Restaurant review: FBG serves up unique steak cuts and addictive sides at Serene Centre

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A good steak isn’t all about marbling score and the ancestry of your cow. While the flavour of A5 Wagyu or the famous tenderness of the fillet mignon certainly makes for a reliably enjoyable choice, there’s an absolute goldmine of beefy flavour hidden in the rest of the cow.

No steakhouse proves this more than FBG. Previously known as Fat Belly, the community steakhouse at Serene Centre has rebranded itself, with a killer menu to honour its new beginning.

With the experienced Executive Chef Victor Loy at the wheel – he has spent time in kitchens across Europe and headed the Plentyful and Refinery Concepts in Singapore – look forward to a variety of uncommon cuts of meat done right along with fresh sides that shine both as complementary flavours and standalone dishes. Decadent desserts to complete an evening of pure satisfaction.

Just a stone’s throw away from the Botanic Gardens, the space is home to hip Elixir Boutique Roasters and artisanal coffee in the day, but come nightfall, FBG takes over.

Sleek, modern interiors and long wooden tables under warm lighting create a comforting yet eye-catching setting that puts you at ease while you wait for your food.

Dinner began with a spread of starter dishes to whet our appetite for the steaks. An absolute classic, the Chopped Caesar ($14) with tequila anchovy dressing gave that hit of freshness, interspersed with a little burst of saltiness from crisp ham.

The naturally sweet flavour of scallops takes centre stage with the Roasted Hokkaido Scallops ($18), against a foil of chickpea salsa and rich hollandaise sauce.

You could also go devilishly indulgent with the Fried Camembert Cheese ($17) – the sweetness of the truffle honey combined with the kick from the pickled jalapenos ground it excellently – but it could ruin you for the dishes to come.

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The steaks knocked it out of the park. Boasting a punch of beefy flavour with every bite, the Australian-sourced 2GR Full-Blood Wagyu Denver MS-6/7 ($62) melds its natural fat with the almost malt-like notes of the meat for a plate sure to be cleaned off by any steak-lover.

Despite its lower marbling score, the Jack’s Creek F1 Wagyu Deckle MS-4/5 ($58) is absolutely packed with fatty goodness, almost reaching the same juiciness you might expect from an A5.

Although the flavour of the meat does take a backseat, this was the favourite of the table.

Lastly, tender doesn’t do justice to the experience of Rioplatense Argentinian Grass-fed Ribeye ($48). Each effortless chew brought forth a rumbling of smokiness. Kudos for these qualities, but the ribeye was surprisingly lacking in flavour.

The quick fix? A smattering of umami from their housemade Bordelaise ($4) sauce.

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Beyond the stars, we have to say that the sides at FBG deserve every bit of attention as well. We were told how the sheer brilliance of the Fried Brussels Sprouts ($14) could convert even the staunchest of carnivores, and they were not wrong.

Housemade garum caramel coats every layer of the vegetable, creating a salty-sweet crispy layer of heaven on the outside that serves as a foil for the inner tender, juicy leaves – nothing short of addictive.

The Pomme Puree ($10) fulfills the role we all know and love, with a smooth texture and buttery taste that appropriately elevates that element to the standard of the steaks.

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If you’ve still got the Bordelaise from earlier, be sure to try it with the potato for a fantastic pairing. The charred bitterness of Grilled Broccolini ($14) cuts through the richness of the meat well, and the mild spice that accompanies the anchovy emulsion makes for a great balance.

FBG doesn’t hold back when it comes to desserts either. Stan’s Tiramisu ($14) integrates Elixir’s house-roasted coffee into the Italian classic, grounding the decadent mascarpone with a biscuit base soaked in a perfectly pulled espresso shot.

The New York Cheesecake ($16) lives up to every expectation of the classic, with a compote of wild strawberries, though it was admittedly a little too sweet and heavy for our taste. We preferred the Burnt Chocolate Mousse ($16), pairing yuzu sorbet with a dark chocolate mousse made from tofu for a fascinating combination.

FBG is located at #01-04 Serene Centre, 10 Jalan Serene, Singapore 258748, p. +65 6314 2247. Open Mon-Tue, Thu 6pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-11pm, Sun 6pm-10pm. Closed Wed.

This article was first published in City Nomads.

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