For those who don’t want to spend more money than necessary to enjoy a decent steak meal, Cowking Great Steaks is the diner for you.
Just a few blocks away from the more famous Tomas Morato section of Quezon City, this restaurant is nestled in the relative quiet of Scout Ybardolaza St. and is highly accessible to commuters: just a jeep ride away from Commonwealth Avenue, GMA MRT Station, several LRT 2 stations, as well as Taft and España Avenues in Manila.
The cow-themed (surprise surprise) interior and ambiance is cute but at the same time quiet, relaxing, and unobtrusive. In fact, the cow stuffed toys at the counter were positively adorable. Unlike other eating establishments who overthink this aspect and commit the grave sin of being campy, Cowking’s does not detract from the overall experience.
It has a variety of steaks, ranging from the wallet-friendly T-bone Steak to imported choice cuts. Each one is served with a choice of either white rice, garlic rice, or mashed potatoes; a small cup of freshly-made salsa, and (as a nod to traditional Filipino diners) a bowl of steaming hot beef broth. For some steaks, there is even a choice on the rub used on the meat: herbed, garlic, ala pobre, or garlic and pepper.
There is also a range of other dishes, from salpicao, crispy ribs, to even shawarma rice. CowKing recognizes its strength and focus, keeping their salad selection to only three, including a taco salad.
I ordered the T-bone steak, to see how Cowking handles one of the less expensive cuts of steaks, along with a side of mashed potatoes. That would give me an idea on the establishment’s overall handling of its steaks.
The meat is surprisingly tender even though well-done, and has the right amount of fat. The gravy is nothing to write home about, while mashed potatoes have a hint of additional flavor. Meanwhile, the salsa is a gamble which can either be a hit or a backfire, depending on the customer. For me, it was the former, as the citrus flavors seemed to enchance that of the meat and potatoes.
The meal cost me just a tad above P200, way lower than what I would expect to satisfy my steak craving in other establishments. While CowKing did not blow me away into writing a review filled with praises and hyperbole, it gave my taste buds just the right amount to tease and make me come back to try the other steaks in its repertoire.