Fancy some premium cuts of steak? Well, it has always been difficult to get premium cuts of beef in Alor Setar. Enter Abang Butcher.
Where is Abang Butcher located?
This place just opened in May of this year (2021). Because of the lockdown, I think many are not aware of its existence still. Add to the fact that the signage doesn’t seem to be quite ready, it is easy for one to miss this shop even though it is located right in the centre of the town, at the ‘New Bus Station’.
There is no more bus station there but the name has gotten stuck to the rows of shops right next to the Bulatan Teluk Wanjah. Incidentally, the ‘bulatan’ (roundabout) is still there but there is a flyover that goes over it now. The roundabout got a makeover when the flyover was built Incidentally, the Teluk Wanjah roundabout was where the iconic Alor Setar fountain used to be, which has since found its new home at the Sultan Abdul Halim airport. It used to be the pride of Alor Setar but these days, poor maintenance has led to unsightly grass patches and weeds all over the area.
Anyway, back to the new butcher’s shop. I talked to the proprietor who is a young lady and discovered a few things. She had actually spent a few years working in a butchery in Singapore and moved back here after settling down. Wanting to have something meaningful to do, she opened Abang Butcher.
The first thing that struck me when I searched for the place was how unobtrusive it was. I would have missed it had I not been told of its specific location. I wasn’t expecting much when I saw the flapping faded banner the first time I went there. Think the shop needs a clear signage to let people know that it is there.
Simplistic Interior Decor
Decor was simple but felt rustic. The first thing that caught my attention when I entered the shop was the counter. It was a block of sawn trunk from what must have been a huge tree. Upon further inquiry, I learned that the table top had come from a fallen tree. The proprietor had asked the city council workers to let her have the trunk, which they did. The vertically sawn trunk looked really rustic sitting on the cement bricks.
I like how the counter top fitted into the decor of the place. the walls had been left unpainted, the original cement grey lending the place its classic feel. The choice of floor tiles with its tiny square designs blends in nicely. You get a minimalist feel when you walk into this place, and definitely not the usual kind of decor that you would get in a place like Alor Setar, though of late, the traditional shop facades and interiors are making way to more customised designs with more young people venturing into their own brand of business here.
One more thing, the interior is clean. It’s always nice to be able to buy meat cuts in a clean place. I always dislike how fresh produce are left in the open on crushed ice in supermarkets.
What meats do Abang Butcher offer?
The shop was still quite empty as the proprietor is still hesitant about bringing in more cuts of meats. However, all that didn’t matter to me as all I wanted were just some nice beef cuts. And they had just that. There were Angus ribeye and sirloin steaks in stock. There were other cuts like the tomahawk steak too.
I got the Angus ribeye and sirloin. If you’re unsure of how to marinate your meats, Abang Butcher offers marinating services too. They will marinate your steaks with olive oil, butter, mixed herb and salt, after which they will vacuum sealed each piece individually. So, all you need when you get home is either just sear or bake it and you have nice juicy beef steaks to chomp down. Preparing steaks have never been easier. I like that convenience a lot and that service definitely adds value to your purchase.
Considering such steaks usually costs more around RM50 per 100g at the restaurants, the convenience of preparing your own premium beef steaks at home makes Abang Butcher very appealing. After all, once you take home your cuts, all you need to do is just pan grill it (or bake it in the oven after searing it) for 3-6 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness that you request.
Toss in some vegetables as you cook your steak, you have a nice meal in less than 15 minutes. If you want a complete meal, you can also always run a second stove and boil a potato or two. They’d be done the same time as the meat, after which you can mash them up, add in some butter, milk, salt and anything else you fancy. You’d have a very yummy mashed potato side to go along with your steak. That’s my complete meal in less than 20 minutes.
Apart from that, they also have wagyu. I think I shall try to prepare my own wagyu steak one of these days. There have chicken, mutton and beef pies too. I got myself some but they are still sitting in the freezer. They have other frozen stuff like cod and chicken. These days you have many new shops opening up which stock these products that come in all kinds of packaging and presentations. Oh ya! You can get mutton cuts too. I saw lamb shanks which I am quite tempted to get one of these days too.
Order ahead on their Instagram page
You can request for the cuts to be sliced to the thickness of your choice. Apart from that, they have an instagram page where you can also order first for either self-collection or delivery. I asked for my steaks to be marinated with olive oil, butter and salt and the proprietor generously packed some mixed herbs for me to add on later. These steaks are then wrapped in brown papers for you to take home, definitely a change from the usual packaging which will be cuts thrown into plastic bags.
Abang Butcher offers more other than just meats
Other than frozen meats and pies, Abang Butcher also stocks the different pastas, herbs, organic oats and olive oil. I got their truffle flavoured olive oil. They also have various pastas. One thing that stood out was the cannelloni. I don’t see much of that on the supermarket shelves in Alor Setar. All these are placed in wooden baskets or placed on the shelves that give you a market feel but way more comfortable and cleaner.
I hope Abang Butcher picks up its business pace because it is really nice to be able to pop into a shop like that and have a different choice of meat cuts for a change. Premium it may but it is definitely something that adds value to the consumer experience here.
Check out famous restaurants in Alor Setar:
8:30 AM – 8:00 PM : Saturday – Thursday
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM : Friday