Swensen’s has always been a “childhood” restaurant for me. That was the place my mum and my grandmother would take us for an ice cream treat, that was the place my friends and I would go if we were feeling a bit “generous” with our pocket money. Since I’ve “grown up”, I hardly stepped into a Swensen’s. Until recently.
So an invitation to check out Earle Swensen’s new menu came up and it had a very, very crucial word on it: STEAK.
Now, what’s the difference – first of all – between Swensen’s and Earle Swensen’s? Think of the latter as a more “grown up” dining venue! The new menu clearly exhibited this fact. It is chockfull of hearty choices featuring good quality ingredients with a well thought-out combination of meats, seafood and, of course, desserts.
Are you a fan of all-you-can-eat salad bars? If so, you will be pleased to find that at Earle Swensen’s. Besides the usual offerings of Caesar salad, macaroni and fruit salad, potato salad, you will also find thematic salads that change with the “seasons”. So whether it’s a Szechuan theme or a Indian theme, your tastebuds will be tantalised just enough for your main course.
The steak menu is surprisingly affordable, considering the cuts used. Featuring Black Angus steaks and grass-fed steaks from New Zealand, the average price of each steak is about $36. You might wonder if the affordable pricing means anorexic cuts of meat. Not at all. My Charbroiled Black Angus Ribeye Steak ($35.90) was HUGE. I actually had problems finishing my steak! And I always take that as a good sign of a restaurant aiming to be a go-to location for steak.
I’m not asking for a GINORMOUS piece of carcass, don’t get me wrong. To me, a good portion should be slightly bigger than my palm and almost as thick as a deck of poker cards. I don’t mind paying a bit more for good steak and so, Earle Swensen’s Black Angus ribeye surpassed my expectations in terms of pricing and portion size. Good start.
The meat was done to my request and every bite filled my mouth with the subtle iron-ish sweetness of beef jus. In fact, the steak itself was so redolent of natural flavour that I didn’t even need to smother it with the accompanying black pepper sauce. Thank god that the restaurant served the sauce on the side and did not drown the steak in it.
You may choose between black pepper sauce or beef jus. Every steak order also gives you a choice of how you want your potatoes – mashed, fries and, if I remembered correctly, baked.
There were other dishes for us to try. For non-beef fans, I found these dishes equally memorable: the Lamb Loin Skewer, the Fried Game Hen, and the Seafood Chowder. The chowder I recommend you share it with a friend since the combination of salad, and soup in a bread bowl, might fill you up too much to enjoy your main course.
The mains at Earle Swensen’s are definitely the highlight of a budget-friendly menu. Not only are the portions generous, the dishes are done well and feature good ingredients.
For a venue to have your weekly family dinner tonight, I strongly recommend checking out Earle Swensen’s today.
Earle Swensen’s can be found at VivoCity (1 Harbourfront Walk, #02-117, Tel: 6272 3306) and Changi Airport Terminal 3 (Viewing Mall Central, Level 4, Tel: 6443 7123).
Material World was invited to review Earle Swensen’s new menu. All opinions are the author’s own.
About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and knows she can be a bit too shameless for her own good. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.
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