The premise of the Phuket Epic Food series is fairly simple – we focus on the remarkable. What is not simple though, are the dishes we present here. Only the most extraordinary, noteworthy, delightful, or in other words, epic meals served at Phuket restaurants make it onto our list. This isn’t your daily bread, but meals for a special occasion, once in a lifetime experiences.
Now, where to begin such a series? How to start on a high note? Should we dive into the extravagant? Look for something completely off the charts? Or maybe better begin with a strong foundation; a classic. And what’s more fundamental to a traditional restaurant menu than a juicy steak? However, no ordinary cut of “Australian Wagyu” deserves the noble badge of Epic. What does, is a cut of meat with a heritage as great as its size, and a flavour to match it. The gorgeous Manzetta Prussiana steak, served at Cape Sienna’s Plum Prime Steakhouse is exactly that.
Its story begins long before it’s served on Plum’s terrace overlooking a breathtaking sea vista. And far, far away, in Poland, where the small Holstein breed cattle roams freely on the pastures of a region known as The Land of a Thousand Lakes. Mazury, because that’s what that place is called, used to be a part of a prominent German state of Prussia, hence the beef cut’s name – Manzetta Prussiana. It’s from Mazury’s pastures that the world-renowned Jolanda De Colò, a household name when it comes to the best meats supplied to the world’s very best restaurants, selects only the young females, below 30 months old, and for the last couple of months before the butcher performs his duty, feeds them exclusively on sugar beet.
The resulting meat is incredibly red, sweet and with outstanding marbling and is delivered, fresh, to Phuket, where it lands in the carrying hands of one of the island’s most ardent foodies, Cape Sienna Executive Chef Francesco Greco. Before the steak lands on the red-hot grill, chef Greco gently massages it with coarse Balinese salt and freshly ground Malabar pepper, leaves it to rest for at least half an hour to allow the seasoning to infuse the meat, and then massages it once more, this time with extra virgin olive oil made from particularly flavorful “Sabina” olives, which grow on the hills surrounding Rome. Then, and only then, is it ready for the charcoal-fired oven.
The steak is first placed flat on the grill, to mark both sides sharply, followed by slow roasting standing up on its bone, to allow the heat to gradually penetrate the meat. When ready, the steak, all 1.5 kg of it, is enfolded in a clean cloth and kept in a warm place for 20 minutes to settle, before it arrives at the table and is deboned and sliced in front of the guest.
And now the million-dollar question – What does it taste like? I should know, I tried it, along with four made in-house sauces – Béarnaise, Bordelaise, Lexington Dip and Chimichurri Verde, and the Beurre Cafè De Paris butter. But knowing doesn’t equal being able to tell the story, even if one tells stories for a living. I could try using adjectives such as toothsome and delectable, I could throw in words like umami, I could play around with metaphors. …but I won’t. None of those would do Manzetta Prussiana justice. Forgive me, but in the face of such steak perfection, I have just one word to offer – it’s Epic.
Learn more at capesienna.com