Charolais Beef at Bar-Roque, Amara Hotel, Tanjong Pagar

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I eat fairly little beef these days because I am bored with it. It’s either Wagyu this or Wagyu that or Angus this or Angus that. These days if you talk to me about marbling, grade, tenderness or “beefiness”, I get bored.

The problem I have with beef these days is an overabundance of labels and an absence of taste. While PR Drones will recite chapter and verse from carefully copied PR briefing notes filled with important-sounding technical terms, I find there is very little understanding and, worse, very little flavor.

This is why when Bar-Roque announced that their Charolais Beef has been cleared by Singapore’s AVA, I immediately made plans to have some.

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Bar-Roque’s Charolais Beef comes from the Charolais Cattle found in the Charolles district in Burgundy, France. It is an ugly purebred cattle bred mainly for utilitarian purposes such as milk, meat and labour. One characteristic is its all white coloring and muscular build. Charolais bulls can grow up to 1.8m tall.

All this healthy living in the field being fed on grass means more red meat, very little fat hence the lack of “marbling” prized by the non-cognoscenti but it has loads of flavor. In fact, the Charolais is one of the highest-rated beef in France and there is an on-going effort to have it given AOC status like the Poulet de Bresse.

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All Charolais Beef from France is dry-aged for at least 3 weeks; while this means a loss of at least 5% of the meat, the flavor is greatly intensified.

And what flavor! Seasoned with only salt and pepper, the Charolais Beef at Bar-Roque had a very light hint of Parsley and grassy sweetness.

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Bar-Roque offers three different cuts of the Charolais Beef: tenderloin, strip loin and rib eye to suit each preference.

The tenderloin as the name implies is a very tender piece of beef that has very little sinew and thus is very easy to eat. It also has the lightest flavor.

The strip loin comes from the Short Loin (different from the sirloin which comes from… the Sirloin) and is also known as the NY Strip or the Delmonico. It is more tender than the sirloin because it is exercised less but the tenderloin and rib eye is more tender. This is my preferred cut (if the sirloin is unavailable) because it has the most flavor compared to the tenderloin or rib eye and I like a bit of bite ala al dente.

The rib eye is a happy compromise between the tenderloin and the more flavorful strip loin.

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Recommended by Chef Stephane, I had the rib eye. Perfectly cooked to medium-rare, I found the sauce to be superfluous because with beef this good, you create your own sauce by slowing chewing it.

You have a choice of a side dish, which for me is usually a fresh tomato salad but I am a fan of Chef Stephane’s Ravioli; it is comfort food.

Also, I was most fortunate to taste some Rhubarb Tart from an event last night. The slightly tart caramelized Rhubarb was perfectly balanced by the sweet toasted almond and the excellent shortcrust pastry. I strongly suggested that it be a regular menu item.

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There’s a lot of love in Bar-Roque. Sitting at the kitchen counter, you see a certain joie de vivre in the movement and conversation of the kitchen. You just know you’re gonna get a great meal at Bar-Roque.

Ignore the labels touted by touts and give flavor a chance by heading down to Bar-Roque to see for yourself the magic of dry-aged Charolais beef.

Bar-Roque Grill is at 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, #01-00, (lobby of Amara Hotel) Singapore 088539, Tel: (65) 6444 9672. Opening Hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays: Lunch: 12 pm – 2.30 pm. Dinner: 5.30 pm – 10.30 pm. Bar Menu: 2.30 pm – Late. Sundays: Sunday Rotisserie: 12 pm – 3 pm. Dinner: 5.30 pm – 10 pm. Bar Menu: 2.30 pm – 10 pm. Closed on Mondays.

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Posted on 5th Sep 2013 in Food and Drink, French, Meat, Singapore

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There Are 8 Comments

 

Rexic commented on September 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm


I’m personally with you on the cuts. I’m not so much a fan of tenderlion because I very much prefer cuts with better flavour. And that delicious mushroom raviole is still fresh in my mind. 😛


 

Stefan commented on September 16, 2013 at 10:37 pm


Have you tried hanging tender (onglet in French). Best tasting beef cut by far! Hard to find, but you can buy from culina.


 

ivan commented on September 17, 2013 at 1:56 am


@Stefan: compared to what? 🙂

Yes, I’ve had it at several places in Singapore, it’s not that difficult to find.

And I usually choose this cut at the butcher’s for a home-cooked meal.


 

Stefan commented on September 17, 2013 at 8:22 am


@Ivan: Compared to Tenderloin, Rib eye, sirloin and any other beef cut! Tell me of any more butchers that carry hanging tender? I only found one place!


 

ivan commented on September 17, 2013 at 11:19 am


@Stefan: I go to the Swiss Butchery on Hillcrest Road, they usually have it or can cut it to order.

Try their sour dough bread, it’s the best I’ve tasted in SG so far.


 

Stefan commented on September 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm


Interesting, the tangling shop does not have it. I asked before. Guess I need to go to the Hillcrest branch!


 

M commented on October 9, 2013 at 1:37 am


How much is the beef?


 

ivan commented on October 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm


It’s a little cheaper than Japanese Wagyu Beef. Call to check availability.


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