It seems our sunny island—though recently plagued with a bout of wet weather—will see no end to food trends that are both challenged or renewed. It’s barely into the official period of mooncake-savouring and we’re now caught up in the wave of new menus and establishments that will please the carnivore in you.
From the land of well-dressed individuals, even for a hypermart run—i.e. Hong Kong—comes Wooloomooloo Steakhouse. While pronouncing the name of said group admittedly makes one look like they’re imitating a fish breathing underwater, their impressive view of the city—over Stamford Road and St Andrew’s Cathedral, as well as a perfect spot overlooking Turn 9 of the upcoming Formula 1 races—makes me want to apply for accommodation in this ‘fish tank’.
As we took in the sights from the leather upholstered seats—part of the imported elegant design, which includes the usage of neat woodpiles, to maintain the group’s signature look—a complimentary, freshly baked Onion focaccia is served in the middle of our lively chatter, kicking off our meal with a fragrant start.
Next to arrive on our table was the Tuna & spanner crab tartare ($29). Unlike the usual fare where solely the freshness of the meat takes centre stage, Wooloomooloo has beefed up the dish with orange slices, diced shallots—amongst the usual avocado pairing with seafood. The result is a creamy, smooth dish that has a highly appetizing blend of sweet and citrus, that is rounded off nicely by the touch of crème fraîche and savoury salmon roe.
Weighing at about 50-55g grams per prawn, it’s only easy to see why the Jumbo prawn cocktail ($29) is becoming a hot favourite at the barely 3-month old restaurant. Be it for corporate events or family gatherings, the succulent, shelled jumbo prawns paired with the homemade cocktail sauce—featuring horseradish and sweet chilli for a delightful lift—is both suitable to share, or as a not so subtle move to establish one’s status.
As the friendly staff explains to us, steaks at Wooloomooloo are seasoned with sea salt and broiled in specially imported Southbend broilers to a recommended medium-rare—I simply can’t fathom steaks, or people who would prefer them, beyond this mark, but that’s a story for another time.
We went for two same cuts from different origins—an unconscious test on both the chefs and meats itself. Both the Australian black angus rib eye ($62/12-ounce) and USDA prime rib eye ($74/12-ounce) were expertly executed to a beautiful pink of a medium-rare—but I would be lying if I said I didn’t make comparisons and pick a ‘winner’.
I felt the USDA to be more flavourful, and this particular cut happens to be thicker than that of the Australian, so it packed more meat with each slice and was a touch more succulent.
Unlike other steakhouses which force you to make a decision on one, and only one, accompanying sauce for your steak—or McDonald’s, who would probably start charging for straws and napkins next—Wooloomoo offers up their spread of homemade sauces—Red wine Madeira, Au jus, Peppercorn and Mushroom—and gourmet mustards, no 30-cent surcharge.
I’ve visited too many steak places that try to pass off a reduced, or even watered down, cream of mushroom soup as sauce, but thankfully, this didn’t add to it. Cooked with jus, the Mushroom sauce is surprisingly full of flavour, with a heady, distinctive mushroom flavour that accentuates the natural taste of the meat.
Besides just beef, the steakhouse also serves up a decent variety of other meat mains. The Pan seared barramundi fillet ($52) appears to be a run-off-the-mill, slightly pricey white meat dish, but the extremely robust tomato coulis, with a sprinkling of piquant capers, highlights the fresh, moist fillet exceedingly well.
Moving onto desserts, those with a sweet tooth will definitely appreciate the Bread & butter pudding ($16). Usually it is the pudding that acts as a base for the sweet ice cream to shine, but Wooloomooloo has switched things around with a rich, classic vanilla gelato to offset the delightfully sweeter bread pudding that seems almost too sinful to have one by yourself.
The Pavlova ($18) is definitely a more balanced dessert that will cater to the greater majority of diners. The sweet, crisp meringue shell is delicately teamed with a smooth, light Chantilly cream and fresh fruits, though it is the tartiness of the passionfruit coulis that provided an outstanding contrast to balance the dish.
From encouraging a lively atmosphere of chitchat, no strictly enforced dress codes to providing shawls for ladies who feel cold, Wooloomoo plays its cards well to steer away from the easily perceived ‘hoity toity’ impression that can come with upmarket steakhouses. Look out also for their set lunches that won’t break the bank—ranging from $36++ to $42++.
Swissotel the Stamford, Level 3
2 Stamford Road, Singapore 178882
Tel: +65 63380261 | Website
Lunch 12pm – 2.30pm
Dinner 6.30pm – 11pm