*This visit was back in April 2013.
Other than burgers steaks are another obsession of mine.
I guess it wouldn’t have been such a dedicated pursuit if it weren’t for the fact that a good juicy steak can be challenge to find. Maybe it’s KL, or maybe it’s my fussy tastebuds.
Whatever it is, my search has recently uncovered a superb venue for a superb steak, though unfortunately not in KL.
Conversion of Ringgit to Sg dollar aside, (seriously do we even want to go there?), I would happily pay for my steaks in Skirt, a hidden (well, kind of since it’s not exactly in the city) outlet of marvelous bovine gastronomy. Even my Singaporean friends are of opinion that the prices are fair, given the adept preparation and of course, marvelous cuts & quality of beef.
I’m slow I admit, as this is my first taste of dry aged steak.
I did some reading about dry aging steaks and was fascinated by the topic. Overall online reviews of Skirt are stellar and its reputation was reinforced in my mind when we tried to make a booking for dinner. It was fully booked every evening (Skirt is only open for dinner) during the week I was in Singapore!
In the end we took the 2nd seating at 9.30 pm because I refused to leave Singapore without getting my dry aged steak cherry popped. A steak at 10 pm is late, but this occasion deserves a respite from my usual diet restrictions.
We arrived early, stomach rumbling and eager for some bloody (pun intended) good steaks.
The W Hotel signature design has always been bold and adventurous, but W Hotel Sentosa Cove is made even more so gorgeous with its location by the waters.
Since we are early and couldn’t be seated yet, we walked around and observed the inner workings of the kitchen in fascination. We watched Chef Andrew at work; his team in synchronous rhythm.
Chef Andrew personally kept his eye over the centrepiece and jewel of the kitchen; the Parilla grill. The meats were cooked to the perfect degree under his vigilance.
Sides for the steaks are prepared at the hot station. All were methodically . No dramas akin Hell’s Kitchen here.
Finally the time came for us to be seated. Service was stellar from the start. The staff clearly possesses good knowledge of the menu and are very friendly . The menu was explained briefly before we were left on our own to make our choices.
While we were trying to decide, the bread was served, our water poured and the condiments on the table explained.
The side salt selections was interesting but I can’t remember what exactly they were. The 2 cute bottles below contains Apple Brandy and the housemade BBQ sauce.
The Apple Brandy acts as a palate cleanser before the mains, which I found to be a very clever and distinctively unique feature of Skirt.
When the bread arrived I attacked it hungrily and found out that I couldn’t stop. It didn’t help that the bread was freaking delicious; served with a one of its kind Chorizo Oil and a very umami Seaweed Dip. At this stage I was already truly impressed; since everything has been stellar and unique, making up for a very pleasant start to the evening.
We didn’t have to wait long for our steaks though it was near full house. I ordered a 250g Tajima Australia Crossbred Wagyu, 25 day dry aged sirloin MS8 for SGD75 while Rainier had the 250g ShortRib, SGD40.
Mine: 250g Tajima Australia Crossbred Wagyu, 25 day dry aged sirloin MS8 (SGD75).
I ordered it medium rare and it came cooked to the perfect degree. Each bite was juicy and succulent with pronounced smokiness.
It was full of flavour; unadulterated beefy goodness unrivaled by any other steaks I have eaten. Thanks to Skirt, my preference and expectations of steaks has totally changed. Hereafter, dry aged beef takes precedent for my reference for a superb steak! 🙂
Other a set of 3 different flavoured salts, we were served 3 different mustards; bourbon, green chimichurri and honey, which was altogether wasted as our meats were so good there wasn’t a need for it at all!
The sides we had were spot on too; the grilled pumpkin (SGD8) was cooked just right with a balanced mix of seasoning and textures (it includes sprouts for crunch and goat cheese for rich, creamy texture and mild, salty taste). Another side was green beans with confit shallots, also SGD8.
Now on to Rainier’s shortrib, which he pronounced superb. The meat was fork tender and easily easy disintegrated in the mouth. Not much effort was required for chewing at all!
I honestly can’t compliment this place enough. It’s not cheap yes, but it’s not over the top either. It was worth every penny for the quality and taste we experienced. In fact I had paid more for mediocre steaks in KL.
Our orders was cooked to perfection and presented in a minimal but elegant manner that allowed the key component – the steaks to take centre stage.
Since there were only 2 of us and it was nearing 11pm by the time we were done, we had to give desserts a skip. Darn, just writing this post now makes me want to take the next flight to Singapore!
Apologies for the bad photography, it was the best I could do with the Olympus EPL-2, as that time I didn’t have my Sony NEX with me. The Sony NEX really does a wonderful job for low lighting venues like this. I had to use my iPhone for the torchlight app for the food pictures earlier, which thankfully turned out acceptable.
Sigh, look at these – ugly but so delicious! LOL!
Below: The “baguettes” of air dried beef hanging in the cases beckoned temptingly.
Skirt at W Singapore, Sentosa Cove offers many US/Australian beef; some dry-aged and some fresh. Seafood like lobster and other game like lamb (dopper lamb) are on the menu too. As I have mentioned before, the staff will patiently explain to guest the different cut, fat distribution & how it will affect the texture and taste.
For me it was more than just eating; it was also the knowledge gained just by speaking to the staff and reading through the menu. I saw Creekstone Farms premium USDA corn fed Black Angus, Blackmore Australia Full Blood 9+ Wagyu, Cape Grim Australia Natural Grass Fed Angus and Donald Russell Irish Grass Aberdeen, just to name a few.
I wished I had more time to speak to Chef Andrew; whom I managed to say thanks before leaving. He is such a warm and friendly guy, and we spoke with his other chef who happened to be a guy from Penang! What a small world. 🙂
I had promised myself to revisit Skirt and this visit was in April. Now its August! How time flies, and how I wish I can be in Singapore soon.
By the way, if you’re really in need of a good steak, I find Qba Latin Bar & Grill at The Westin a good bet. Another is at Renoma Cafe Gallery. You can try The Club at Saujana too. Austrian Chef Alexandra does not disappoint.
I would appreciate any suggestion for good steaks in KL or Sg. Cost not a problem. I’ll save up for it. 🙂
However, save yourself the trouble of recommending Prime, La Vacas, Rils Steakhouse. I have tried those.
Last but not least, Beato in Publika is serving dry-aged beef too. It seems to be the only place serving dry age beef in KL now. Anyone for dinner soon? Like next week? 😀