Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse Hot
The Bistecca Fiorentina ($178) is a charcoal-grilled T-bone cut that is more than 5cm thick and weighs more than 1kg. This Tuscan speciality’s preparation is overseen by Florentine chef Francesco Mansani in this deep Mohamed Sultan shophouse. The beef – displayed in glass-cased meat fridges along the walkway in the middle of the restaurant – is quality-controlled organic Australian Wagyu-Holstein.
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Great steak and desserts
Bistecca has a rather fun layout: there are huge paintings on the walls of a woman with two large cattle, another woman riding an enormous horse, and chandeliers that are apparently made from antlers. There are two dining rooms, linked by a corridor that runs by the kitchen, which allows you to wander along and peer at what the staff are cooking up. Opinion varies on whether that adds to the dining experience or whether like sausages, it's better to see the results than the process of creation.
The menu is mostly meat. Mostly big slabs of meat, but it is a steakhouse, after all. I'm contrary, though, and ordered the vegetarian option (pumpkin ravioli) which is ok, but not massive, whereas my friends were tucking into huge plates of beef. Although the ravioli tastes fine, it's not really substantial enough as a main: make sure you order some sides as well (the roast potatoes are particularly good).
On the positive side, that left me with room for dessert: there's a chocolate mousse on the menu that it would be criminal to miss out on, which comes with a zany little spoon made out of chocolate biscuit - a cute touch. There's a substantial wine list, but there's only a choice of two beers (Peroni and Moretti); I suppose Italians aren't known for their depth of beers, but it would have been nice to have a few more choices. Perhaps I'm just not civilised enough.
Staff are very pleasant without being unctuous. We made a booking for four and when two extra people arrived, they accomodated them without any fuss. Certainly worth visiting if you have a hankering for steak.