Explore the life of chef Saruulgerel “Eggi” Enkh-Amgalan, a Mongolian native promoting the strength of Argentinian beef at TANGO Argentinian Steakhouse

Saruulgerel “Eggi” Enkh-Amgalan is a rare outlier in Hong Kong. Born and raised in Mongolia, the chef numbers one of only 70 estimated Mongolian natives living in the city.

Self-tilted as “chef Eggi” for ease of pronunciation and fear of cultural fumbling, the steak star has seasoned Hong Kong’s steak scene with an authenticity and charm, leading TANGO Argentinian Steakhouse as head chef.

In spite of working for Hong Kong’s beloved Argentinian steakhouse chain, and formerly as a chef for Gaucho, a global steakhouse brand in the UK and Dubai, Eggi admits a cooking career was far from a priority after university graduation in Mongolia.

chef eggi

“Back then, I had zero experience in the F&B business,” he recounts of his exploratory journey to the West. “My cousin in Mongolia suggested I head to London to study English for a year or two. Within two months of landing in the UK, I got a visa and a job as a dishwasher.”

In the UK, Eggi started as “a small potato” at Gaucho, graduating from dishwasher, to line cook, to sous-chef at the chain’s Manchester steakhouse in just two years.

He would spend his first three months bussing tables and “peeling 100 kilograms of potatoes daily”, and only after six months was he granted access to flip and sear steaks, under strict guidance of the group’s grill masters in Manchester. “I had no clue about the [restaurant] business, but I slowly fell in love with the whole concept of F&B, the food industry, and learning [about] and cooking steaks.” 

Eggi’s fervent love affair with beef and Argentinian steakhouse culture arose as his eyes opened to how meat could be cooked and seasoned beyond Mongolian ways. “In Mongolia, traditionally, all our food is either boiled or roasted well done. The first time eating pink, juicy steak blew me away, and I wanted to learn how to make this.”

chef eggi

At Gaucho, and later TANGO, Eggi educated himself on creating raw seafood dishes, ceviches, cositas, and tiraditos in classic South American styles and how to prepare Argentinian pastries and hot dishes, exploring a world of steak cuts to master.

In 2016, Eggi left Gaucho in the UK for a two-year stint in Dubai, before arriving in Hong Kong to work for Dining Concepts restaurant group and then TANGO in 2018. Eggi’s decade spent in the steak world empowers the chef to promote the familiar Argentinian steakhouse experience at TANGO, a true household name in Hong Kong.

“At TANGO, we aim to be the best steakhouse in Hong Kong. Our steaks are imported from Argentina, offering eight cuts in-house. Our chicken, sausage, and pork are Argentinian. We aim for complete authenticity.”

Comparing Wagyu and Kobe with Argentinian, New Zealand, American, and Australian steaks, “[Japan’s steak] is in a league of their own,” Eggi says, but Argentina is a strong second in his eyes.

chef eggi

“The Argentinians are lucky with the La Pampa region, a haven for cows in the country to roam freely and graze. The Aberdeen Angus, originally brought over by the Scottish in the late 1800s, yields 500 to 600 kilograms of meat. The meat is tender and juicy, and the process of wet-ageing our steak ensures great overall flavour.”

“Our Argentinian cows produce nice steaks with good sear and temperature. The cuts we get are thick and allow us to portion for our guests.” From rib-eye to fillet, sirloin to rump, skirt to hanger, the steak at TANGO is cooked seriously.

TANGO’s new home in Lan Kwai Fong opened in January 2024, a walk away from their former Central location, allowing for a greater exploration of Argentinian fare at the steakhouse. Eggi is joined by Argentinian chef Duilio Desimoni, a graduate of the Argentine Institute of Gastronomy and experienced chef in his native homeland.

chef eggi

The restaurant chain continues a relationship with their long-time distributor Azul Natural Beef SA, a Buenos Aires-based family company raising Aberdeen Angus cattle through strict pasturing and nutrition programmes to breed and fatten the cattle, making way for great cuts of steak.

“Ninety percent of the menu [at the new Lan Kwai Fong restaurant] is original, but some new plates have been added.” Guests can treat themselves to TANGO’s homemade empanadas with an onion-cheese-packed fugazzeta, beefy carne, roasted chicken pollo, and pulled-pork-belly-filled cerdo.

TANGO’s anchuras selection, central to Argentinian fare, includes spicy chorizo sausage and beef chinchulines made with grilled beef intestines. The humita salteña starter is a standout dish that Eggi favours for balancing salty steak with creamy sweetcorn. 

chef eggi

Innovation doesn’t stop at TANGO. The Mongolian-Argentinian partnership at the steakhouse continues to foster new ways of cooking beef in Hong Kong. “With wet-ageing traditional in Argentianian steakhouses, we want to push our limits at TANGO and try new ways of cooking steak.”

“We have begun a limited dry-ageing menu to cure cuts for up to 30 days. The feedback so far has been very good, people are happy, and we are still experimenting with the different cuts and different ways of dry-ageing. Next up, we will be butter-ageing tomahawk steaks!”

Beyond the worshipped Mongolian beef dish found at Chinese takeaways across the Western world, chef Eggi is a Mongolian native who has found a true passion for serving fine steak.

Explore chef Eggi’s Argentinian cooking at TANGO Steakhouse today by booking a table at their newly opened Lan Kwai Fong restaurant.

Rubin Verebes is the Managing Editor of Foodie, a culinary connoisseur, and guiding force behind the magazine's delectable stories. With a knack for cooking up mouthwatering profiles, crafting immersive restaurant reviews, and dishing out tasty features, Rubin tells the great stories of Hong Kong's dining scene.

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