Food Preview | What's Up at RAW Eatery and Wood Grill?

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016 

under Food by Kenny Ong


Disclaimer: We posted this article yesterday with a few factual errors. Our office cat has punished the guilty party by assigning a vigorous schedule of tummy rubs. This is the updated version with some slight alterations.

 

RAW Eatery and Wood Grill is a new, soft-opened restaurant on Yanping Road. The restaurant boasts Spanish, Mediterranean, and South American influences with firewood, a Josper charcoal oven, and, as they'll proudly tell you, "a return to basics that respects the natural properties and flavors of the ingredients."


We're not about to call in the culinary forensics on these claims (no space in our budget after brunch litigation) but we thought we should at least give their food a taste. After all, it's chef Juan Campos, also of Malabar fame, at the kitchen's helm, and he's been given more freedom to really let his obsession for the best ingredients shine.


Our first dish was the Chilean wagyu beef tartar (128 RMB), served with a smoked egg yolk, a fresh diced tomato garnish, a bowl of fries, and thin toasted bread. Mixing the raw quality beef and smoked egg yolk together makes for a rich but refreshingly not-heavy, not-runny, meatitarian dish.

 

Next up was what they call the Egg 63° (78 RMB). Maybe they only use the 63rd egg out of every batch of a hundred, or maybe the dish feels as heavy as eating 63 eggs. It's likely got something to do with temperature. Either way, it is quite good: A single poached egg with boletus, chanterelle, and shiitake mushrooms, Iberco ham crumbs, truffled potato foam and then a good dusting of black olive powder.


Caption: Before...

 

The dish is served with the poached egg all in one piece, at first, but once you've enjoyed the plating for the designated amount of time, the server will mix the cool concoction into its final, intended, and delicious, form: a schlop of pale brown goop. Those who taste past looks are in for a hearty, creamy dish full of spiced earth flavors, like how dirt would probably taste if all that sensual poetry about fresh soil and Mother Nature influenced its flavour. We mean that in a good way.


Caption: ...and after. Look past the surface for a creamy, earthy dish. 

 

The first dish we had out of the fabled Josper charcoal oven was a plate of grilled asparagus (78 RMB), really laid thick with truffle shavings, then garnished with some thin slices of parmesan cheese, and an almond crusted fried egg on the side. Really the only bump in an otherwise fine meal. The point of the dish must have been to play the tender, moist, lightly sweet asparagus off the truffle, cheese, and fried egg, but the white truffle oil and black truffle shavings really dominated every mouthful.


The other main dish out of that charcoal oven, the Entraña thin skirt (+2 sides = 358 RMB) cut of Chilean wagyu beef, also tasted a bit salty, despite the beef's perfect tender juiciness. Either that saltiness is part of the natural property and flavor of the ingredients, or something else is going down inside that oven. Or it's something else entirely, because the baked potato (28 RMB if you order it separately), also out of that oven we keep talking about, tasted good.


Overall, RAW Eatery and Wood Grill serves up some stylish and tasty upper-mid range dishes in a cozy, stained wood and brick atmosphere. Definitely worth a try.

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