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Whether it is spoken of as carabeef, buff, or buffen across various countries, it is a truth widely acknowledged by several voracious meat eaters that a good fillet of buffalo meat can do more wonders for their mood than any other comfort food known to them. And while curries, tenderloin strips, wok tosses, minces, pies, ribs, stews, slow roasts, burgers and more are all delicious ways to consume the distinctively flavoured meat, few carnivores would pass up the chance to get their hands on a simple grilled steak, cooked to their preference, whether absolutely blue or charred to the core.
A few establishments keep the choice quite simple. Sprawled in the relaxing surroundings of Shisha Jazz Café, for instance, one could enjoy the tenderloin with fries and veggies in a zesty in-house paprika sauce or even a more familiar brown sauce, among other options; a different version of the latter finds itself best drizzled over a fine cut of meat at Café 1730 as well, served with well-sautéed exotic vegetables and a melting mash. While 212 All Day Café And Bar does its steak with a nose-tickling black pepper jus and burnt garlic mash, Terttulia serves a fat and beautifully rare filet mignon with a silky red wine jus and a heap of tater mash.
In keeping with these more traditional avatars, Krusty's serves its filet mignon in the form of herb-paprika-butter medallions, accompanied by the usual suspects and adorned with a green peppercorn jus. The Flour Works gives you a choice of trimmings such as ‘Bloody Mary’ tomato salad and garlic bread, or an unusual (and appealingly strong) variant with blue cheese, garlic butter and onion rings.
Over at Mad House Grill, the first dedicated steakhouse the city saw, there is a pretty wide plethora to choose from – all to the exact doneness you prefer. The Swiss version packs in stringy, creamy mozzarella with the flavour-packed meat, while a wasabi and kikkoman version brings a rather complimentary zing and umami to the preparation. A classic here is the steak Diane in a creamy mustard sauce, served on a bed of thyme-laced shallots, mushrooms and mash, while another popular favourite is the inimitable cream sauce version infused with the generous flavours of peppercorns and garlic, and that goes well with the healthy boiled veggies and velvety potato side it is served alongside.
Similarly, another long-standing establishment, Arthur’s Theme, serves its steak in three delicious ways – the Fabian is doused in a creamy, aromatic garlic sauce, while the Danielle is soaked in a comfortingly spicy pepper sauce and served with roast potatoes, whose mild blandness balances out the fiery bite. The Harald, meanwhile, is a massive double serving of the tenderloin, stuffed heartily with cheese and topped with caramelised onions that mingle amiably with a rich and herby mushroom sauce.
The city’s sizzler specialty joints are not far behind when the stakes (or steaks) are high – Zamus Place serves it on a sizzling platter in a deliciously greasy brown stock, offering three sides and a sauce to go with. The spud mash, mushroom-baby corn and grilled onions with the thick cream sauce is a wonderful way to go, as is ordering the home fries, sausages and herb rice with a pepper-garlic sauce. On the other hand, The Place – Touché The Sizzler, while offering several options, lives up to its reputation by pulling off the best of them all – the steak cordon bleu stuffed with an impeccable quality of fresh ham, oodles of cheese, a crumb-fried envelope and lashings of a rich, meaty sauce.
The all-American styled Hard Rock Café offers a steak version of its own, naturally, in the form of an 8 oz fillet that is grilled to custom, then drowned in a giant drizzle of garlic herb butter. This is served with a cheesy mash inundated in an aromatic brown stock gravy, sprinkled with fresh parsley, alongside seasonal vegetables. Much on the same lines, TGI Fridays pulls off a hat-tip to the US by offering a traditional surf and turf variant, in the form of a Creole steak (10 oz) and garlic butter shrimp immersed in a spicy Cajun cream sauce with a side of cheddar mash, crispy onion rings, or even buttery and garlicky broccoli. The JD New York steak here is basted in a secret sauce made of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, tabasco and cayenne peppers, coming together as a sweet and smoky glaze redolent of garlic; this is served alongside Cajun spiced shrimp and a few more familiar sides.
Stepping up the exotic quotient is the place showcasing exclusively Brazilian cuisine – Boteco. The inimitable tenderloin steak here has been widely touted to be the best some have ever had, and comes with an interestingly different take on side dishes, including cassava fries, salad in a refreshing vinaigrette, and farofa (a traditional Brazilian side of cassava and flour that has a smoky, salty flavour and accentuates the meat).
So go on, get a moo-ve on it right away!
Follow Shweta @ShwetaKapur
Shweta has been writing about food for a few years now and has dabbled in TV, print and online journalism for over almost a decade. She has written on and edited for topics ranging from the environment, culture and lifestyle to politics, business and, of course, food. She has written for publications under the Times Group, Fox Life India and NDTV. When she's not devouring a good book or spending vast swathes of time on the Interweb, she loves to set off on all manner of culinary explorations.