Meat Smith doesn’t believe in salad. Even the som tum slaw ($4), which was really just terrible superlative salty achar, was puny for the price. The price was screaming, “Don’t eat veg, go for the more value-for-money meats.”
Pig’s Ear ($5 a piece)
The meats, on the other hand, were a thing of masculine beauty, and luckily Meat Smith is meat-centric. The latest venture of hotelier Loh Lik Peng, Meat Smith is helmed by American chef Andrew Baldus, presenting a Southern American menu of bbq and smoked meats, with Asian influences. A tiny restaurant with 5 wait staff–some restaurants can’t even find 3–you know they have powerful backing and vast experience.
Beef Tongue ($13)
The menu changes frequently, and even though Meat Smith is new, some items are already taken off the menu when we were there, like fried green tomato which I wanted to try desperately because I love the novel, Fried Green Tomatos at the Whistle Stop Cafe.
Half chicken ($20)
For starters, the pig ear lettuce wrap ($5 a piece) with banh mi pickles were too rock-hard to bite, and William found it too sour for his liking. William’s sharp tongue likened the beef tongue ($13) to Sichuan flavors, spicy and sour, and indeed, when we referred to the menu, there was Sichuan aioli–a stimulating dish. Many tables ordered the chicken wings ($12), so perhaps they were good.
After starters, there are meats and sandwiches. The wagyu beef rib ($50), slow-cooked 24 hours, was on many customers’ tables, but not ours; I’m not going to pay $50 for ribs the size of my palm at a restaurant you have to walk to the counter to order. We went for the 365-day grain-fed Angus brisket ($17/100g, pictured above). It was bland and uneven; the bottom half was dry but the top half was juicy. After we requested for salt to bring out the flavors of fat, the shredded succulence was educed and it was delicious.
Our favorite of the night, the half chicken ($20), was so tender even its breast was soft. The house rub on the skin was curious, paprika perhaps? and something that tasted like essence of chicken. When we asked the manager if it was undercooked, the insides were still pink, he said something about it being smoked and it was the color of smoke. Shrugs, dunno if it was true, but I’ll update this if I get Bird Flu.
Cobbler ($7) + Smoked ice cream ($2) – The only dessert on the menu
But, unlike the report in Business Times, the chicken didn’t have “flavour all the way through.” I suppose that is a problem with Meat Smith: there is inconsistency in the food. In various reviews of the joint, people say different things. But I for one am glad for the inconsistency because I’ll return over, and over, and over again to this joint to test it out. It is not mind-blowing as its sister outlet, Burnt Ends, but it encompasses a philosophy I espouse: good food with sparks of surprises and creativity at an affordable price. Maybe it could turn down its hillbilly music but otherwise, we were content. We paid $74 for two persons.
Meat Smith SG
167/169 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068618
T: +65 6221 2262 (no reservation)
M-Sat 11.45am-2pm, 5.30-11pm
Rating: 3.75/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
Categories: $20-$40, $40-$60, Large Group, Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar, Western
12 wait staff but you still have to order at the counter? Odd design there. Heard mostly good things about this place, nice to read your more balanced review!
Sorry it’s 5 wait staff! 12 includes the 5 chefs and 2 bartenders. But the place is tiny. 2 would have been sufficient for a place you order at the counter.
What an unreliable, half ass review. All these amateurs trying to be food reviewers. What experience do you have in the food and beverage trade to even call yourself a food blogger? I’m sorry, i’ve seen too many losers like you going around with the expectation of free food for a good review? Learn to respect the concept of restaurants. You don’t like it, move along buddy. There’s always macdonalds.
… it’s a mostly positive review, dude. 3.75/5. Are you sure you know how to read?
Also you must be new here. All my reviews have positive and negative points, regardless of whether it is a tasting or not.
These are some examples from my previous 4 tastings:
1. “The garlicky and spicy sauces made the [chicken] skin less crispy. The garlic was too mild, and the spicy too hot.” – Chir Chir
2. “However, the fried items weren’t as ideal as the steamed and baked. They were greasy enough to moisturize the lips, especially the abalone taro puff.” – Wan Hao
3. “For Chef Ng, I found his traditional Spanish dishes ordinary.” – La Taperia
4. ” The concept and space are incongruous with the service. It wasn’t bad service; it was clueless, inexperienced, unmindful, careless, tentative, shy service. If Violet Herbs wants to serve fine dining food with a fine dining experience, then this was not it. But if its concept is to serve fine dining food at casual setting like what Saveur does so well, then perhaps the peccadilloes are acceptable.” – Violet Herbs
These are some examples of the food I paid myself and gave glowing reviews: Mad About Sucre, Imakatsu, Nunsongyee, I want my noodle, Corner House, and Alt Pizza. Whether I pay myself, or whether it’s a tasting, it doesn’t matter; the reviews are all the same. There are both good and bad points in every review. Instead of hurling vulgarities at me, why don’t you take the review as constructive criticism and grow from it?
Just to let you know, I reject 90% of tastings. It’s not about the free food.
Whatever it is, learn to respect restaurant concepts. Hillbilly music? Dude, i’m local and feel ashamed that locals like you do not respect different cultures. It is you who is the hillbilly here.
Aiyo, you don’t a bit a bit sensitive leh. My favorite reality TV is Honey Boo Boo and I even have a whatsapp group chat named “All hail Queen mama June.”
Anyway, you should check the dictionary before throwing accusations. “Hillbilly music” means country music. The volume of the music is too loud to chat. I’m suggesting to turn down the volume, not off the music.
By the way, next time you want to comment on any blog, don’t name-call and abuse the blogger lah. ‘uraassh*le@gmail’ ‘you’re the hillbilly.’ it shows your lack of upbringing. You can reason things nicely, don’t need to resort to vulgarities.
Do yourself a favour, shoot yourself.
Meat Smith was good stuff!
Agree that music is way too loud for a comfortable conversation. I had the brisket, half ribs, smoked cauliflower and the broccoli, both veg were tasty! Shared with a friend.
Would go back again with my wife!
LikeLiked by 1 person