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June 09, 2015

SMITH Butcher and Grill Room: The Best Steakhouse in Manila? @SmithButcher





June 09, 2015

SMITH Butcher and Grill Room: The Best Steakhouse in Manila? @SmithButcher

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SMITH Butcher and Grill Room by Chef Tom Hines and Dixie Marinas of Lulu + Hooch aims to elevate the steakhouse experience in Manila to whole different level. Their selling proposition is a personalized steak experience and an extensive selection of meats--from Japan, Australia, the US, and Europe--which are either directly flown-in or sourced locally from importers.

A unique feature of the place is the Steak Room--an art museum-like showcase of their meat offerings, providing patrons with complete flexibility over their choice of steak and how they want to enjoy it. All this in a not-your-typical-steakhouse ambiance, surrounded by beautiful handcrafted furniture.

The name SMITH is meant to project images of a skilled purveyor and in this particular case, a purveyor of an awesome steak experience (think blacksmith for steaks). There is no relation, however, to the other "Smith" steakhouses--Smith & Wollensky or Smith Brothers.

Could this be the best Steakhouse in Manila? Check out our experience...

SMITH Butcher and Grill Room
ACI Building, 147 HV dela Costa St., Salcedo Village,  Makati. 
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday, 6pm to 1am.
Mobile: +63 927 375-9467 or +63 915 429-5167
FacebookSmith Butcher and Grill Room 
Instagram@smithbutcher
Twitter@smithbutcher
Websitehttp://smithbutcherandgrillroom.com/  

Best Steakhouse in Manila Series 2015!





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Smith is located along H.V. De La Costa St. just beside Megaworld Corporation World Center, near Ateneo Business School and directly in front of Family Mart. 

 

Where is the best place to sit?

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This area is a good place for wine lovers, located on the right side after you enter the restaurant.

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On the left side is an ideal space for big groups who want their own private corner.

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This is the Chef's table, which is the best area beside the open kitchen and the steak room. 

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So happy to see Chef Steven Scudder (Bistro Mondo) in charge of the Smith Kitchen!

Read related blog post: Bistro Mondo by Chef Steven Scudder 

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You can reserve these lounge chairs for a more relaxed dining experience. Check out the Smith menu below... 

SMITH MENUSalads + Starters | Raw, From the Sea | Slow simmered, pan roasted & cooked with love, The Smith Burger Story | From the Butcher's Block, The Cuts | Side Orders, Sauces, Finale 

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Staying at the bar in the middle of the resto is also a good option. Check out the drinks menu...

DRINKS MENUCocktails, Beers, Craft Beers on Tap, Smith Sodas | Smith Juices, Water | Wine List | Liquors 

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This is the romantic area of the restaurant--perfect for those people celebrating a special occasion with their loved ones.

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Dining with a group of 8-10? I recommend reserving this room for privacy and better service.

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The best part is getting to talk about this provocative piece of art.
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We decided to stay at the center of the restaurant beside the bar, with a line-of-sight view of the kitchen and the steak room. 

 

The Steak Room 

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If Spirals is known for their Cheese Room and Tapenade for their Salad Room, Smith has the Steak Room. 

Related Blog Posts:

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The Steak Room is a showcase of their steaks, displayed like museum pieces.

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This is also where they age their steaks in these aging cabinets... 

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...and process and cut the meats.

  

What are the best starters?

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That's the One (P420). Tito's vodka, mount gay rum, caramelized pineapple, mango nectar, passion fruit, milk, lemon, chocolate bitters.

You can start with some cocktails, but I wouldn't recommend this one, which is a bit sweet.

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Back to the Future (P520). Rittenhouse rye whiskey, ginger liquer, jasmine tea, lemon juice, orange bitters.

Check out this signature cocktail from the people behind Lulu + Hooch.

Related Blog Post: LULU + HOOCH by Chef Tom Hines: Gourmet Comfort Food with 12nn-6pm Happy Hour!

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Oysters Fine de Claire No. 3 (P180/pc). Fresh with Louie cocktail sauce or baked Rockefeller.

The oysters are good, especially if with compliments from the chef. :)

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 Big Eye Tuna Poke (P450). Wasabi, calamansi, avocado, and caviar.

Loved this export-quality tuna--very tasty, silky smooth, and wood-smoked before serving!

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✮ Pizzini Rosetta 2013 (P1,900). Australia.

Order a bottle of the Rosetta 2013, which pairs very well with the tuna and cuts through the fat. The pairing enhances the overall experience. 

Smith & Butcher Room with Chris Urbano-44.jpg✮ Prime Beef Carpaccio (P550). Black Truffles & Manchego Cheese.

The thinly sliced raw beef is already so flavorful on its own but is enhanced further by the Manchego cheese pairing.

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You can also order some cheeses--like Saint Andre--if you want to enjoy your cocktail session before the main steak course.

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✮ A Little "Cheeky" (P750). Braised veal cheeks open ravioli, stewed in shiraz and adorned with sauteed mushrooms & wild spinach

Tender and flavorful veal cheeks topped on an open ravioli pasta. Highly recommended and good for sharing. 

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Lemon + Lime + Calamansi (P140)

A glass of citrus flavors is always good for preparing your appetite for the meal ahead.

 

The Steak Experience!

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The best steaks from Japan, France, and Ireland!

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✮ JAPAN. Matsusaka (P4,000). Chilled, air flown direct from Tokyo.

The best Wagyu steak from Japan--Matsusaka Beef--with the highest marbling. It's deliciously tender and fatty, bursting with umami flavors in every bite.

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FRANCE. Fillet Mignon Tenderloin (P2,998). Charolais, chilled, air flown, simply superb. 

This French tenderloin steak on the other hand is lean but tasty. Best cooked medium rare.

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✮ IRELAND. Faus Fillet Sirloin (P2,998). Grass fed, dry aged 45 days.

The best steak of all grass-fed beef, aged for 45 days and with the right meat-to-fat ratio. Tasty with a good meaty finish.

TIP: Make sure to insist on a Medium Rare doneness so as not to overcook the meat.

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✮ Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 (P2,500)

We all enjoyed this Cabernet Sauvignon with a unique brand name--"Layer Cake". Comes with the right tannins and minerality, making it a great pairing with the steaks, especially the Irish Beef.

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All Saints Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (P2,490). Australia.

Another good wine pair was this Cab Sauv from Australia by Chris Urbano wines. 

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You can even choose your own knife to cut the steak.

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JAPAN. Entrecote Rib Eye (P4,500). Japanese OMI Beef, wet aged 45 days, grade A5 with BMS 12 (marbling).

The OMI Wagyu beef was also a good alternative to the Matsusaka. I still prefer steaks with a good, meaty finish.

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We made a mistake of ordering the Fillet Mignon Tenderloin topped with Blue Cheese and Foie Gras, which just overpowered the flavor of the meat.

Here's what we think about the wine and steak pairing (with special guest Chris Urbano of Maputing Cooking)...

 

Are there any good Seafood Options?

Smith & Butcher Room (Part 2)-46.jpg✮ Char-grilled Norwegian King Salmon (P890)With citrus glaze, sauteed spinach, and preserved lemon risotto.

The salmon meat was good and grilled just right. A good alternative for non-steak lovers. 

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Plateau de Fruits de Mer (good for two) (P2,800). Chilled lobster, poached tiger prawns, raw oysters, sweet black mussels, tuna sashimi, oscietra caviar, and traditional accompaniments.

We were disappointed with this expensive seafood platter. 

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The tuna and seafood were frozen and smelled like they came directly from the supermarket chiller.

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The mussels were also small. The seafood wasn't as overflowing as we expected it to be for the price.

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The presentation and the traditional accompaniments were very good, but the actual seafood did not deliver.

 

Are the desserts any good?

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The desserts were just OK. You can skip on these cakes.

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Apple Crumble (P250)Tarty, sweet, & delicious

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Menage a Trois Chocolate Mousse (P240). White milk & dark chocolate mousse with wild strawberries.

If you are ordering dessert, I recommend this chocolate mousse dish for that nice, sweet finish.

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Belgian White Chocolate, Macadamia Cheese Cake (P290)

This cheese cake is a good 2nd option for dessert. 

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It's best to end with some dessert wine instead...

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...or a serving of Harney & Sons hot tea.

 

The Verdict?
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We all agree that the steaks at SMITH are awesome! I especially loved the Irish 45-day aged, grass-fed beef variant. But Wagyu lovers may want to take advantage of their air flown Matsusaka beef while it lasts. For a healthier and leaner steak, go for the French Fillet Mignon Tenderloin steak.

There's a perfect spot you can always reserve, depending on the occasion you're celebrating. But it's best to be near the open kitchen and have a good view of the Steak Room.

For starters, order the Big Eye Tuna Poke, Beef Carpaccio, or the Veal Cheeks Open Ravioli. And for your wines, begin with the Pizzini Rosetta, then go for the Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 or All Saints Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 to pair with the steak.

Don't order the Plateau de Fruits de Mer and skip the dessert.

Budget about P2,000/head for the complete steak experience.

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SMITH Butcher and Grill Room
ACI Building, 147 HV dela Costa St., Salcedo Village,  Makati. 
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday, 6pm to 1am.
Mobile: +63 927 375-9467 or +63 915 429-5167
FacebookSmith Butcher and Grill Room 
Instagram@smithbutcher
Twitter@smithbutcher
Websitehttp://smithbutcherandgrillroom.com/ 

Note: No service charge for now. Credit cards are accepted.

Best Steakhouse in Manila Series 2015!

 

Live an Awesome Life,

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Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: We paid for our meal. Our shoot with Chris Urbano of Maputing Cooking was courtesy of Smith. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. The Smith Burger patty is also very good!

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The Smith Burger Story (P650). "Toasted British bap, with gooey melted mature cheddar, sharp and English just like my nature, caramelized maui onions, sweet, tart and sticky, and of course premium selected hand cut aged beef ground with just the amount of fat for full flavor, sun ripened tomato from local farms, and our secret sauce." - SMITH

 




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