Las Vacas is one of those places that you never thought we'd have in KL. It's a professional butcher shop that cuts your meats correctly and according to the cuts that you like. The beef is sourced from Australian bred cattles, comes chillied in one big piece to Las Vacas, then professionally cut and apportioned to the kind of premium cuts that I'm sure you are most familiar with. Striploin, Rib-Eye, Sirloin, Tenderloin, Ribs, Cube Roll, Brisket.. they have it all here. Last I checked, they even have wagyu with marbling that almost looks too good to eat and at a fraction of the cost elsewhere.
The cute & cozy butchery is run by two business partner friends Yusof and Freddy. Interestingly enough, about 2 months ago they decided to open a small cafe ala steakhouse in the butchery itself. They cleaned up a small area towards the back of the shop, got a couple of table and chairs, sourced for a coffee machine, got someone to wait tables and walla! they were in business. A nice cozy place to catch up with some friends or to lazy the day away.
Uh wait, Yusof the butcher is also Yusof the chef. So why would I want to go to a place like this then? Well I dunno.. it just feels nice. I don't know of another place that has this kind of atmosphere. It's like going to a seafood restaurant with its rows of tanks for live fishes, selecting your seafood, order up how it should be cooked and wait for it to arrive on the table. But in this case, it's beef instead of seafood. You get to stare at their two counter chillers, oogling over which steak cut will be your dinner for tonite and the best thing is that they can cut your steak according to how thick you want it to be.
So there you go, one inch tenderloin.. sure. Two inch rib eye.. ok. Three inch striploin.. crazy but what the heck.. it's your steak. You pay about 20-30% above the normal price which covers 'cooking & preparation'. So for about RM40, you can get away with a good piece of steak and a coffee. Whatever is on display at the chilled counter, you can have it for dinner on the table. Do also try their beef pie going for RM2. They say that its an Australian recipe and its good.
Anyway, the steaks will come to your table awhile later. Order up some coffee whilst waiting. Surprisingly, coffee was good. Appetizers were beef foldovers, kebab and bruschetta which was delicious and light. Good comments followed the foldovers which came wrapped with some fresh salad fillings. We had the tenderloin, rib-eye and wagyu (wuhoo!) for mains. All steaks come with a slice of ciabatta bread and salads. (Ceasar or balsamic dressing).
So.. are-the-steaks-any-good? Yes! In the hands of a steak master, it would certainly be an excellent piece of art. But here's the thing, Yusof is not yet a steak master. By virtue of the 6 week minimum wet aged steak only just being freshly cut several minutes ago, you don't really need teriffic skills to make sure that your steak is delicious and juicy. Just pan fry it for several minutes on each side should do the trick. So currently, his steaks are just no-frills but freakin' awesome. What I mean by this is that the steaks are probably pan fried instead of flame grilled to seal the juices in and don't get a once over in the oven to cook it to perfection. There's no sauce on the side to complement the steak .. no butter garlic or mushroom sauce. (However, dijon and whole grain mustard sauce is available. Side by side with dare I say it .. chili sauce and HP). There's no light seasoning of cajun spices or secret herbs of any kind to bring out the flavours. Just a simple cut, a grill on the pan and off it goes to the dinner plate. Sometimes, that's all you really need...
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