21 September 2006

California Steak House, Shekou, China

Name: California Steak House
City: Shekou, Shenzhen, China
Address: Central Plaza, Sea World, across from the Ming Hua, next door to Starbucks

Website: unknown

Cuisine: Steaks and Seafood

Critique: The restaurant advertises an "all you can eat" bar-b-que buffet for both lunch and supper. The biggest signs outside the restaurant advertises "American beef and pork". I took a look at the buffet and it didn't look bad. There were very thin slices of beef, but the shish-kababs looked pretty good. It included a LOT of seafood, but it was squid, muscles, whole small fishes, etc. Inside however, the salad bar and dessert bar looked very good. The restaurant is tastefully decorated and includes indoor and outdoor seating.

Most prominent in the restaurant is a large screen TV. The evening I was there, they were playing re-runs of "Tom & Jerry" over and over. There was no sound, but they had nice classical music on their PA system. For me, the Tom and Jerry aspect took away from the dining experience, but I am sure my kids would have loved it.

I had the intention of ordering one of their "American beef" steaks. I settled on a piece that was not a conventional cut. The steak was two inches thick. I ordered it medium-well, but received it well on the outer 1/2 inch and raw in the middle. I sent it back for a re-cook. When it returned, it was medium well on the middle but very well on the outside. Without a doubt this is the toughest steak I have ever had in Asia, and perhaps in my life. I ended up cutting 1/4 inch cubes to chew; anything bigger and it would have taken me all night. The French fries and steamed broccoli that came with it were good.

I will brag on this: when I ordered the steak, I asked the manager how much the dessert bar would be to go with it, as the steaks were more expensive than the buffet. After a brief thought, the manager said that he would include the dessert bar at no charge. When my steak was finished, I really didn't feel like dessert, because my jaws were tired from chewing. However, the waiter brought over a "sampler" plate from the dessert bar with about 6 different desserts. The chocolate mousse was excellent as was all other desserts.

Comments/Recommendations: I would certainly recommend your not wasting your money on the "American beef". If, indeed, it was American beef, it came from some really old milk cows somewhere in New Jersey. I intend on another visit to see about the buffet, but mostly so I can get the dessert bar again. In fact, the dessert bar gave this restaurant one more fry than what I would have given it without it.

Rating: 2 Fries

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