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iSTEAKS / iSUCK: My worst steak experience

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November 18th, 2017 Posted 1:37 am

Had dinner with Farah, Jeremy and CK at iSTEAKS Diner (Holland Village) last week and I’m still feeling quite miffed about the meal, so here’s a warning/review if you ever wanna drop by. Not stopping you but it’s good to know some things first.

It is seriously one of the worst meals I have ever had and my worst steak experience ever. Terrible food, terrible service, terrible dining experience 🤷🏻


(Photo credit)

Firstly, it had rained earlier so the entire outdoor seating area was closed due to the wet tables and chairs. Yet it was dinner time on a Friday and hence, very crowded. Of course, iSTEAKS can’t help this because they cannot control the weather.

But what’s bloody stupid is poor oganisation and a lack of system. They allow people to order food, pay and get order numbers even when no seats are available. So there’s a queue for the cashier and a separate queue for seats.

Not only that, there was no staff explaining what the proper procedure would be. We only had a vague idea when we overheard people saying you can order first, wait until you get a table, then tell the staff that they can start cooking your food. Huh?

Did I mention there’s a separate adjacent counter to order and collect your own drinks? (Which are all so sweet, they’ll put you at risk of diabetes. I had to fill my iced coffee with more ice.) Really messy and so much redundancy.

But nevermind, we were there mainly for the food after all and didn’t want to let something small dampen our spirits. And although we queued for quite long, at least a waiter remembered we were next in line and alerted us when there were seats.

iSTEAKS burger

CK doesn’t take beef so he order a chicken burger that he customised himself.

The rest of us decided to share a 1kg beef, which comes with 3 side dishes (we chose fries, onion rings and cream spinach), for $75 because it seemed more worth it. A 200g NZ Striploin costs $17.50 while a 200g NZ Ribeye costs $19.50 (both with 2 sides).

We were quite disappointed with the sides because they were all regular-sized. We had (wrongly) assumed they would be bigger to match the portions of 3 people. Also the waitress brought out the sides first and was quite snappy when doing so. I get that you are busy, but still… we didn’t do or say anything to warrant this??

And here we come to the main issue. I’m not sure what cut of beef the 1kg steak is as they just called it “NZ OP Rib Steak”. And it was far from worth it. It was fuckass awful.

The worst steak I have ever eaten (which is saying quite a lot in my case) and not just because it tasted horrid or was poorly cooked, but because of my entire experience in an *ATTEMPT* (again, attempt implies ‘tried and did not succeed’) to eat it.

Jeremy cut the entire thing into 3 portions and let us choose. I picked the part where my finger is in the photo above, where’s the outer layer of fat (which I usually polish off when eating steak, plus I know Jeremy and Farah don’t, so I took it).

The entire piece of meat turned out to be so thick and tendony that I couldn’t cut or bite through it at all. Whichever way / surface / side I tried to cut on with all my strength, I was met with impenetrable rubber (I think this is the first time I’ve used this phrase).

CK tried helping me cut into 4 (?) main pieces and it reminded me of the infamous leg amputation scene in Saw (2004), which actually seemed a breeze compared to what we did at iSTEAKS. Minus the towel in mouth, of course.


(Photo credit)

I managed to cut out another bite-sized piece that I could finally consume. By this time, the rest were already halfway through their meals. Huhuhu… I know they felt very bad because they offered me their food but eh, not their fault at all.

I tried so many methods, from more sawing to biting the whole piece directly, but nothing worked. At this point, I had already exerted so much energy that my hands and arms were starting to ache and I was no longer hungry. Bye appetite.

Eventually, I must have looked quite a sight because Jeremy swopped one piece of his steak with one piece of mine. Few more edible bites of beef for me, yay. I think Jeremy gave up cutting that piece of mine halfway.

iSTEAKS menu

I then asked one of the servers if she had a bigger knife.

Her: “We only have knives in one size.”
Me: “But your steak can’t cut through at all leh.” *showing her my plate* (already quite dulan at the lousy meal I was having so I was being quite guailan)

She offered to bring it back to the kitchen to have the meat cut into small pieces. Everyone knows this is a taboo way to eat steak and defeats the purpose and doesn’t taste as good, but I agreed because it’s not as if I had any other choice. I just want to eat, goddamn it.

In the same snappy manner as mentioned above, she took my plate, then returned afterwards and shoved it back on the table and stalked off without saying anything.

I wasn’t exactly my most courteous self but then again, I’m not the one serving shit food without any remorse.

iSTEAKS review

Anyway, cutting the meat into smaller pieces didn’t work because I still couldn’t bite or chew anything. Plus I nearly choked on a tendon. The only chewable parts are the fats (exploding with oil) but do you see how freaking thick and gross it is?

Don’t think I had more than 10 bites of beef in total. I simply left my plate like that, with gross-looking meat mixed with crumpled tissues to give iSTEAKS an idea of how horrible I found my food. My first time desecrating steak like this but is it still steak if it’s barely fit for human consumption?

Jeremy didn’t finish everything on his plate either but fortunately, Farah’s portion was fine and nobody else was subjected to the same pain I experienced.

Of course, I might have had a better time if I came on a different day and ordered something else… Admittedly the ala carte, non-sharing stuff seemed quite ok. So don’t ever order anything under “communal pleasure” on the menu!

Thank goodness for great company because this was really an abominable meal and a huge disgrace to all steaks out there. Sorry to the cow that died in vain 🐄

Talad Rot Fai Ratchada: The night market in Bangkok you should be visiting

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September 10th, 2017 Posted 9:19 pm

Just got back from a 5D4N trip to Bangkok with my mum and bro (I know, I know, I just returned from Guangzhou two weeks ago LOL) which is also another eat-shop-sleep-repeat kind of holiday 😛

Bangkok is a destination that has been blogged to death plus it’s my 4th time there, so I won’t be writing a lot about it, but I did visit Rot Fai Market Ratchada for the first time and feel that it’s still quite underrated. So here are some food photos!

Rot Fai Ratchada food

Known as the “New Rot Fai Market”, it is located in the Ratchada area and just beside Esplanade Shopping Mall. The closest MRT station is Thailand Cultural Centre but we took an Uber because Grab/Uber in Bangkok is super cheap. The original Rot Fai Market in Srinakarin, while larger, is also a lot further and not as accessible.

I read that prices at Talad Rot Fai Ratchada are even cheaper than the famous Chatuchak and I wasn’t disappointed. We headed straight to the food stalls for dinner and coming here on an empty stomach proved to be a wise decision 😋😋😋

Talad Rot Fai Ratchada food

Food at Rot Fai Ratchada

Duck rice and pork leg rice at only 60 baht each! I love that most pork/duck/chicken rice in Bangkok is tasty without being greasy and always comes with eggs and vegetables. This one even had both leafy greens and salted vegetables.

Anyway I got so excited that on my first mouthful of rice, I choked on the chilli powder, coughed and started tearing. Two girls seated beside us were very stunned when they saw me crying (I was touched by how nice the food was la hahaha).

Bangkok night market

Curry chicken noodles for a mere 50 baht.

Bangkok street food

It even comes with a juicy drumstick! I don’t like the crispy bits on top though.

Chatuchak street food

Sooo refreshing to have this while strolling down all the stalls in the humid weather.

Bangkok watermelon dessert

This iconic watermelon dessert costs only 60 baht (around S$2.50) and you can find them everywhere in Chatuchak for the same price, if I remember correctly. Yet people queue like mad and pay like $12 (?) for it at Geylang Serai…

Bangkok big bowl noodles

This is freaking glorious!!! Think of it as upsized bak chor mee with braised pork, different kinds of meat balls, eggs and ‘mini crabs’ (not actual crabs but there’s minced meat with crab roe under the shells).

One bowl for only 170 baht and there’s an even bigger bowl for larger groups 😱

New Rot Fai Market Ratchada

My finger for comparison… wahaha.

Rot Fai Market giant noodles

Damn tasty and a must-try, but I recommend ordering it only if you have at least 3 to 4 pax. Well, you can try 1 or 2 pax too if you don’t plan on eating anything else at the night market, which is quite a shame.

Train Night Market Ratchada

If you are wondering how we can finish this and still manage to eat so many other things, that’s cos you haven’t met my brother and/or witnessed my full eating prowess hahaha.

Bangkok fried insects

Okay I didn’t eat any insects. Have never tried them either.

Bangkok fried giant water bug

These look like very fat cockroaches ugh…

Rot Fai Ratchada seafood

Seafood is very affordable here too. Somehow the river prawns and cockles I saw at various places are all damn huge. Even the couple of prawns accompanying your pad thai from the food court are big and fresh.

Bangkok street seafood

Bangkok grilled prawns

Looks damn good huh??? Sadly I didn’t try the seafood at Rot Fai Ratchada because I was too full, but there were plenty of stalls (you can get sashimi at 50 baht) and one was even crab-in-da-bag style.

Grilled squid street food

I have no idea which part of the sotong this is, but it’s sooo good that I returned to dabao 3 more sticks. Grilled to perfection and of the right texture, plus it goes so well with the chilli sauce. And yeah only 10 baht per stick!

Bangkok mini pancakes

Super cute mini butter pancakes for 20 baht per cup!!!

Bangkok mickey pancakes

Really damn cute and true to the display sample, mickey mouse ears and all. You can drizzle your own sauces too so I chose maple syrup (nothing beats this) and it was heaven.

Bangkok Thai roti

Thai roti is another must-eat when I’m in Thailand… it’s the same thing that I was craving during my solo trip last year and went out with a torchlight to buy late at night hahaha.

Thai roti street food

My favourite flavour is just plain with egg and drizzled with condensed milk woohoo. But there are loads of other combinations involving bananas and nutellas and whatnot.

Rod Fai Night Market

The highlight of Talad Rot Fai Ratchada for me would be the wide array of cheap but delicious food. Besides live bands, there are also lots of bars (you can even sit on the “roof”), and shops selling clothes/souvenirs/etc (though I think Pratunam is still the cheapest for shopping), so it’s really quite a bustling and exciting market to visit at night.

Hopefully the prices don’t go up like what has happened to many other places in Bangkok due to tourism. But quickly pop by just in case! 😃 (I also went to Talad Neon but it’s quite overrated and not as cheap so skip that).

Opening Hours: 5pm – midnight daily
Location: Ratcadaphisek Road, beside Esplanade mall
Nearest station: Thailand Cultural Centre MRT