Sunday, November 26, 2017

The best "Classical NY Steakhouse" experience at Wolfgang's Steakhouse Singapore.

👍 Steak is amazing; "Classic NY steakhouse" experience without flying to the US.
👎 Upmarket ambience also means upmarket price; Side dishes are just par for the course.

Any steak lover worth his (or her) salt knows of Peter Luger Steakhouse: The iconic, legendary, New York steakhouse that opened more than 130 years ago. The story goes that after working there for 40 years, one of Peter Luger's head waiters - Wolfgang Zwiener - decided not to retire, but to instead open his own restaurant as a blatant copy of as an homage to his old employer's place.

What this means is that you get pretty much the same dry aged, USDA Prime porterhouse, blasted under a 400+°C broiler twice (the second time sliced, with melted butter), before being served sizzling at the table. You also get most of the iconic appetizers and sides - for example thick cut bacon, creamed spinach, and onion rings.

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Menu

"With more than 4 decades of experience (at Peter Luger), Wolfgang Zwiener didn't duplicate an exceptional steakhouse, he improved on it to make Wolfgang's Steakhouse exceptional." (Wolfgang Steakhouse's Website)

The improvements to the original are a more upmarket positioning (thick, luxurious white tablecloths and far more comfortable chairs), slightly expanded menu offerings, and a greatly expanded wine and spirits list. Oh, and a free baguette and mini onion loaf.

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Baguette Bread

We were really tempted to go for the thick cut sizzling bacon (s$12 per slice), but decided to save stomach room for the steak by ordering two lobster bisques (s$22 each) instead. The bisque/broth is extremely flavourful, with strong lobster flavours and just the right touch of salt.

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Lobster Bisque

After we're done with the soups, we didn't have to wait too long before the sound (and aroma) of sizzling butter heralded the arrival of our Porterhouse for Two (s$185) - Medium Rare. As is the case with good meat, no sauces or fancy seasonings needed: just salt and some clarified butter.

Oh, and having a steak served on a (really) hot plate is pretty awesome because the meat takes a while to cool down (even in the cold, air conditioned dining room)

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Porterhouse for Two

The porterhouse, of course, is two steaks in one: An NY Strip (Striploin) and a smaller Filet (Filet Mignon / Tenderloin). In theory the NY Strip side is a little chewier and stringier (but with better flavour), whereas the tenderloin is tender but can lack flavour. No such flavour issues here, though - the dry aging process ensures that the tenderloin has plenty strong beefy notes while still maintaining an unbelievably tender texture.

Needless to say, the crust on the steak is terrific, and the meat's cut thick enough to still have a wonderful, juicy, pink, delicious centre. Sure, other cooking methods such as sous vide can get visually superior ("pink from edge to edge") results, but in my opinion, dry cooking methods still taste best. The only thing missing, perhaps, was a hint of smoke from a wood fire, which is of course unobtainable from gas flame or electric broilers.

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Porterhouse for Two

For our sides - the Creamed Spinach (s$15) was pretty nice, especially since there isn't an overload of cream like how some other places do it. The lobster mac n' cheese (s$25), however, was a little underwhelming and not particularly worth the (carbohydrate) calories.

Wolfgang Steakhouse Singapore Mac and Cheese and Creamed Spinach

Overall, we really enjoyed our dinner, even if the price is quite a bit more upmarket than the original Peter Luger in New York. Do note that Wolfgang only stocks and serves one kind of meat (USDA Prime), so if you're looking to do a comparative tasting between Australian Grain Fed steers vs Japanese Wagyu vs English Grass Fed cows, you'd be better off in one of the more "modern" steakhouses like Cut or Sear @ 50RP.

Wolfgang Steakhouse is on the 2nd floor of Intercontinental Hotel, Robertson Quay. Reservations recommended; Non-halal.

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