“Here at The Strip, our steaks are for family sharing and we’ll cut it for you.”
This is what Executive Chef Peter Ayson told us when we got the chance to visit him one afternoon in his newest ‘baby’ steakhouse restaurant, The Strip Hollywood Steakhouse. A barely new signature steakhouse at the 5/L East Wing, Shangri-La Mall in EDSA, Mandaluyong City. And here are the rest of our Juan on One Talk with Chef Peter Ayson.
“There’s only 35 items on the menu. We kept it very, very simple. We kept the menu clean and prestige at the same time. We’ll be coming out with ‘Beeflexible‘, a half steak with any strip on the menu that you’ll like, sea bass, salmon, and shrimp. I don’t like to be straight-forward, I like to make fun of our menu, and that’s why keep on changing it every time. it makes my staff even better and keep them on their toes all the time. I like to challenge our chefs, they’re younger and faster. I like the energy that they have. Training them is very easy. We only concentrate on 6 wines. We try to stay away from French, Argentinian, it’s too complicated, and the rest are beers. I have my own ‘mountain chef’, he cooks all the ‘mountain food’ and he brings out the healthy side of me.”
Family-oriented and Kid-friendly
“When we first open on this new mall (Shangri-La Mall, East Wing), there were like only 10-20 people inside. Then after a while more people have been coming in. I was surprise that there are a lot of families coming in for the weekend. So I have to prepare for kids, as well. So we came out with menus like little ‘mac and cheese balls’ for the kids. We also came out with salads with more vegetables on it. I want something healthy for the kids. So we make our own ‘chicken n’ cheese nuggets’, which are more healthier than those found in fast-food restaurants.”
The Lighter Side of The Strip
“The Strip is a fun restaurant. It”s like a sister of Chops or kinda fraternal twins because they share something common like the steaks and sidings, only on the much lighter side. The Strip is more of a steakhouse, on a lighter side but more fresher. We are also more into reviving to compliment the steaks rather than putting something heavy and then you’ll feel bloated after, you’ll feel guilty.”
Price and Quality
“Price points wise, it’s very competitive. What’s good about here is I distribute my own beef so there’s no middlemen anymore. I got my beef from Nebraska, Illinois farm – I came from Illinois anyway, I came from Chicago. I also have distributor from Japan. If you’ve noticed, there are not a lot of Japanese beef in steakhouses here, because they say beef supposed to be melt in your mouth, it’s not. Steaks should be tough and manly, that’s why Chops is born. Then people are looking for soft, you know what, it’s not a steak. It’s why we have to use these bamboo knives. I also decides on what steak we want and what cow the beef should came from. I want to know what they feed, how they exercise, it ‘s a long process. When I opened Chops, it took me 6 months to open. That took me along time because I have to study it carefully of what kind of beef, the machine we’ll be using, with the quality, etc.”
Customers deserve what they pay for and steaks are stripped to the bare essentials
“When you pay for steaks, it’s should not be cheap. It should be perfect. If you’re having your steaks for Php 200 to Php 300, you can’t complain. But if you’re steak is Php 2,500 to Php 5,000, then you have all the rights to complain. Am I right? That’s what I taught to my kitchen. No one can make that mistake. Make that mistake now because the moment we open, you’ll have to pay for that steak. That’s why my staff don’t want to make mistakes, they’re very careful. It took me long enough to import the steaks, to grow the beef, so let’s take good care on how we cook it. Even timing is very important. The dining has to come with the guest right away. We have to timer our steaks with the sidings. Don’t let the sidings and steaks wait. Never. It will only take 30 seconds to change its temperature. It’s a 1,000 degrees minimum, when I bring it out, it’s still cooking inside. I’m very much OC when it comes to steak and everything. But that’s what makes The Strip “strip“, you know. We stripped it out to the bare essentials. That’s what it is. That’s the basic steak, salt and pepper. We don’t complicate it with anything else. I want you to taste the real beef.”
Juan on One Talk. Straight talk. On the Spot.
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