Inconspicuously located on the second floor of One City Mall, Fresh Steakhouse is appointed with friendly staff, an elegant bar and a remarkable menu of steaks, burgers, seafood and more rivaling my first-rate favorites back home.
As an American, my steak-eating episodes have frankly been disappointing. Having sampled perhaps eight steakhouses and about 15 steak meals in restaurants, my experiences have ranged from ordinary to disappointing to genuinely aggravating. Earlier this year, I had an internationally known five-star hotel restaurant ask me to sign a waiver before they would honor my request for a hamburger cooked at medium. Perhaps this further lowered my expectations as we headed to One City.
The Chinese owner and Michelin-inspired Chef Wang knew that we’d be heavy on the exclusive Australian beef but also recommended we try the salmon, so he aptly suggested a mood softening 2014 Rockbrook California Shiraz red wine. We selected the spring salad as a starter which was a crisp and fresh mixture of arugula and couscous. This was followed by the pumpkin soup allowing for a sweet, light and surprisingly summer taste that combined couscous, pumpkin seeds, shrimp and longan berries.
On to the main dishes. The salmon was presented skin side down with glazed onions, pepper and a sprig of dill accompanied by creamy hollandaise sauce. Just calling it “salmon” underrepresented the tantalizing texture and flavor.
Since we were focusing on the beef, we sampled their best burger, ribeye and sirloin. My red ribbon award winner for the evening went to the perfectly cooked medium rare sirloin that was served with the choice of mild brown gravy sauce (think Heinz 57s more beautiful sister) or a dark pepper sauce with garden spices.
The ribeye was cooked rare, as it should be and served with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and peas. The burger was delicious with glazed onions and a cheesy sauce that was cooked through without overpowering the beef flavor. However, with so many other options it is unlikely I would go there just for a burger. The mashed potatoes stick out in my mind ranking as the best I have ever had, not just in China.
Whatever expectations I had, they were exceeded by Fresh Steakhouse with their quality of food and service.
Address: One City Mall Buillding 2, Harde No.1 Square, Hongfu Road, Nancheng