It is unfortunate that in Singapore, there are no very good steakhouses. Even Morton's and Lawrys do little to distinguish themselves as purveyors of quality steaks and roasts, and charge you the sky for sometimes dubious meat.
Even more unfortunate though, is the severe lack of budget steakhouses. Even places like Les Bouchons, which is considered fairly decently-priced, is not very cheap. It seems like steak cannot be had at a discount.
Phin's Steakhouse is one of the few establishments that have attempted to make steak more economical and accessible to students and food bloggers with a budget constraint, located as they are near SMU and in Cathay Cineleisure. Unfortunately, in this they have not been particularly successful.
I went to the one in Liang Seah Street, which had the misfortune of being a very small eatery. This caused some problems, as the steaks are served on sizzling hot plates. The smoke thus generated is not easily dissipated, and in the small, confined space, there were some unpleasant moments where my nose was assaulted by the dense fumes.
Phin's Steakhouse serves all kinds of western food, including oysters and fish and chips. But I figured it made most sense to order steak from a steakhouse, so I went for a Ladies' Cut of rib-eye ($19), medium, with a wild mushroom sauce.
The mark of a good steak is its degree of doneness - it should be cooked to perfection, which naturally, is medium-rare to medium. My steak was decidedly overcooked. Thankfully I opted for the rib-eye, so the fat content rendered the steak still tender despite being overcooked. I didn't bother to eat most of the vegetables. The mushroom sauce was terribly creamy, as well.
I am told the fish and chips is quite good, but a steakhouse that overcooks its steaks is unforgivable. Though perhaps because I ordered the thinnest cut, it was easily overdone. Still, I feel a certain standard of profession has been breached here, and I certainly hope their other offerings fare better.
Phin's Steakhouse (casual)
1 Liang Seah Street #01-15
Tel: 6333 4396
Overall: Some things just cannot be discounted