Morton's The Steakhouse

The last time we ate at Morton's was on the Hubs' birthday in our first year together. It was again, an occasion for celebration, as the Hubs just got his first paycheck at his new-ish job, that we had dinner at Morton's with both CC and Beeps. Although they are my colleagues, and not the Hubs', they, together with their families, have become such close friends of ours. We always have a riot when hanging out. You'd think that I'd have exhausted all conversation with them, as I do see and talk to them on an almost daily basis, but noooooo, time just flew by when we were having dinner together. Before we realized it, we'd spent a whopping three and a half hours yakking away.

Morton's is one of those old-fashioned classically American fine-dining steakhouses with a history spanning decades. The Singapore one is the first to be opened of its 6 international outlets, housed in the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel. To ensure continuity and familiarity, the Singapore restaurant was built in same decor, concept and style as with all of the other branches. The restaurant, kept aglow with lowlights, and coupled with the dark wood interior of the restaurant provides the ideal setting of a traditional steakhouse experience. The restaurant, with its butler-like service and visual presentation of the menu with a rolling meat cart and detailed descriptions of the preparation of each dish, maintains its old-world charm since the chain was founded in the late 70's.

I'd venture to say that most diners here are spending on an expense account. If you're looking to impress an out-of-town business associate, or anyone who loves his (or her) meat, this is it. The impeccable service, humongous portions and quality of food is certain to keep them happy and satiated.

The Mortons' Onion Loaf (complimentary) is just legendary, and for good reason. It arrives on your table, a huge mound, and you're immediately hit with its aromatic oniony and fresh bread scent. You tear away fluffy soft bit-sized pieces, and your tastebuds are then assaulted with the taste of freshly baked bread with just a subtle hint of sweet caramelized onions.

Although I love scallops, the Broiled Sea Scallops ($40.50) wrapped in bacon and served alongside an apricot chutney really wasn't to my liking. With the exception of the slight charring on top, the scallop was largely raw. I like my scallops pan-seared and cooked through just right, not raw. I don't even eat scallop sashimi (aka hotate-gai). CC loved this though.

The Aged USDA Prime Ribeye Steak ($97) is my favourite cut. It may be the fattiest part of the cow, but I love the extra flavour it imparts to the meat. This is the kind of beef The Professor will love, full bodied and robust, a real man's meat. *RWARRR* This was done to a medium perfection, so it was cooked through, no bloody elements, but still tender and juicy. The beautiful charring lent a smoky finish to the deeply intensely flavoured steak.

The Aged USDA Double Cut Filet Mignon ($97), the most tender cut with little fat and muscle suited the more weight and health conscious. Little wonder this is one of two cuts that are offered in smaller sizes, a single cut instead of a double. Fresh watercress, a favourite green commonly found in Chinese herbal soups served as a crisp, peppery refreshment. I have to point out that the wonderful thing about Morton's steaks is that they are so flavoursome on their own that sauce or gravy is never missed when chomping down on their steaks. They really are just that good on their own.But, if you want, you can still ask for sauces, Morton's has a variety of the red wine, peppercorn and brown sauces.

To cut through the meat-centric meal, we ordered a Chilean Sea Bass ($75), fresh, moist and flaky, and served with a tangy pineapple-pepper salsa. This was a very nice respite, a lightness from the heaviness of the other dishes.

The Sauteed Spinach and Button Mushrooms ($20), simply seasoned with salt and butter, allowed the natural sweetness of the ingredients to shine through. Spinach was wilted just right and the mushrooms were juicy and earthy.

The Jumbo Baked Potato ($19) served with a dollop of butter, was hearty and comforting, and man, was it huge. One of this was enough for all four of us.

I'd actually meant to order the signature chocolate cake, but accidentally got 2 of the Morton's Legendary Sundae ($35) instead. The chocolate cake, previously known as the Godiva chocolate cake, could only feed 2 diners, but the sundae is huge enough to feed 4. Try as we did, we just couldn't finish these. The sundae is like the hot chocolate cake, put on top a layer of sweet caramel and stuffed into a sundae cup, then topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and loads of whipped cream. The still-warm chocolate cake underneath the mound of cream oozed with warm chocolatey sauce when broken into. Super decadent, super rich and super indulgent, but it was so worth the gazillion calories.

Morton's The Steakhouse
5 Raffles Avenue
Mandarin Oriental 4th Floor
Tel: 6339 3740
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 5.30pm to 11pm;
Sundays from 5pm to 10pm
Website: www.mortons.com/singapore

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