Now open: Las Vacas Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
Don't even think about ordering the salad at this meat house. By Surekha Ragavan
Las Vacas is a well-established name in the meat scene with three butcheries cum restaurants in the Klang Valley. Some of the best steaks in town are said to have come through the kitchens of Las Vacas. The third and newest outlet at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng is down the road from the Time Out KL office (we are indeed grateful for thick slabs of meat on deadline day) and by far, the biggest Las Vacas outlet.
Deli selling meat cuts
Managing director Yusof Dayan Iskandar emphasises more than once during our visit that Las Vacas is first and foremost, a butchery while the restaurant/dining facilities are secondary. Both Yusof and fellow co-founder, Freddy Azman Safahan are butchers rather than chefs so each cut of meat is meticulously picked and inspected to be set on display behind glass counters.
Steak and sides
The meats are delivered from Brisbane and the chaps make regular trips to the beefy mothership to ensure the quality is maintained. With these visits, they make discoveries of unusual cuts such as the striploin bone-in, a tastier alternative to a regular striploin. Both Yusof and Freddy assure us that Las Vacas is the first KL outlet to provide this bone-in option.
Wagyu karobi with ponzu sauce
At Las Vacas, you choose the cut you like from the deli and a chef will sear it off while you watch through the glass panels (if you wish). If you need some schoolin’ about the types of cuts, just ask the butcher behind the counter. With every piece of steak, garlic bread and Ceasar salad are standard sides. Of course, hand-cut chips are available on order. It’s important to note that no meat here comes with sauce, so if bottled ketchup or mustard doesn’t cut it for you, the natural juiciness of the meat will have to do. ‘There’s no point paying for expensive meat if you’re going to flood it in black pepper sauce,’ Yusof says.
Wagyu burger and chips
The new steakhouse differs from its Mont Kiara and Kelana Jaya outlets in size as it seats 190 customers including the tables at the outdoor patio. When asked about which cut he most recommends, Yusof says without a flinch, ‘wagyu.’ The most expensive of the lot, the wagyu is also the richest and the most marbled. Due to the high fat content in a typical slab, he suggests the meat be served medium well as raw fat tends to go chewy. Other than steaks, burgers and sautéed meat starters are available.
To say it best, Las Vacas is not about the experimentation of cuisine or the passion for gastronomy but simply, the respect for meat.
For more info on location, see venue listing.