A familiar fixture along the river at Clarke Quay, Hot Stones has been serving premium meats and seafood sizzling over stone slabs for almost 30 years. The restaurant is a pioneer in Singapore to introduce stone grill – a natural way of cooking by preheating the serpentine volcanic stone slabs up to 230oC, and then placing fresh cuts of meat on the piping hot stone to cook.
To revitalise the F&B business of eating out, Hot Stones releases a new Japanese steakhouse dining experience concept, offering a wide range of Japanese dishes as appetisers and sides, including luxurious bowls of donburi, and delicious cocktails made from sake and Japanese whisky.
Donburi (Rice Bowls)
For rice bowls, Hot Stones has a selection of donburi such as the Australia MS7-8 Wagyu Striploin Don ($38), Honey Miso Salmon Don ($28) and Teriyaki Chicken Don ($22). Each bowl comes with an onsen egg, foie gras cubes, ikura, furikake, spring onion, tobiko truffle oil, and fried garlic. The ingredients are generous and the wagyu striploin is expertly seared to medium rare. The donburi selection is good for anyone who does not have the time to grill their own meats and they make good takeaways for lunch.
Surf and Turf Set for 2
Keeping up with the tradition in Hot Stones are the set offers that are perfect for sharing. There are different beef, pork and seafood platters to choose from. Surf & Turf (set for 1, $54; set for 2, $108) has the best of both worlds, consisting of king prawns, salmon, U.S. scallops, Australian wagyu beef, and U.S. Striploin.
With a dash of olive oil, the meat slices are cooked on the piping hot stones in the matter of seconds. The meat juices are retained and the beef goes very well with a small dab of salt. Alternatively, you can also dip the meat into garlic miso or their house-blend sauce, called Hot Stones tare, which is a mixture of shoyu, mirin and citrus zest.
Each set comes with five choices of sides; (1) Cold Shrimp Tofu or Spicy Miso Salmon, (2) Wafu Salad or House Salad, (3) Mushroom Soup or Tomato Soup, (4) Garlic Rice or Steamed Rice, and (5) Matcha Cheesecake or Caramel Pudding. They are good but not exceptional… except for the desserts.
The matcha cheesecake has yuzu bits that add a tinge of tartness. The caramel pudding is smooth, dense and creamy, just like the ones I had in Japan. Both desserts are extremely delectable. I only wish that the portion of the cheesecake is bigger. It can be eaten totally with just two bites.
A La Carte
One of the new appetisers, Aburi Wagyu Beef ($14), has a marbling score of 7 to 8. Lightly torched wagyu beef lies on a big bed of caramelised sliced onions, wakame, topped with truffle dressing, spring onion and ebiko. The beef is very savoury and tender. However, there are way too much sliced onions in ratio to the beef.
The other new appetiser on the menu, Steamed Shrimp Momotaro ($8), can be mistaken for a dessert at first glance with its bright orangey-red orb. It is actually chicken leg meat and shrimp, wrapped with a skinned tomato. It is so artfully put together, almost too pretty to be eaten. The essences from the tomato and chicken meld well and the chicken collagen makes it all the more umami. I couldn’t taste the shrimp though. It is probably too embedded into the meat ball.
Ala carte meat cuts are also available for voracious meat lovers. Miyazaki Ribeye A4 (100g, $58) has such refined marbling, no oil is required to cook the meat on the stone. The meat literally melts in the mouth upon contact.
To accompany the meaty meal, there are several Japanese mocktails and cocktails to choose from. The Peach Lychee Calpis ($9) is a bit too syrupy sweet for my liking but I really like the Cherry Blossom Martini ($16), which has a slight fragrance, and it is entirely fruity and refreshing. It is concocted with vodka, sake and grapefruit juice. Other interesting cocktails include Shojito ($16), which is like a mojito but with shochu, and Warm High Ball ($16), as the name suggests, is a warm cocktail of whisky and lemon, stirred with a cinnamon stick.
Hot Stones is definitely the place for meat lovers and stone grill aficionados. The Japanese dishes are done well and a good addition to the set platters that the restaurant is well-known for. In October, the restaurant offers 50% off its 2nd menu set but please call for reservation to enjoy this promotion. Other terms and conditions apply.
Clarke Quay, 3D River Valley Road, #01-06 Block D, Singapore 179023
12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm, daily
tel: +65 6333 4868
You may be interested in…
–The Ranch Steakhouse by Astons, Clarke Quay: From Kopitiam to Atas. It Gets a Thumbs-Up From Us
–Gyu Kaku, City Square Mall: Wagyu BBQ Yakiniku Weekday Buffet for $54.90!
–Black Marble by Otto, Raffles Holland V Mall: Steaks, Grilled without Frills
–The Gyu Bar, Stevens Road: WAHgyu Yakiniku Udderly Delicious, a Must Go for Beef Lovers
Written by Cheang Shwu Peng.