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Beef-lovers know there's no substitute for a perfectly-cooked steak. Whether you fancy Shank steaks or prefer a Top Round, each cut, if cooked according to its own level of tenderness and flavor, has the potential to be a great meal.
According to judge JJ Yulo, "It's all about how a steak house cares for and respects the meat they serve. It should be cooked to specification. I also like it when a steak house dares to venture outside of rib eyes and New York strips–hangar steaks can be great when it's prepared properly. Side dishes are also important, of course–when a place shows love through its sides, it makes everything all the more special."
Adds Chef Him Uy de Baron, "It's all about the meat. Quality, sourcing [of the meat], and how it's prepared. Since steaks are straight-forward, accompaniments should be creative yet complimentary to the meat."
For this year's Nescafe Gold Spot Awards, five steak houses made the judges' cut:
Located on the 22nd Floor of Discovery Suites in Ortigas Center, 22 Prime prides itself in serving the best prime cuts of beef: chuck, rib, sirloin, round, brisket, shank, plate, flank, and hoof.
Taking last year's prize as the Best Steak House in the 2008 Gold Spot Awards , 22 Prime is also a destination for power lunches and romantic dates.
"The reason people keep coming back to 22 Prime is the incomparable food quality and value for money that it offers to its diners," shares Chef David Pardo de Ayala.
"Nowhere else in Metro Manila can diners find the superb meat grades and other top quality ingredients at such accessible prices, and presented in such original combinations," he says. "From the selection of sauces and "accessories", to the recently expanded selection of steaks and slow-cooked specials, steak lovers can always count on 22 Prime as a top-quality dining destination, and better yet, one that is so sensibly priced that you need not wait for a once-a-year special occasion to visit."
Opened in 2007 with function rooms for special functions, Elbert's Steak Room has converted a once call center office space to a dining destination.
According to owner Elbert Cuenca, "I sought to create a simple, quiet and low-key but elegant restaurant. Something similar to the many (albeit illegal) private dining rooms in Hong Kong. After I found a space, the concept of what the Steak Room is today evolved. As a steak lover that has long sought out a great steak in Metro Manila, I set out to serve what I thought would be regarded at the best steak in town. That ended up being the only item on our menu.
Customers come back for the USDA Prime Grade Rib-eye, simply because that is the most popular steak in this country. Trailing closely behind is the bone-on tenderloin, a cut that is a specialty of (and almost exclusive to) the Steak Room."
An upscale grill room located at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino, The Fireplace Grill offers perfectly cooked prime meats and seafood. Pairing steaks with luxurious side dishes such as baby potatoes roasted in garlic and rosemary, and roasted capsicum drizzled in fine olive oil, The Fireplace places importance on cooking meat properly.
Offering the same Old English charm with its interiors, Gulliver's of San Francisco located at the Great Eastern Hotel in Makati is known for their prime ribs.
With its dim lights and wooden chandeliers, the restaurant's interiors call to mind old taverns. Says Nathalie Ng, Gullivers' marketing manager, "At Gulliver's, we serve only the best Prime Rib from the Midwest, prepared by our chefs the traditional way. You can choose from a variety of cuts and sidings, and of course, we serve it with our famous creamed corn. Lamb, veal, and pork are other staples in our selection. Aside from meat, we also offer excellent seafood such as sea bass, lobster tail and fresh oysters. You may also choose from a variety of salads and sandwiches for light, quick meals."
Opened in February 2009 by the Werdenberg Group of Companies, I'm Angus aims to raise the standard of excellence of steak houses to a whole new level. With its salad choices, innovative side dishes, indulgent desserts and perfectly-cooked steaks, I'm Angus aims to celebrate food and wine.
I'm Angus is known for their Tomahawak steak, a 21-ounce premium rib-eye steak sold per 100 grams (minimum of 300 grams). Other items on the menu include lamb chops, pork, fish, chicken and turkey, Alaskan king crab, French oysters, and Atlantic scallop and prawns as well as Angus burgers.
Which spot gets your vote for best steak house? Start voting now.
Photographs from Discovery Suites (22 Prime), Hyatt Hotel and Casino (Fireplace Grill interiors), Yvette Tan (Fireplace Grill steaks), Kai Huang for Elbert's Steak Room (interiors and Rib-Eye), Gulliver's of San Francisco.