Wolfgang’s Steakhouse is also featured in my article in Destinasian here.
|Mr Wolfgang Zwiener|
It may be premature to rate a new eatery during its first week of operation but if our visit to Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (“Wolfgang”) is any indication, Singaporeans are still locked in a lifelong love affair with steaks.
Indeed we thought we’ve seen it all – Morton’s of Chicago and Cut by Wolfgang Puck – but the debut of this 140-seat New York steakhouse institution at the newly opened InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay to a packed room of beautiful people delivers the joie de vivre of dining out and in spades.
Brought to us by Wolfgang Zwiener, a 41-year Peter Luger veteran (Zwiener became the head waiter there in 1968) who opened his eponymous eatery in Manhattan in 2004 with his ex-banker son, Peter Zwiener, Wolfgang’s debut inevitably draws comparison to the city’s other steakhouse in Marina Bay Sands – CUT by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.
While CUT offers an array of high-end steak options ranging from USDA Prime, Australian Angus and American wagyu to Japanese wagyu, the equally high-end Wolfgang’s is all about showcasing USDA Black Angus Prime grade beef, which represents less than 3% of all beef produced. And to be certified an Angus beef, the beef in question has to be graded by USDA to be either a Prime or Choice cut, with eight additional criteria, all of which the graded beef has to pass.
With the exception of the fillet mignon, all Wolfgang’s Prime-grade steaks are dry-aged in-house in an “ageing box” (in fact, a big chiller room with fans blowing 24 by 7) for about 28 days. At any one time, this temperature-controlled ageing room holds an average of 1.5 tonnes of sub-primal cuts with fresh stocks being delivered once a week to replenish cuts used on a First-In-First-Out policy.
If you have done your research on dry-aged beef, you’ll know that it’s prized for its intensity of beef flavour as moisture in the meat is lost during the ageing process, resulting in a more concentrated beefy flavour (and a yield loss of about 30%) . Chemical reactions during dry-ageing also causes the meat’s connective tissues to break down, resulting in more tender meat that is smooth to the palate.
|Porterhouse Steak for two|
Apart from the fillet mignon, all cuts of steaks at Wolfgang’s are dry-aged. But the steakhouse’ pride and joy is the Porterhouse Steak for two (S$185), three (S$275) and four ($360) that’s been grilled in the broiler at about 800 degree Celsius for a few minutes depending on diners’ preferred doneness. Have it medium rare or, better still, rare, delivered to you on a heated ceramic plate basking in a sizzling pool of butter.
While the steaks are the star of the show, they are by no means the restaurant’s only attraction.
If you’re in a party of three to four pax, order the Seafood Platter (S$50), a plate of chilled seafood including two Maine baby lobsters, four jumbo shrimps cocktail and colossal lump crabmeat chunks.
Supplement with greens like the Wolfgang’s Salad (S$25) – a simple salad of thick cut grilled bacon, tomatoes, string beans, roasted capsicums and raw onions with poached shrimps in a lettuce bowl doused in a light vinaigrette dressing.
Instead of Mashed Potatoes (S$18) or Baked Potatoes (S$16), try the German Potatoes (S$22) for a change – chunks of boiled cubed potatoes sauteed with onions and baked in the oven until slightly charred.
|Creamed Spinach (foreground) and German Potatoes|
If there is one side dish that you should not miss, it’s the Creamed Spinach (S$15), baby spinach slow-cooked with no cream but in a savoury chicken stock until the vegetables are so soft that chewing is not required.
Now that you have that plate of creamed spinach, you are obliged to order a plate of off-menu Japanese rice. Perhaps influenced by his three outlets in Japan (each of which reportedly brings in USD1 million in revenue a month), this is how Zwiener eats his creamed spinach. Clearly, the boss knows better!