Hot Tomato is a casual restaurant, like you would expect from a restaurant in a heartland mall like NEX. The prices are very affordable too, and the interior is pretty much no frills too but bright and cheery with orange as their theme colour, which happens to be my favourite colour!
(picture taken from their Facebook)
They have 2 other outlets of Café & Grill at 313 Somerset and Causeway Point. They all have the same orange theme.
Escargot – $6.90++
These didn’t come with shells which probably suggests that it could be bought in bulk deshelled or something. But the taste was acceptable and they were generous with the garlic and butter which made it tasty.
Tomato Soup – $3.50++
I topped up $3.50++ to complete my set with tomato soup, garlic bread and homemade ice lemon tea. The soup would otherwise cost $3.90++.
I like tomato soup and this was good enough for the price paid. Of course it was more watered down sort, like the texture you get from minestrone soup, but the flavour was strong enough for it to not taste diluted.
Steak & Prawns – $12.90++
All entrees come with salad and aglio olio but my dining partner requested to have her algio olio changed to mashed potato. I like how Hot Tomato was very flexible about this. They also offered fries as an option. The steak from this option is sirloin. Even though it was evenly grilled to the right doneness, areas where the grill marks were, were burnt and had the burnt charcoal taste making it bitter. And being sirloin, the meat was expectedly tougher than the usual ribeye or tenderloin.
Seafood Combo – $13.90++
This one comes with salmon, dory and prawn.
Ribeye Steak (200gm) – $13.90++
This was my order. The steak was evenly grilled and luckily my grill marks were not burnt marks. The steak was moderately juicy and it tasted good for the price!
I also liked the aglio olio and the romaine lettuce was fine too. The dressing was somewhat sweet-sour, like lime or lemon, and not the usual vinaigrette dressing. They could really give more greens to make this meal more balanced too.
The service was very no frills as well, expected from the price we paid, but I would really appreciate it more if they could serve the food at proper intervals. The mains came before we could finish our soup and the escargot actually arrive.
Overall, this is a good place for budget steak which will give popular joints like Astons a run for their money. In fact, I find the steak here to be better than The Ship Restaurant 1 storey above, and it’s less than half the price!
I would only recommend the rib eye steak from here, so if you don’t eat steak, perhaps you could go for other dining options. Normally in restaurants like this which uses the word “steak” in their slogan, do not other anything else as it will most likely be not good. If you want such ‘western’ seafood at budget prices, I would recommend you to go for places like Manhattan fish market instead which specialises in seafood.
Overall: best budget steak place!
23 Serangoon Central
Tel: 6753 4300
Daily: 11am – 10pm