Really dashing through posts here, in order to get to the food bloggers' dinner as quickly as possible.
In my previous post on Phin's Steakhouse and budget steaks in Singapore, I was recommended Aston's at Joo Chiat by Ivan of Recent Runes.
We visited Aston's for dinner one night, and although I had heard good things about their Burgundy roast beef, I decided not to place an advance order ($59/kg) and just relied on their normal meats.
Just as well, as the special for the night was a US corn-fed sirloin for only $24. Aston's really does serve cheap meats - a rib-eye steak goes for about $12, or $15 if you choose a larger steak. All steaks come with side-dishes, and pastas come with the soup of the day. Excellent value for money, it must be said.
The inside of Aston's is really small - accomodating about 20+ people, tops. It opens onto the road, so even though there are air-conditioning units, it's still quite warm, so be prepared to dress down.
What I was really surprised by though, was the service, or lack thereof. Some of the waiters and waitresses could hardly be bothered to notice if customers needed attention, and one of them was so poorly informed as to what was on the menu that being served by him was a truly frustrating experience.
Another problem was logistical - Aston's ran out of food really quickly. They were out of garlic bread, out of house salad, out of broccoli and out of onion rings. While I'm sure this is indicative of Aston's popularity, it was nonetheless rankling to have to keep changing orders. Aston's is definitely popular though, so you should make a reservation if you're thinking of going down.
The sirloin steak was definitely cooked competently - medium, tender and tasty. The corn and potato too, get no complaints from me. What I didn't like though, was the sauce. The steak was fairly drowning in sauce, which also had an excess of cornstarch, resulting in a "skin" forming across it very quickly.
Overall, it was felt that Aston's is really affordable, a great place for students and casual diners looking for a meat fix, but its location, ambience and service will not endear it to those looking for something more refined. There is also no dessert, which I feel is something that should be looked into, as everyone needs dessert after beef!
Aston's Specialties (casual)
119 East Coast Road
Tel: 6247 7857 / 9147 4627
Overall: Worth checking out if you're in the area, or for the Burgundy Roast