August 27, 2008

Battle of the Steaks

Last weekend was a long weekend, and we finally had the time to catch a breath and meet up with friends again. The idea was to have a steak tasting dinner at M&T’s house (the only ones in the clique with a house and hence a garden with a BBQ). This was the perfect excuse to eat excessively and justify it with an educational purpose - where to find the best valued steak in Manila? The three contenders were:

1. USDA Prime Rib from S&R (P1800/kilo)

2. US Angus from Santi’s (P900/kilo)

3. Australian Rib-Eye from Cao (P575/kilo)

The culinary dreamteam R and S were, of course, our head chefs for the night and the rest of us just filled in as lousy apprentice kitchen staff. M was the barbecue man and spent most his time in front of the grill outside; he was also the official photographer and gets all the credit for the beautiful pictures. The concept of the dinner was centered around the steaks of course, although we of course had other items on the menu as well. A Filipino culinary curiosity that threw me a bit off is that steak is traditionally served with rice. Of course, the German foodie in me was craving for potato salad and bread. Luckily, and heavily influenced by American cuisine i would assume, we had mashed potatoes, buttered corn and pasta as extra sidings. I was the only one, who didn’t touch the rice. Some habits simply can’t be changed. Our chef-to-go concocted us a delicious red wine and balsamic reduction, which paired perfectly with the red meat. All the steaks tasted delicious and, once the first bite was taken, the goal to crown a winner was long forgotten and we all simply enjoyed the scrumptious meal before us. To top it off, T served us her pregnancy craving of the month for dessert: the mouth-watering Choco Cream Pie from Cupcakes by Sonja.

The crust is made out of crushed Oreo cookies and the filling is a smooth and luscious chocolate cream, all of it topped with a big spoon of whipped cream sprinkled with some more Oreo cookies. We also had a divine Leche Flan on the menu. I forgot to ask T where she got it from… Overall, it was a feast for our taste buds and a welcome occasion to spend some time with friends before D and I leave for Europe. Oh, and the winner of the steak contest? Despite being the least photogenic meat of the evening, we came to a unanimous decision. Unbeatable in price and in taste: If you crave for steak. Remember Cao.

Cao's Steak
Call: 09178387399

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