Thursday, November 17, 2005

Plug: Espirito Santo

Carnivores have it tough in Singapore. Good meat can be really hard to find, and if you rely on supermarket-bought meats you're paying premium prices for inferior stuff. Thankfully, there are glimmers of hope in an otherwise bleak landscape.

Calling all fellow meat-lovers, share your knowledge of good retailers on this otherwise vegetarian island!

Espirito Santo

After dinner at My Choice Chinese Cuisine, my sister and I espied an Espirito Santo outlet just nearby, and decided to walk in to take a peek. Now, Espirito Santo isn't new; it's about two or three years old, at least, but they did recently open a new outlet in River Valley Road (their other one is in Thompson).

Although the store had closed for the night, the man behind the counter very kindly welcomed us in to take a look around. While I didn't get to take a very good look at the meats on display, I was pleased that hygiene standards were well-maintained, there was no lingering smell of blood that I've come to associate with The Butcher in Holland Village. Prices didn't seem like bargains, but they didn't seem outrageous either.

Espirito Santo also functions as a deli, selling things like hams, cheeses and sauces, rather like Culina or The Lazy Gourmet.

What I was very impressed with was the level of service. At the end of a long day, probably eager to go home and in the middle of storing all the meats, the guy who attended to us still managed to be cordial, friendly and helpful at all times. He very graciously offered us the services of his staff and his cutting machine to help us slice a slab of uncut steak my father bought in Australia some time back. If nothing else, Espirito Santo gets top marks for service.

One good turn deserves another, so I promised to blog about the butchery. I think I shall buy something soon, and do a comparative study of Espirito Santo, The Butcher, Swiss Butchery, and Indoguna. Anyone wants to take part? I like meat, but the thought of sampling from four different butcheries is a little daunting.

The thing I found a bit odd though, is that Espirito Santo has this tagline: expat-owned butchery. It's almost as if their meat is guaranteed to be better because they're not local.

I didn't manage to buy any meat from them, but I did go back to cut my meat, and service was every bit as friendly and personable as I remembered it. I did buy some mushroom sauce from them, as well as some herbed butter. Unfortunately, the mushroom sauce was quite dreadful, and nothing I would ever recommend anyone buying.

Espirito Santo
376 River Valley Road
Tel: 6256 5070

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri - 11am to 8.30pm
Weekends - 10 am to 8.30pm

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