Made a reservation for two at Vibe Restaurant, situated within Pan Pacific Orchard (formerly known as Hotel Negara along Claymore Road, behind Thai Embassy) when they were running the Premium Meat Extravaganza Promotion in July.
Priced at $78 before taxes, we were fortunate enough to be among the first 20 pax to make an advance reservation for that day, and thus enjoyed a 20% discount ($15.60), making it $62.40 per person.
And for that price, we were told that we could indulged in unlimited servings of premium cuts such as US Kobe beef, Wagyu beef, and Kurobuta Pork, Churrascaria style.
We were instructed by the manager to start off with some soup and bread for appetisers, but let me tell you that neither of them was fantastic and the polite gesture was probably a nice decoy to fill up our stomach before the meat takes centre stage.
That aside, they had a couple of other cold cuts and seafood items to distract us – and diverted my attention was, as the Oysters were really unsullied and burly and I had two helpings of it, along with other inconsequential items.
Once we were done with the obligatory appetisers, the manager finally signalled for the Passadors, who came arrived on our table with hot skewers of meat. First up – the Rump Steak, which is a lean cut and was moderately tough. The lacked of fats and marbling makes them dry out when cooked with dry-heat cooking methods like roasting or grilling. It tasted quite “beefy” and none of the delicate flavour one gets next.
What is so special about “Wagyu” is because this breed of cattle is genetically predisposed to intense marbling, and produces a higher percentage of monounsaturated fats than any other breed of cattle known in the world. However, I was utterly disappointed when I tasted it – although more delicate flavoured than the rump steak, it tasted more chewy than tender and the “melt in your mouth” effect was lost on me. In additional, I felt it was overcooked, as the meat wasn’t very juicy.
The difference between “Kobe” beef and Wagyu is that Kobe beef comes from Wagyu breed of cattle. But only after rigid production standards imposed in the prefecture of Kobe, Japan, will then the designation/appellation of “Kobe” Beef be bestowed upon the meat. However as land and grain in Japan are expensive, the cattle is now shipped overseas and raised to the exactingly specified Kobe standards – and that’s how US Kobe beef came about. Another meat, which I felt, was over-done; the Kobe beef surprisingly tasted finer and more tender than the Wagyu. This was probably the best meat I have eaten that evening, or was there more to come?
The Beef Rib was intense with smoky flavour, but was deplorably dry and slightly charred for my palate. Didn’t really enjoy this piece of meat very much.
The wrapping of Bacon around the Tenderloin was quite another catastrophe that night – the flavour of the bacon totally engulfed the beef, rendering it a piece of tasteless red meat – a pity I must say since its rather tender even though the “doneness” was well-done to medium well.
The Kurobuta Pork wasn’t as fantastic as I thought it would be. Fat was lacking, rendering the meat not as moist as it should be – not the best Kurobuta Pork I have tasted.
Undeterred by the experience, I gestured for the Passadors and appealed for a special request – Kobe Beef to be done in medium-rare – and boy was I charmed. Allow the picture below to speak a thousand words.
The Grilled Pineapple Coated with Cinnamon Powder and Brown Sugar was a pleasant surprise as a palate cleanser as well as a dessert. Even myself who is not a big fan of the fruit was enthralled by it.
For others, there are of course other choices to end the evening – by their delightful Chocolate Fountain for a treat of Chocolate Fondue, or the cheese plate, which serves a wonderful range of cheese as well as the many choices of cake, mousse or pudding.
Overall, I wasn’t exactly impressed with the quality of meat they served, and a pity that I enjoyed the Oysters more – which kinda defeats the purpose of a Premium Meat Extravaganza.
You can view the all photos and other reviews @ His Food Blog.
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