The Ranch Steakhouse by Astons, Clarke Quay: From Kopitiam to Atas. It Gets a Thumbs-Up From Us

Entering the Ranch Steakhouse by Astons at Clarke Quay is a pleasant surprise. It is a really WOW nice place. Very classy. As the name suggests, it is designed like a ranch with a high ceiling of naked wooden beams. The seats are comfortable brown leather. Waiters wear white shirts and black bow ties. Old school.

The set lunch menu is really a steal at $15 for 2 courses or a New Zealand striploin goes for only $18.80. But we were there for dinner and could not take advantage of the deal. For dinner, the appetisers start from $14, the steaks from $29, and the sides at $8. Their signature is USDA prime, which is dry-aged for 30 days in their own fridge. The dinner prices seem a little high but remember that this is an atas version of the kopitiam steak stall. Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Crab Cake ($18), red capsicum ketchup, avocado ice cream

For starters, they put a spin on the ubiquitous crab cake ($18), found in most steakhouses. They hand-make their crab cake and topped it up with avocado ice cream. It seems like an interesting match on paper, one cold and one hot, but in reality, the strong milky taste of avocado overpowers the delicate, sweet taste of the crab. The crab cake itself is very good: nicely seared on the flat surface to give a nice texture. I’d rather they get rid of the ice cream and give two patties.

Bone marrow ($18), onion marmalade, truffle salt & parsley salad, bread

My partner did not like the miserable portions for the bone marrow, but the buttery texture always has a place in my heart. However, what a pity they serve the marrow with a cheap soft brown bread with a heavy musky taste that overwhelms the bone marrow. Bone marrow should be served on toasted thin crisps of bread.

I know this may seem insignificant, but free bread, which is the same as the bone marrow bread, is the first impression a restaurant gives on customers. Free bread should always be of the highest quality because you only have change to make a first impression. But this bread feels like something Gardenia produces.

Hokkaido Wagyu ($98)

We eschewed their signature USDA prime dry-aged 30 days for this 400g of A5 Hokkaido wagyu. A5 is supposed to be the highest quality, but I usually don’t like A5 steaks. A5 means that the marbling is from 8-12, and I find the marbling too jerlat for an old man like me. I prefer a marbling somewhere between 4-5, which is an A3 steak.

In any case, this is a piece of great steak. When the quality is good, you can treat it simply. And it’s done excellently to a medium-rare–tender. I’d prefer if they manage to char the edges a little more.

Gratin Dauphinoise ($8)

A gratin dauphinoise or potatoes sliced in half-moons baked with cream may err on the side of it being too heavy. But here, they cut the cream with some earthy herb (dill, is it?). The potatoes are not overly baked, so there is still a very slight, and very nice bite at the core. Excellent.

Creamed spinach ($8)

Creamed spinach must be everybody’s favourite side at a steakhouse. And like gratin dauphinoise, a good creamed spinach shouldn’t been too heavy or too mushy. And this one is not bad.

We were too full to order desserts. Including a glass of cabernet sauvignon, we paid $190 for two persons. The Ranch Steakhouse prides themselves for providing great quality steaks at affordable prices. Actually, the pricing here is similar to top steakhouses in Singapore. This meal is good, but comparing to the top steakhouses with similar pricing, I’d rather go the top steakhouses which serve steaks that are grilled to perfection. I suggest that The Ranch Steakhouse lowers its prices by 20% to attract customers.


The Ranch Steakhouse by Astons
Clarke Quay, Block B, #01-15, 3 River Valley Road Singapore 179021
tel: +65 6256 0334
Sun – Th: 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 12am
Fri, Sat & Eve of PH: 12pm – 3pm, 5pm to 1am

Price / value: 6/10
Decor / ambience: 8/10
Service: 6.75/10
Food: 7/10

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Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

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