There are hundreds of places that serve steak out there; and they all break the rules one way or the other. So why Mamou? Because it just works.
Like any self-respecting restaurant (or pretentious snobbish ones), let’s start with the rolls. They’re warm, they’re soft, and the butter’s nice. Can’t complain.
The Mamou Iced Tea is pretty nice, too. And apparently, you get one free refill, which I had no idea about until the end of my meal.
Now the good stuff.
You might be tempted to get some pasta, maybe the sinigang, or worse… a salad. But skip those and go straight for the steaks2. They do their steaks Peter Luger style, which kinda breaks the rules as we know it.
First, they use really good quality beef — USDA Prime. There are others that serve USDA beef that a much cheaper price, but this is Prime3. The Angus Ribeye USDA Prime Grade Steak is the entry-level steak, so to speak, and you’d be hard-pressed to say no to a ribeye cut.
They season it really well, seared on a hot pan on both sides then all hell breaks loose. After searing, they slice the steak! Wait, what the hell happened to “do not fucking touch the steaks?” They pour clarified butter4 over the steaks and finish it inside an oven (or broiler). This negates the “do not fucking touch the steaks” rule because it infuses the beefy flavor back to the steaks while still evenly cooking the whole thing with butter. Clarifying the butter prevents the butter from burning due to the high heat of the oven. Steak 201, bitches. Gives you an even medium rare. Fantastic.
In New York steakhouses, the steak is traditionally paired with Creamed Spinach or some potato plate. We tried the former and isn’t bad at all.
But because we are Asians, get the Steak Rice. It’s absolutely delicious — fried rice cooked with the excess beef fat from the steaks.
If you’re female, get the Red rice variety, but get the rice. If you’re thinking of going to Mamou, it’s not exactly the right place to be thinking about dieting.
It’s a bit pricey, but absolutely get the 28-day Dry Aged USDA Prime Grade Porterhouse Steak if you can. It’s not always available, you might not be splurging but if you do get the chance, it’s unbelievably good. Not the best steak I’ve ever had, but still really, really good. On a per-gram basis, it’s cheaper than other high-end places out there and has really good beefy flavor. The 28-day dry aging process is meant to give the steaks a deep beefy flavor5 and makes the steak a lot more tender.
The porterhouse is a prime cut, the best if you ask some snobs, because you get both the fat and the bone6 and you get two different cuts of steak (the sirloin and the tenderloin). Girls will say that the steak is too fatty, oily, and that there are no sauces except the buttery fat (and sea salt on the table) — but this is also the same reason why real men love it and find it so mind-fuckingly awesome. Remember, you want the steak’s flavor. That’s why they charge so much for it. If you want garlic-ky, pepper-ly, soy, or whatever flavor to mask the beef-y flavor, don’t waste your time and money at Mamou and better go to Everything at Steak or some random food court for those sizzling plate steaks.
There’s a madness to the science in how they do things at Peter Luger and they’ve been the top steakhouse in New York for 20 years and running. Bourdain and the French snobs might be rolling over their graves, but it works. Sure, it’s a Luger clone, but you cannot argue against a great steak.