Sunday, June 11, 2017

New Steakhouse in Town

Everyone at our table walked in and asked the same question - "what was this place before it's converted into a fancy steakhouse?" (by the way it was a spa, according to Google Map) A few evenings ago we were at Wolfgang's Steakhouse, an import from New York City, on their first day of business. The restaurant took over this vast space on the street level on the quiet Duddell Street in Central and has turned into that classic steakhouse look, with the classy façade, dark wooden décor with gold accent, with the bar in front near the reception and dining area further back. We were all amazed at how this hardly noticeable store space has gone through such transformation (hence the question)

We were here at the invitation of the restaurant for the dinner tasting, so the menu has been arranged in advance. We started with the seafood platter served on a metal dish tray. Each individual portion came with half-lobster, jumbo shrimps with cocktail sauce and lump crab meat, all laid out nicely on the ice bath on the chilled platter. The portion was generous and the seafood was of excellent quality with firm and succulent meat.

Two different salads were served together – I personally prefer the Wolfgang’s Salad over the Beverly Hills chopped salad, with chopped onions, tomatoes, string beans, shrimps and of course, my favorite chunks of Canadian bacon with just a light mix of house dressing. I actually didn't mind having just the bacon alone (it's offered as an item on the menu actually) but overall the salad was delicious.

Our steaks took a little longer to arrive - just one of the minor hiccups during the restaurant opening period - but when they finally made it to our table, they looked fabulous. We shared two cuts of different steaks among the five of us. First was their signature porterhouse steak available in portion for 2, 3 or 4 (ranging from 1-2kg) and then the piece of bone-in ribeye, both USDA Prime grade and dry-aged in-house for about a month before cooked. The porterhouse steak was served cut into thick slices around the central T-bone, with hot butter splashed on top as the last step before being brought to our table, whilst the bone-in ribeye was served in a thick cut too.

Both steaks were broiled to the right done-ness as we have requested (medium-rare) with the tender, pinkish meat in the center and the flavorful crust outside, except we thought the porterhouse may be slightly under-seasoned, and possibly not dry-aged long enough for the deep meat flavor to develop further. On the other hand, the piece of ribeye was spot-on with excellent texture and great meaty flavor with just the right amount to salt to bring up the overall taste. But then the porterhouse steak was just right with their signature hot sauce that was placed on every table at the restaurant. A few sides were served along with our steaks. I like both the creamed spinach and German potatoes, and thought they were perfect accompaniment to the heavy pieces of meat.

Desserts were served in typical American steakhouse portion – would need a huge stomach to finish one by your own after a full course of steak. Ours were served on a long platter with all the choices available in the dessert menu. My favorite one was the lime pie, with the wobbly and sweet lime custard filling, a fluffy buttery crust and the homemade “schlag” whipped cream on the side. The Tiramisu was also made in the style I love, with the soft ladyfingers well-infused with rich espresso and alcohol layered with the sweet mascarpone.

In New York City, Wolfgang's Steakhouse is considered a legit alternative to the legendary Peter Luger with a more convenient location in midtown Manhattan rather than out in Brooklyn. With founder Wolfgang Zwiener being a former headwaiter at Peter Luger for decades he obviously picked up a few tricks on how to cook a perfect steak and how to operate a steakhouse, and it showed in the dishes we tried. I think the restaurant is well-positioned to be the talk of the town once it was given a proper run-in, and the place to be for one wanting a quality steak meal in town.

When? June 7 2017
Where? Wolfgang's Steakhouse, 6 Duddell Street, Central. Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? USDA Prime, Dry-aged Rib-eye
2008 Champagne Moet & Chandon Brut
2013 Wynns The Banker Coonawarra Cabernet

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