Rappler Eats: Stoned Steaks is more than just its gimmicks

Bea Cupin
Rappler Eats: Stoned Steaks is more than just its gimmicks

LeAnne Jazul

It's the restaurant's commitment to quality and its owner's willingness to push the envelope that make you want to stay and come back for more

Stoned Steaks is the kind of restaurant that does a good job of grabbing your attention.

First, there’s the restaurant name. Second, there’s the origin of its name and the novelty of grilling your own steak on top of a volcanic stone. Third, there are the promos that offer premium steaks at half the price and those that offer unlimited (yes, unlimited) wagyu or angus on certain days of the week.

And while the cheekiness and the good deals draw you in, it’s the restaurant’s honest-to-goodness commitment to quality and its owner Dick Balajadia’s willingness to push the envelope that make you want to stay and come back for more.

STONED STEAKS DUO. Dick and Mars Balajadia are the awesome twosome behind the restaurant.

Stoned Steaks, Dick explained, was born out of a rather memorable dining experience inside a cruise ship. Since open flames weren’t allowed, the cruise ship used heated stones to grill meat to perfection.

And while it’s an idea that already exists in the Philippines, Dick wanted to make it available to most diners for a price that wouldn’t leave them stoned in shock (hah) – affordable, everyday luxury, if you will.

The first thing you notice upon entering the restaurant is a contraption that houses 3 huge slabs of meat – ribeye steak aged right inside the restaurant. For now, the restaurant only serves ribeye that’s been aged for 45 days, but Dick has plans of experimenting and dry-ageing ribeye for even longer – 60- and even 90-day aged meat is among his many goals. The less adventurous carnivore can also pick steaks that aren’t dry-aged. Everyone’s welcome here.

The restaurant’s other dishes are a delight as well.

The Oysters Rockefeller (P360), Truffle Parmesan Fries (P220), and Caesar Salad (P320) were a good way to build the anticipation for the main course.

The Mushroom Alfredo Pasta (P460) is another solid choice, but if we’re going to be really honest, we would much rather leave space for the star of the show – dry-aged angus and wagyu steaks (they also offer non dry-aged options, if that’s your thing) that are Grade 4, Grade 6, or Prime Grade.

While the restaurant’s interiors are sleek, modern, and subdued, the arrival of the steak itself is anything but. Servers wheel in the slabs of high-grade beef – with one side already seared – atop volcanic stones that have been heated up several hours prior in the oven.

If you’re averse to smelling of steak after, it’s time to get over your fear because, we assure you, it’s worth it.

You can leave the meat on the stone or cut it up mere seconds after it arrives – searing and grilling it on your dining table give you that flexibility. Our steaks – since they had to be photographed several times – came out medium-well, so don’t waste your time (and ask your server’s help) if you want meat that’s a little rawer than that.

IN HOUSE. High-grade cuts of beef are dry-aged inside the restaurant itself.

The dry-aged Grade 6 wagyu ribeye is the steepest option at P6,850 for 350 grams and P4,350 for 220 grams. But you can also opt for the Grade 4 wagyu ribeye (P3,650 to P5,650) or the dry-aged prime angus ribeye (P2,400 to P3,800).

Stoned Steaks also offers different cuts of wagyu steaks that range from P2,300 to P4,300 for a serving that’s big enough to share. Angus steaks are the more affordable option, with prices ranging from P950 to P2,980.

The steaks come with a choice of two sauces on the side, although we enjoyed it the most with nothing more than a bit of salt. The dry-ageing process imparts a musky, earthy flavor that doesn’t deserve to be concealed by even the best of sauces.

If you’re really hungry, the Kimchi Fried Rice (P110) pairs nicely with the richness of the steaks – both the dry-aged and non dry-aged variety. There’s also the Steak Fried Rice (P130), but it can be a little too overwhelming an experience – although if that’s your thing, who are we to judge?

Stoned Steaks offers desserts and even latte art (print your picture on your latte because why not) to seal the deal. But frankly, our stomachs were more than full after a round of their starters and the steak.

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That you get to do the grilling yourself is both enjoyable and, admittedly, nerve-wracking.

But the more nervous diner need not fret – Stoned Steaks’ friendly servers are more than ready to help you – or even do the grilling themselves – should your culinary skills extend to only ordering a meal.

The entire month of July, Stoned Steaks offers an unli-steak and unli-wine promo from Mondays to Wednesdays because really, there’s no such thing as too much steak and too much wine.

That’s a lot of steak to consume, but again, who are we to judge? – Rappler.com


Stoned Steaks is located at 55 Scout Rallos Street, Tomas Morato, Quezon City. You may call (02) 866-3807 or 09177073837 for queries and reservations or visit their Facebook page 

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.