Fat Belly Social Steakhouse is a new social dining steakhouse on Boon Tat Street with a fun, alternative streak when it comes to steak cuts.
Steakhouses are a dime a dozen in Singapore, but once in a while you’ll come across a recently-opened one that’s more interesting than most. Fat Belly Social Steakhouse, which opened earlier this February in the bustling Amoy Street F&B enclave in Singapore’s Central Business District, falls into that latter category.
Positioned as a communal steakhouse – that is, you can expect more dishes that are meant for sharing – Fat Belly Social Steakhouse takes over the upper-story shophouse space above Cheek Bistro, which was previously occupied by craft beer dive bar Freehouse. While it can never be as casual as that rowdy setup, Fat Belly Social is certainly more convivial than your usual strait-laced New York steakhouse-style setups.
If you’re familiar with alternative steakhouse Fat Belly in Serene Centre – which focused on secondary and uncommon cuts of beef – Fat Belly Social Steakhouse is opened by the same people. But Fat Belly Social is also more refined, and offers a wider food menu – and a more robust wine list – than its elder sibling. “Large communal dining tables, fun sharing plates, an extensive wine menu, and casual yet upbeat vibes – that’s what you can expect at FBSS,” Stanley Seow, owner of Fat Belly, shared. “We want the food, drinks, and ambience here to set the perfect stage for people to unwind, connect, and simply have a great time together.”
Here Head Chef Victor Loy continues the Fat Belly tradition of employing secondary cuts and less commonly used ingredients throughout the menu. So while you’ll find the likes of Roasted Bone Marrow – which gets some lovely crunch from pickled shimeji mushrooms and toasted hazelnuts – and the Uni, Lardo & Caviar on grilled sourdough, many other dishes are nose-to-tail.
There’s Spicy Crispy Pig’s Ears for those who enjoy that crunchy, gelatinous porcine part, for example, or some perfectly seared Grilled Ox Tongue as sharing appetisers. We were rather enraptured by Grilled Octopus too, which is served in a tomato-based tripe, chorizo and chickpea stew that wholly reminded us of the Portuguese dobrada that we had in a previous trip to Lisbon.
With its large format meats, both uncommon and prime cuts are used. There’s the Black Opal F1 Wagyu Zabuton MS6-7, for example. The zabuton is chuck roll, a part of the chuck located between the cow’s ribcage and shoulder blade also known as the Denver’s cut. It’s a part that’s immensely marbled with fat, so much so it takes little time to sear to perfection yet remains melt-in-the-mouth tender. Or how about the Blue Label Full Blood Wagyu Rib Cap MS8/9? Ribeye cap is the outer part of a prime rib roast, and in our most humble carnivore’s opinion is one of the best cuts with its glorious mix of tender meat and chewy, flavourful fat.
These cuts make the unconventional feather blade on its menu, the Stockyard Angus Grain-Fed 200 Days Flat Iron, look positively ordinary.
But atypical ingredients mean little if it’s not coupled with expert treatment. Here Chef Loy is a culinary genius, imparting the perfect Maillard sear on the meats on his custom-built binchotan grill for a beautiful char, while retaining their requisite juiciness.
“We believe in using what we believe tastes the best – whether or not it’s considered ‘prime’,” the very jovial Chef Loy tells us. “It is fun to be able to use whatever ingredient tastes great – it doesn’t matter what part of the animal or plant it comes from.” Speaking with Loy is a joy – his passion for his craft and ingredients is real.
Then there’s the wine list. It’s a modest one of around 70 labels to choose from, but they do the job. We particularly enjoyed the Domaine du Nozay Sancerre, whose fresh acidity helped cut through the richness of our appetisers, while the bold yet fruit-driven Alain Jaume Grand Venuer “Le Micione” Chateauneuf-du-Pape is almost purpose-built – with its Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre composition – for pairing with grilled steaks.
Fat Belly Social Steakhouse won’t be the last steakhouse to open along this stretch. But between its cordial service, focus on secondary beef cuts, and Chef Loy’s expertise and enthusiasm, it’s sure to attract a crowd that appreciates a good time.
Fat Belly Social Steakhouse
Address 21A Boon Tat St, Singapore 069620 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 11.30am to 3.30pm and 5.30pm to 11pm on Mondays to Fridays; 5.30pm to 11pm on Saturdays; closed on Sundays