Choice American beef to be relished at WMC Group restaurants

(No.7, Vol.4,Aug-Sep 2014 Vietnam Heritage Magazine,Advertorial)

Chef Martin Yan

Asia, lacking the vast grassland prairies and pampas of the Americas or the infinite horizons of the Australian outback, is not noted for cattle raising. Generally, I am quite content here to forswear red meat and enjoy a diet based on generally healthier fish, seafood and poultry. The one dish that does use crushed beef bones for its stock and slices of beef shank that I do enjoy, more so for its coagulated pig's blood ('huyet') and pork knuckle, is ‘Bun Bo Hue’.
However, it was with great delight, coming from England, famed for her roast beef, that I accepted an invitation for a privileged few to taste some cuts of American beef certified to be of prime quality by the United States Department of Agriculture. This was held at Vietnam's most famed and well- established Steak House ‘Amigo's Grill’ on Nguyen Hue Street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. You can also savour choice USDA beef at any of the other seven restaurants of the group. On this same street are 'Kissho Japanese Restaurant' and the 'Cafe Central Nguyen Hue'. On nearby Dong Khoi Street 'Gartenstadt' and 'The Royal Pavilion Cantonese Restaurant' are to be found. Three more are housed in the Windsor Plaza Hotel in district five. They are the 'Ngan Dinh', 'Cafe Central An Dong' and with panoramic views, 'Top of the Town'.
I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted to the soiree by my old chum, celebrity chef Martin Yan. A departure from the usually Western style of grilling steaks at Amigo's, Yan was there with his cleaver and wok to demonstrate how Asian cuisine can treat beef.
Yan began by vigorously turning and tossing strips of beef in the wok. Serving it onto a dish, he adorned it with a colourful salad by cutting yellow, green and red capsicum into thin long strings (a la julienne). He covered it with a marinade of soya sauce and brandy. Finally, there was veggie caviar in the form of fresh green peppercorns from Phu Quoc.
Sautéing the cubes of beef with bell pepper in a similar manner, he added a mix of A-1 and Worcestershire sauce. He also used canola and cooking olive oil for taste.
I was struck by one thing Yan said. He told us he demonstrated only dishes whose ideas were such that his audience could take away and easily apply at home. ‘Otherwise it's just not education’, he said.
After sampling these, there was a trip to a very extensive salad bar. This may be a carnivore restaurant, but the salad choice is amazing. I particularly liked the aubergine (eggplant dish), which was as sweet and juicy as the beef itself.
Taking our salad choices to the table, we were then treated to more Western-type fare. There were mini steaks of prime-cut sirloin and rib eye as well as beef shank. All these meats were melt-in-your mouth scrumptious. To wash it all down, WMC restaurants have vast cellars. For this occasion, a dry South East Australian wine was chosen; a perfect accompaniment.
When you have the hankering and when money is available, the Windsor Group with its eight varied restaurants has a value-for-money American beef platter of certified USD quality to suit your taste.

Amigo Grill Restaurant
55 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Dist.1,
Ho Chi Minh City.
Tel: (08) 3824-1248

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