Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King
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The Unbelievably Good P595 Steak

posted by in Continental, Restaurants

“That’s impossible!” I say, my eyes narrowing.

“Eat it. Believe it.” My friend Nel tells me smugly. Apparently, there’s this hallowed steak at some watering hole that’s “… at least this thick” – Nel displays two fingers set barely an inch apart – “…is this big” – now his arms are about half a foot apart – “… and is just too good!” His eyes close at the memory. “It can’t be that cheap, it just can’t.” I protest. “It’s probably not even from a cow!” I snort, crossing my arms. “Oh Lori, you unholy unbeliever,” Nel decries, his disdain evident.

The watering hole is called Bugsy’s Bar & Bistro and while I know it has two or three locations in the city, we’re at the Makati branch tucked in some obscure corner in Salcedo Village. Blink it and you’ll miss it, the entrance is that inconspicuous. The air-conditioning is on the fritz in the main dining area so we’re ushered into the cooler smoking area where Nel and I take residence at the bar.

The menu selection at Bugsy’s is wide, which includes a roll call of requisite bar chow (onion rings, mozzarella sticks, calamari, etc.) and some supporting characters (burgers, the much-recommended Famous Cured Beef Surprise [tapsilog, but the name frightens me somewhat], and the Buffaloes [wings and tenders]). And there it is, smack center on the menu, the Bugsy Siegel. Nel points to it with his finger. “There it is,” he murmurs in a reverential hush. “I still can’t believe it’s only P595,” I mutter in return. The menu describes its superstar as “… min 400-gram, 1-inch USDA Angus Rib-Eye grilled and served with red wine sauce, mashed potatoes and buttered veg [sic].”

Behind us, some corporate drone has perched himself at one of the tables and is speaking loudly into his mobile. “Yeah pare, sige! The wings and the nachos and let’s share the Bugsy Siegel.” As if on cue, Nel and I look at each other and grin widely. “There’s no sharing of steak between friends!” I exclaim. Nel throws back his head and laughs. I assume friends’ refusal to split steaks at Bugsy’s is a common occurrence because the waiter doesn’t bat an eye at our order.

On high stools, we directly face the liquor cabinet, a live listing of libations. Bottles of varying heights and opacities glimmer in the muted noonday light, their multi-colored contents elixirs to life’s woes or an additive of amusement after an anticipated steak meal. Nel is telling me about his favorite vodka mixers and I’m eager to have one après lunch.

And then it arrives. On a plate usually reserved for family-sized portions sits a slab of steak that visually, ticks all the boxes of beefy glee: a brown burnished by heat made tantalizing by its tan lines (aka grill marks). Somewhere, something in me stirs, and, like a leopard that’s locked eyes with its prey, I stand up, ready to pounce. Nel, ever the gentleman, hands me the first platter. I brandish my knife and begin slicing the steak; I’m still standing up. “Oh my god, you’re not even sitting down!” Nel guffaws.

Cross-section: spot-on medium rare.

I slash a single slice of the steak into submission and in it goes. It’s a beef bomb rigged to ring my every pleasure center: juice, oil, fat, beef, and above all, wonderment for only P595. Beside me, Nel is having his own series of epiphanies. We must look like a peculiar lot, Nel and I, I muse in mid-chew: all this eye-rolling and interspersed groans, and I think that the large cocktail ring I’m wearing makes contact with the counter in mid-moan several times, a result of repeated poundings brought on by bliss.

The mashed potatoes are divine with their almost too-sizable chunks and lots of butter. Ask for salt, though.
Steak fat: sliced and grilled again for that take-no-prisoners crispness and oily gush.

When I come up for air, I turn to Nel and clutch his arm tightly. “Thank you.” My voice is hoarse, my eyes fever-frenzied. “Thank you for bringing me here and sharing this food find with me. I’ll never doubt you again.” There’s an “I told you so” look in my friend’s eyes but instead of it finding voice, he replies simply, “Of course, hon. That’s what we food lovers do. We eat and share. Because then, what’s the point?”

Dessert is an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie (P55; somewhat dry). Opt for the Mango Bar instead (P65) which is thick-crusted with a gooey mango center. Our cocktails to go with them are an Absolut Raspberry and an Absolut Mango Tonic (both P135 each).


Bugsy’s Bar & Bistro Makati

Unit 1 Paseo Parkview Tower
Valero corner Sedeño, Salcedo Village, Makati
Open Mondays-Sundays, 11:30am-12mn. Happy Hour: 3-8pm
Facebook page
menu

 

26 Responses to “The Unbelievably Good P595 Steak”

  • The price of this steak is actually cheaper in the Ortigas branch. I believe it’s only P495. :)

    Peace.

    Jude

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Jude-
    You don’t say! Then my wonderment for this steak has just gone up … while the steak price has gone down.

    –lori

    [Reply]

    MellowMarco Reply:

    It was but not anymore. They changed the price already. Was there just last Saturday. Sadness. But, then again, still worth every peso. :-)

    [Reply]

  • Gasp! It’s a block away from my office! Yipee! Nice alternative to the usual Relish and Apartment 1b lunch haunts. Thanks for the tip!

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Peach-
    And compared to those 2 places, Bugsy’s is much cheaper too.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • I’ve been looking for affordable but good steak to treat my family with for my birthday. It’s a pleasant surprise that you’ve managed to give an answer in the first post I see today!

    Thanks for the tip!

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Lloyd-
    I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as I did. Let me know how it goes. Happy birthday!

    –lori

    [Reply]

    Lloyd Reply:

    Thank you! We just tried it. We were all surprised how large and good it was. My sister loved it so much; she was the only one who was able to finish her plate. I’ll definitely be back though! :)

    [Reply]

  • I think Bugsy Malone was the P495 steak but I don’t see it on the menu anymore; Bugsy Siegel is P595 and yeah, for it’s size and taste, I couldn’t believe the price either. I had to take out the leftover and revive it as salpicao the next day :p

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Pauline-
    Bugsy Malone is still on the menu. The Bugsy Siegel however, is touted on the menu as the “better Bugsy Malone.”

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • check out batangus :) cheap and good steak. good enough sidings with it. :) somewhere near shopwise in chino roces cor. vito cruz extension. it’s in the savannah market complex. :) but call first, they run out of steak really fast. :)

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Cris L-
    Thanks for the tip! I love finding new sources of steak pleasure.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • Brian and I are having this and their chicken tenders today. I know they’re super near, but we’re having the food delivered anyway. Muwahahahaha!

    [Reply]

  • My friends and I usually go there to drink but, one time, I decided to order a meal (not just their appetizers) and was suprised at how good it was. Thanks for telling me about their steak, coz I didn’t know about that! Will try that soon! :)

    [Reply]

  • Oh my I have yet to try this. I’ve already fallen in love with their Buffalo Chicken Tenders. You must try that next.

    [Reply]

  • Hey Lori. Did you have to ask them to grill the fat again or did they do it on their own?

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Gus-
    We asked them to re-grill it for us :)

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • Written like the true blue carnivore that you are… always love your posts …specially the “meaty ones”

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Miguel-
    Thank you! I do love my steak.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • nice steak find! will go ahead and try with the wife..

    [Reply]

  • wow that looks good!

    [Reply]

  • Thanks Lori for alerting us to this incredible find. Though I’ve eaten at Bugsy’s numerous times I’ve never given thought to their steak since I used to think that good steak can only be had at the more expensive restaurants. I went ahead and had lunch there today and was thrilled with the quality, size and price of the steak. Thanks for sharing this with us :)

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Ami-
    Glad you enjoyed it! I’m happy to eat and share :)

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • glad to have tried the steak. *happy sigh* –and the re-grilled fat is worth eating oatmeal most of the time for the rest of the year. :D

    [Reply]

  • I was just there last night, and despite the fact that I’d already seen the pictures here and read your descriptions, we were still aghast at the size! For the portion size and meat quality, it’s an incredible value for money…makes one wonder why the other restaurants need to charge at least triple the price. We did share the steak, though; but that’s because we also had salad and some appetizers. I love Bugsy’s onion rings and Buffalo chicken! Thanks for the tip, Lori! I wouldn’t have ordered the steak, otherwise.

    [Reply]

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