Meatslut proves that good steak doesn’t have to break the bank
The 72 Hours Rib Short Plate is a must-try.
94 Lilac Street, SSS Village, Concepcion Dos, Marikina City
Contact: 950-4617, 0917-826-4642
Open from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Monday to Thursday), 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday to Saturday) and 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) If there’s one philosophy Meatslut swears by, it’s this: Good steak doesn’t have to be expensive.
The vibe at this restaurant along Lilac Street in Marikina is casual, with '90s pop music blaring from the speakers and a cafeteria-style counter where customers can order their cut and sides. The steaks are served no-frills, but where it seems to lack in presentation, it makes up for in flavor.
Steaks cooking sous-vide
Chef Ryan Ganzon shares that part of making their food accessible is letting customers in on how the kitchen magic happens. Steaks are cooked sous-vide, a method which involves sealing the beef in vacuum-tight bags and placing them in a water bath precisely heated to 54°C—the optimum temperature for perfectly tender meat. The water bath is placed on the counter for the customers to see—an aquarium of sorts, except instead of fish it’s steak you see swimming in water.
The magic doesn’t end there. Upon order, servers torch your beef before your eyes for exactly two minutes, to achieve steak that is “done well, not well done,” as Meatslut’s tagline puts it. It’s a performance in itself, something many customers are happy to take photos or Snaps of.
54° Sirloin with Robuchon Mashed Potato
Beyond theatrics, the steaks are excellent and offered at reasonable prices. The 54° Sirloin (P450) is a slab of sirloin-cut beef that is almost butter-soft, the knife gliding into the cut. It’s perfectly salted with a slight smoky flavor that’ll make you forget about the side of gravy.
The 72 Hours Rib Short Plate
Ribs are a hard cut to master as they could easily go rubbery. At Meatslut, ribs are left in the 54°C water bath for 72 hours, resulting in The 72 Hours Rib Short Plate (P380). These ribs are fork-tender, with thick rows of fat alternating with the beef, giving it a rich succulent flavor.
Each order of steak comes with your choice of six sides, like the creamy Robuchon Mashed Potatoes seasoned with paprika or Umami Corn, served on the cob.
Crispy Cloud of Joy
Chef Ryan believes in respecting the entire cow which means nothing goes to waste. If you’re feeling adventurous, order from the Nose-to-Tail menu. The Crispy Cloud of Joy (P180) are tiny balls of cow’s brain, covered in herbed bread crumbs and deep-fried. You won’t think the buttery bites are from the insides of a cow, though one ball is enough to leave you a bit dizzy from the cholesterol. The bites come with a poached egg dip, with a hint of tang from lemon juice to help remove umay.
Nasty Bits Bunch
Perfect for sharing is the Nasty Bits Bunch (P245), a plate with skewers of chicken isaw, herbed crusted chicken liver and gizzards, chicken wings, and thin strips of chewy flat beef tripe. Addicting and leaning towards the sweet side, the crunch is mainly owed to grilling, which can make you forget you're munching on things usually expected to be gamey.
Shrimps, Sausages, and Corn
Meatslut also offers an array of other dishes that make perfect complements to the steak or serve as appetizers. The Shrimps, Sausages, and Corn (P250), served on a hot plate, has a nice smoky heat. The thick sausages have a delicious bite to them, and the corn is made even more flavorful by sausage fat.
The Chilawin (P230) is the resto’s version of kilawin. Instead of using raw fish, Meatslut torches their tanigue to give it a distinct smokiness to go with the sweet-tangy vinegar. The Chilawin comes with chicharon crumbs that contrast with the buttery raw fish.
Cured Beef with Pickled Celery
If your taste buds are looking for something novel, try the Cured Beef with Pickled Celery (P220). This is a dish that showcases techniques and a balance of flavors you won’t usually find in a casual restaurant. The thinly sliced cured beef has a nutty flavor that is taken a notch higher by the sweet acidity of celery, and a hint of earthiness from arugula kicks in at the end.
Chef Ryan shares that he wants to educate diners about the finer points of steak—without the hefty price that usually comes with it. If this lesson involves more servings of their short ribs plate, then count us in.
Photos by Jericho San Miguel