Dallas Restaurant & Bar has been at Clarke Quay for a decade. Now, it marks its 10th anniversary this year with the opening of its new outlet at Suntec City’s rooftop garden. To be brutally honest, I had never heard of this restaurant before. Even then, when the name popped up, I couldn’t help but smirk at how campy it sounded. Really? Dallas? Images of JR Ewing and Charlene Tilton sprang to mind. Yes, very vintage.
I am now sorry I sniggered at its name. The new restaurant turned out to be a beautiful setting — high ceilings, floods of soft sunlight from floor-to-ceiling windows, an classically elegant island bar, hardwood floors and great bouquets of lilies. Just outside is the rooftop garden it shares with several other restaurants and bars, prettied up with a reflecting pool. A far cry from the pinball machine, dart board and mechanical bull that I had half expected to see.
The menu wasn’t corn cakes, burgers and grits either. The stars here are its meats, and there are two dishes in particular that is definitely worth coming here for. The first is the Dallas Meat Platter, at an insanely good price of $70. Enough to feed three, the platter comprises two lamb cutlets, a half rack of pork ribs, a quarter chicken and a 250g prime rib steak. The meats are all very well marinated and their own different flavourings, and cooked moist and succulent. Particularly enjoyable is the steak, done medium rare, dripping with juice and with that nice grilled flavour from the Maillard reaction, and the very juicy lamb cutlets. The platter comes with a salad, roast potatoes and tomatoes on the vine, sauces and mustard. This is easily one of the best value deals in town for steak. The platter comes in a larger size which they say feed 4, at $130. Everything is doubled in this platter, except for the steak which is a 300g slice, instead of 250g. I’ve returned to the restaurant several times since to have this platter. Sharing among three, we didn’t need anything else but a couple of cocktails and maybe a dessert to share, simply out of greed.
The Prime Rib Steak ($40) is the other main course you must have. It’s a hefty 250g steak of 100-day grain fed Aussie beef. To prepare it, the chef slow roasts a 4kg hunk of beef for 15 hours, then slices and finishes it on the grill at medium-rare. (This is the same steak you find on the Dallas Meat Platter). On weekends, you can order this for $35 and the steak is free-flow. That’s a deal that’s really hard to beat.
Dallas Restaurant has a stunning island bar that dominates half the restaurant, partitioned from the rest of the formal dining room. It’s lovely to sit there if you’re alone for lunch. Drinks are decently priced, and between 5pm and 8pm, there’s a two-for-one deal on cocktails. The Pimms Punch ($18) was quite watered down, but the Manhattan, Old Fashioned and Bellini were delightful — especially when it is two-for-one.
What other dishes are there apart from the meat? For appetisers, the snapper fish tacos was good. It was a complex dish with lots of components and big piquant flavours — chunks of fresh deep fried snapper in a crisp batter lifted with piquant onions, pineapple chutney and a fiery tinge from chipotle mayo. But at $22 for three pieces, I find it is overpriced. The pork belly tacos was nice, too, but more predictable — crisp pork belly with aioli and guacamole with jalapeno. It’s $14 for three pieces, but each additional piece comes at a whopping $5. The grilled corn ($6) is popular with many diners; the tight rows are roasted with a sprinkling of parmesan and bit of chilli flakes, and served with chipotle mayo. I can understand why it is a hit with people, but personally I felt the add-ons simply overwhelmed the natural sweet taste of a good quality corn. For dessert, their key lime pie and brownie were most enjoyable. Simple options but sometimes, simple is the best.
All in all, Dallas restaurant is a really good, solid restaurant to go for a good, well priced carnivorous meal. The steak deals are really hard to beat, and you do get a very good and enjoyable steak too. Since my first visit, I have been back several times, and have been recommending it to anyone in search of a good steak.
Good to know: There’s a sofa set up in the corner of the main dining room — book this table if you have a group of friends heading there just for drinks and bites. The main dining room can also be partitioned off for private parties and it is a pretty setting for such an event. Open from 11.30am, it’s a good place for an early lunch.
3 Temasek Boulevard
#03-302/303 Suntec City Sky Garden
(Between Towers 1 and 5)
Tel: 6333 4068