Monday, December 24, 2012
Wooloomooloo Steakhouse Signature Items plus Christmas/New Year Menus!
Oh, Jamón Ibérico, how I love thee...
But wait, we're here for the steak. That's what Wooloomooloo Steakhouse is about. Yes, it's named after the bayside town of Woolloomooloo just south of Sydney, Australia (hey, that's near where I went sky-diving in June this year). But why would this premium Hong Kong chain choose such an unusual name? Well, see, there are an auspicious eight "O"s (similar to the zeros you would love to see behind your salary figure) and they kinda look like number eights as well lying on their side. No?
So indeed, you will get some Australian-inspired offerings at Wooloomooloo, with meat from both Australia and the US. A gorgeous Australian aboriginal dot-painting mural illuminates the passageway entrance that leads to the spacious 140-seater dining room.
There is an open concept kitchen at the back of the 6,300 square feet restaurant where you can watch your steak being prepared. Leather upholstered chairs, dark wood finishing and lots of neat wood piles - this place is furnished exactly like the restaurants in Hong Kong.
Semi private dining areas are carved out using chain link curtains - tres cool. The floor-to-ceiling windows of this posh eatery at Raffles City give you a scenic view of Stamford Road and St Andrew's Cathedral, not to mention the best seats for Formula 1 when it's in town.
Yes, Wooloomooloo is swanky, but not stuffy. The atmosphere is almost convivial and celebratory (hey, steak is always a celebration). The food here? Lots to choose from.
Start with any of the appetisers, soups or salads:
Jumbo Prawn Cocktail (S$29)
Large, chilled and shelled prawns in a homemade cocktail sauce made piquant with horseradish, sweet chili and Worchester sauce. The regular portion has four prawns; five are shown here because we had five diners sharing this.
Tuna and Spanner Crab Tartare (S$29)
This is like sashimi salad. Lightly seasoned morsels of Australian spanner crab cuddle up with sashimi-grade yellow fin tuna on a base of creamy avocado cubes, orange slices, shallots and coriander. A dollop of creme fraiche and salmon roe add to the indulgence.
I'd just top up a little for the Spanish Ham Selection (S$38), as shown in the first photo. There are two kinds of Jamón Ibérico on the platter - top one aged 20-24 months and the other aged 30-36 months. Sure, not everyone is a fan of these pungent pieces of pork, but I just love cured meats. I also adore the sundried tomatoes, olives, stuffed piquillo peppers, artichokes and foccacia sticks that it comes with.
The Broiled Sea Scallops wrapped in Applewood Smoked Bacon sounds good too. You can have fresh oysters on the half shell, classic steak tartare, Australian Wagyu Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio, or choose a soup (Forest Mushroom, French Onion, Lobster Bisque) or go for a salad (Caesar, Grilled Chicken, Tuna Nicoise). Something for everyone.
But the main highlight of course is their steak.
USDA Prime Beef - Ribeye Steak (S$74 for 12 oz)
Oh steak, sweet sweet steak. I can skip dessert but never my main. And this slab of USDA Prime beef is smooth, tender and beautifully broiled. USDA Prime rules.
Australian Black Angus Tomahawk (S$125 for 1.1kg to 1.3kg)
This massive meat hammer comes from 70-day wet-aged, grain-fed young Black Angus. It's served with bone in and medium rare after 20 minutes in the broiler. Easily feeds two people.
Every steak is served with four homemade sauces (those little pots above the steak) – Red Wine Madeira, Au Jus, Peppercorn and Mushroom as well as a choice of four gourmet mustards (Dijon, English, Granary and Green Peppercorn). It's fun experimenting with the different flavours, but a good steak can stand on its own.
This is the tomahawk all cut up. I have to say it was a little chewy in some parts, tender in others, with bits of sinew interrupting the experience. Still, it's much more charred than the USDA ribeye, and I am a sucker for those gorgeously caramelised bits.
Extra ravenous and feel like a splurge? There is a Black Angus Wagyu Tomahawk (S$272) which is almost twice the size (2.1kg to 2.3kg) with better marbling and tenderness. Sorry no photo!
Other specialties include Beef Wellington, Pan-seared Barramundi Fillet, Australian Lamb Cutlets, Roasted Spatchcock Chicken, and Ricotta & Spinach Ravioli.
Eat your vegetables. Grilled asparagus (S$16).
Here are my vegetables! Some SERIOUSLY GOOD French Fries, along with Sauteed Kipfler Potatoes and Creamy Corn Soup (sides range from S$12 to 16). The fries, people. Must-have! Can I come here and just eat fries? Yes, I know they cost ten times that of McD fries but they are also ten times better.
You have room for dessert? Great, you have 11 to choose from!
The prettiest Bread and Butter Pudding (S$16) I have ever seen. Generous scoop of ice cream on top and caramel laced vanilla sauce at the bottom.
Meringue lovers will adore the Pavlova dessert (S$18) topped with all kinds of sweet and sour fruits. Take a bit of everything in one spoon and let it mingle in your mouth.
Other choices include Apple Crumble, Creme Brulee, Wooloomooloo Cheesecake, Hot Chocolate Cake, Lemon & Lime Pie and a cheese board for two.
We got a closer peek inside the kitchen too. These huge Southbend broilers from the US are what gets the steaks to the ideal medium-rare doneness that they recommend. Each cut of steak is handpicked, cut in-house and flavoured with seasoned sea salt.
And in they go, getting a good sear at 650 to 700 degrees Celsius. Can you hear the sizzle and smell the aroma? It's awesome.
On the other end of the restaurant, near the entrance is the Wooloomooloo Lounge, playing cool jazz in an intimate setting. The music gets more upbeat as the evening progresses.
It's a great spot to relax and indulge in pre- or post-dinner drinks. Mixologists are on hand to concoct whatever you like - cocktails, classic martinis and innovative mojitos.
The Wooloomooloo Signature Martini (S$19) is very refreshing with VOX Vodka, apple schnapps, fresh mint, grapefruit and apple juice.
Wine lockers for your favourite vino - simply purchase S$2,500 worth of wines to own a locker for a year. Your locker will bear a personalised brass plate with your name on it.
Their wine list covers over 150 labels lovingly curated by Noel Emmanuel (General Manager) and Jack Fraser (Restaurant Manager).
A showcase of their signature beef products is at the left of the restaurant's entrance.
This outlet is their first international foray since the group was set up in 2004. They have three branches in Hong Kong - Lan Kwai Fong, Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui.
For the festive season, they are offering:
Lunch: four course lunch S$68++
Dinner: five course dinner S$148++
Selections include Hokkaido Scallop Carpaccio with 24-month Aged Iberico Ham for appetizers and a premium steak option of 200-Day Grain Fed Australian Sirloin with Foie Gras for main course.
New Year's Eve
Dinner: five course set dinner S$178++ complete with amuse bouche, palate cleanser and petit fours. After dinner, you can party away in the lounge as the live band plays til 3am.
During the month of December, on every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, pop open bottles of Pol Roger Brut NV champagne at only $99++ (this special offer is not valid on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve).
Regular Weekday Set Lunches (noon to 2.30pm)
Three course set lunches at S$36++, S$38++ and S$42++. Pick from two starters and three main courses followed by dessert. Menu changes each week, but may feature Confit of Duck Salad, Pan-fried Halibut Fillet or Grilled Beef Medallion.
Christmas Executive Set Lunches
For December, there are Executive Set Lunches (S$46++, S$48++, and S$52++) until Dec 30, 2012 with dishes like Blue Swimmer Crab Meat Tower and Turkey Vol Au Vent.
Wooloomooloo can also accommodate corporate events or personal parties of 15 people and above.
2 Stamford Road
Level 3 Swissotel The Stamford
Tel: +65 6338-0261
Restaurant: Lunch 12pm – 2.30pm and Dinner: 6.30pm – 11pm
Lounge: Mon – Thurs, 12pm – 1am | Fri – Sat, 12pm – 2am | Sun, 12pm – 12am
Bar Bites: Mon – Sat, 12pm – 12am | Sun, 12pm – 11pm
Many thanks to Veronica of Sixth Sense Communications for inviting and hosting the media event.