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Beef and Oysters | by Renée S. Suen
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Beef and Oysters

Beef, oyster, samphire, radish ($24). Heaton’s take on surf and turf but with two versions of beef – flavour packed skirt steak and fork-tender short rib – and oysters – fried (with a light, almost fluffy batter) and as an emulsion – served with samphire (briny crisp sea asparagus) and thin slices of radish.

 

The plate itself is one for those who enjoy sodium-kissed foods that came from not only the saline-rich jus bathing the beef (on a subsequent visit, it was rare roasted tenderloin), the oyster but also the samphire - the latter tying the plate together with its sea-briny essence.

 

Although, as most people who ever read these captions of mine, follow my dining adventures or know my personal preferences know, I don't appreciate cooked or pureed oysters that much, the versions on Heaton's plate were very nice. Perhaps it was because smaller oysters (vs. the thick, fist-like knobs that are generally steamed or fried in Chinese restaurants - yuck (mealy texture and tin like bitter flavours) were used here or it's because the kitchen just knew what they were doing, but this was pleasant (that's huge coming from a non-cooked oyster loving person).

 

The thing with this plate that most impressed me (besides the fall apart tender beef short rib - which was very much like Chinese braised beef short ribs - aka excellent near melt-in-mouth texture and similar respect with keeping things thick and flavourful) were the colours. How beautiful! Never would I have considered pinks and purples so fitting a plate (not to mention the briny crisp stalks of samphire. Oh how I love samphires), but here they were, like jewels, softening the look of a typically heavy, monotonous (it does break up the browns of both meats and fried oyster) and masculine themed course.

 

Aside: For a female who's been labelled to eat like a guy (very meats and carbs; non-bird like) and apparently drink like one (thanks D), the concept and presentation of this plate resonated with me. Plus samphires, beef and flowers appear on the plate. How is that not me? :P

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Taken on March 28, 2012