Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wooden Horse: Serving Delicious and Affordable Steaks

The first steak experience I had happened many years ago when the president of the company I used to work for treated me and my colleagues to a popular steak house in Makati for a “job well done” celebration. If I remember correctly, the steak was approximately a ½ kilo slab of rib-eye, certified Angus beef priced at a staggering P800 per plate. This was in the early 90’s.

The second time I had an Angus treat was a couple years ago in another well known steak resto in Pasay, courtesy of gift certificates my wife was given by a client. Prices of what I ate need not be discussed because they were so unjustifiably expensive. Even if I had the bucks to pay for it, I would surely have had second thoughts of splurging my money for a steak treat with the thought that the cost would already cover the budget of an average Pinoy family for a week.

The gastronomical indulgence only came once-in-a blue moon for me; 15 years apart to be exact. But the tastes and the experiences still lingered every time I remember them. Nowadays, with the sky-rocketing prices of basic commodities, the only luxury I could afford is to dream of eating high quality, true-blue steak.

And yet, sometimes, dreams still do come true. My wife and I recently met with a client at the Wooden Horse Steak House located at the Molito Complex, near Ayala Alabang. It was exciting just thinking about eating another steak meal. I like the restaurant’s interior which comes in a typical western rustic design. We were received warmly by the restaurant crew dressed in their savvy cowboy attires.

Anticipating high menu prices, I was surprised to see that they are relatively low compared to my expectations. Imagine, a P360+ top blade certified Angus beef exists in Wooden Horse!

Just like in any fine dining establishment, we were served with whole wheat house bread dipped in balsamic vinegar sprinkled with parmesan, followed by a clam chowder soup specially prepared by their resident chef. Other entrée dishes were served such as a seafood mix baked in cheese, eggs and rice. I had a wonderful time eating them while we waited for the main course which is the top blade steak. 

I was even enlightened by a bit of cattle education shared to us by our client regarding beef-cuts and parts. He said that there is a part on a cow’s shoulder, called the top blade, which seldom moves thus making it very tender. The steak was served in a hot sizzling plate, glazed with special sauce and coupled with a side dish of mixed vegetables sautéed in butter and garlic. One special feature of this top blade is the intricate preparation of the chef where he painstakingly removes the tough ligaments marbled within the meat. All that’s left is 100% pure tender beef served on your plate.

I had the most enjoyable time at the Wooden Horse Steak House. And this time around, I would no longer wonder when I could afford to eat steak meals at least once in a while. Finally, a steak meal no longer remains food for the gods but food for average Joes like me as well.

To see other photos and read my wife's review of Wooden Horse, visit her blog here.

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