. However, the taste was short of expectations. The chopped sirloin was quite tasteless and dry and not to mention a little too soft. The bacon strips were nicely grilled though and that was just about the only consolation I had from the burger. At $12.50 for the burger, I guess it was pretty reasonable.

It cost us about $210 for 8 pax. On my part I paid about $27/- which I feel was reasonable for the quality of food. However Astons didn't quite measure up to my expectations probably because I had hyped myself up to be expecting something out of this world, only to be brought back down to earth. Nevertheless, a good eat, with reasonable pricing. Please note that the wait for food can be quite long especially when its full, which is most of the time in the evenings. A worthy contender to Botak Jones. Having no GST or service charge is definitely a plus!

On a sidenote, I wish to thank everyone who turned up for this session for making it a success. Thanks and looking forward to the next one! You can view the other reviews of Astons here and here


The interior

The menu

Our official drink for the night!

The wagyu beef with sides

Cross section of the wagyu

My friend's Black Pepper Fish

My friend's Black Pepper Steak

The ieat Super Burger

Close up of the ingredients in the burger


Final Verdict:
Ambience:5.5/10 (A little warm and cramp)
Food:7/10 (7.5/10 for the wagyu)
Value for money:7/10


Address: 119 East Coast Rd. Opposite Katong Mall. Reservations highly recommended. Cash terms only.

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