Lifestyle

WELL DONE

My mum is from Malaysia, my dad is from Hong Kong and I’m from Edinburgh in Scotland. I grew up seeing all these Asian flavours but living in the UK I saw French and British cuisine too. I’d like to put some Scottish haggis on the menu one day. I came to Dubai five years ago and the buzz here at Seafire is great. It’s like Disneyland – constantly busy every day, it’s crazy.

Yachts

The standout steak at Seafire is the Tomahawk. It’s 2kg and we have to manhandle it on the grill. It’s heavy so you have to be careful you don’t damage your wrist when you pick it up. It’s exciting for guests to see us slapping this big chunk of meat on the grill in the open kitchen, it has drama and it’s good for Instagram.

If you’re buying steak in a supermarket I always recommend speaking to the butcher. The steaks that are pre-packed have been cut for a while so it’s best to go to the counter and ask the expert. Everyone seems to choose tenderloin but it’s quite pricey. Try other cuts. I prefer secondary cuts like flank steak, tri-tip or flatiron. These cuts are forgotten but much cheaper and taste great. Look at the colour of the meat. I like a lot of marbling because it will melt and the flavour and tenderness will be there. If there’s not much marbling the steak might be tougher.

A common mistake when people cook a steak at home is not heating the pan. If the pan is not hot enough the juices will come out and the steak will boil. The meat cooks better when it’s room temperature so take it out of the fridge for a few minutes before cooking. Grease the steak with a wee bit of oil. I put salt on first and the pepper on last because it can burn and taste bitter.

It’s important to rest the meat after cooking
for 10 minutes. It allows the juices to go back into the steak. If you see blood on the plate it means the meat hasn’t been rested. After resting the steak put it in the oven to quickly get the heat back into it.

We’re cooking about 60kg of meat per night at Seafire. Me and my team of 12 are cranking out about 180 steaks of an average weight of 250g-300g. The 250g tenderloin Black Onyx is our most popular cut.

Our Australian meat comes from the Rangers Valley producers in New South Wales. I went there in September to visit the farms and the breeders who are proper Australian guys wearing checked shirts. They raise their cattle hormone free on natural feed and they give them a good life with lots of space. They take their time to feed them in the right way so the marbling is distributed evenly. They do a cross breed between Black Angus and wagyu called WX which has the beef flavour of the Angus and the marbling of a wagyu. The WX – it sounds like we’re talking about cars doesn’t it?

Personally, I like a striploin or tenderloin steak medium rare.

But if I’m having a ribeye I have it medium because you need that eye of fat to melt. It crispens up and flavours the meat more. On the side I go for Dijon mustard.

Our short rib donuts are a hit. I used to work in an all day dining restaurant where we made stuffed bao buns but coming to Seafire I knew I couldn’t put them on the menu because they’re not authentic to New York. I thought if I can turn it into a donut – almost like a Sloppy Joe – it might work. I didn’t think it was going to be popular because it’s unusual but we sell about 40-50 per night.

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