When I feel like having steak, the choices are almost limitless. There’s the heartland cha chaan teng or Chinese fast food chains like Maxim’s MX and Fairwood to get my all-day economical beef fix. The flanks are thinner there and the meat is usually served well done. Then there’s the mid- to high-range steakhouse, with chops that focus on the marbling and cuts. But I’m not one to stinge on a good piece of meat, so I always kept a list of a few go-to choice steakhouses back in Singapore, when either my husband or I crave steak.
Wooloomooloo Prime was the first to make it to my Hong Kong steak list, following my recent visit there. They have recently undergone a facelift with a spanking-new sultry look and a new menu that includes exclusive signature cuts. We learned that the restaurant is currently the only one in Hong Kong serving John Stone’s internationally renowned dry-aged beef from Ireland with its iconic bone-in tenderloin.
Cravings or not, it was time for steak.
Left: Eden Mill Love gin and tonic; right: Monkey 47 gin and tonic
We began with a classic aperitif – a selection of fruity and flowery gin and tonic cocktails. The nightscapes of Kowloon provide an almost paradisiacal setting for anyone to enjoy drinks, and I could feel myself unwinding after the first few sips.
Clockwise from top left: Australian Wagyu beef tenderloin carpaccio, burrata, salad of smoked trout and pan-seared Hokkaido sea scallops
But, first, the starters. We were served a delightful selection of starters to pique our appetites (or moderate our steak hunger).
The pan-seared Hokkaido sea scallops ($240) were perfectly seared until golden brown and topped with salmon roe that sent bursts of saltiness as we bit into it. Baked blood pudding and cauliflower purée were also paired with the delicate scallops, which birthed a myriad of savoury flavours in each forkful.
The burrata ($175), on the other hand, was rich and had a buttery flavour that was accentuated with colourful Mediterranean vegetables, chorizo, purple shiso, mustard cress and chervil.
The Australian Wagyu beef tenderloin carpaccio ($190) was my favourite antipasto of the night. Each piece of meat was perfectly sliced and the flavour of the meat was enhanced against the slight bitterness of the rocket and sharpness of the Parmesan. I could not help piling up seconds of this dish.
The last starter, the salad of smoked trout ($210), also impressed us with its earthy taste and fusion of textures from the Avruga caviar, vegetables and beetroot purée.
Clockwise from top left: Wagyu Tomahawk, Wooloomooloo steak with lobster butter and Moreton Bay bugs, pan-seared New Zealand king salmon, grilled Rhug Estate organic pork chop
Our mains were nothing short of the finest cuts. The M9+ sirloin ($850) was the first of the four to arrive and it was an instant hit with us. The 340g haunch was done medium rare and it was both juicy and exquisitely tender.
Also popular at the table was the dry-aged bone-in tenderloin ($650). The meat had been dry-aged for at least 21 days and had a very pronounced beefy taste, making this 395g slab not only very flavourful but boasting a great aroma. We were presented with four yummy sauces to accompany our steak tasting: chimichurri, red wine Madeira, peppercorn and Béarnaise.
Along with the steaks, we were served a pork rack from Rhug Estate ($420). The pigs there are ground-fed and raised free range so that the meat is rich in minerals, with a good fat-to-meat ratio. The chop was drizzled with sour cherry sauce, intensifying the pork’s distinctive juiciness and great texture.
The pan-seared New Zealand king salmon ($385), on the other hand, had a more delicate consistency. The fillet was fresh and the rich flavour paired well with the raisin salsa.
Left: jalapeño mash; right: truffle mash
The mains were served with delectable and addictive sides of smooth jalapeño mash and truffle mash, along with crispy, golden fries, sautéed mushrooms with garlic butter and green beans.
I thought it would be impossible to down anything after the mains, but we ended our meal on a sugar high with an assortment of desserts. The baked cheesecake ($95) was one of the best I’ve ever had. The cake was dense and creamy and coated my tongue with its honeycomb, raspberry and orange flavours.
Pavlova ($90) was one of my most sought-after comforts during my university days in Australia. Wooloomooloo’s version was dressed with vibrant fruits and passion fruit coulis and the meringue had an enjoyable, fresh, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Next to arrive was the Wooloomooloo hot chocolate cake ($125) and a gorgeously puffed soufflé ($125). Chocolate is something I always crave after a meaty dinner and this cake was the epitome of lavishness with its decadent molten chocolate lava core and soft and fluffy texture. The eggy flavour of the soufflé was enhanced with the side of blood orange sauce.
The desserts were heavenly, but a spoonful of each was all I could manage.
Wooloomooloo Prime serves choice cuts, perfect for steak aficionados who are particular about their meat. Their starter and main portions are generous and hearty, so it’s hard to imagine room for dessert. I’ve also always loved dining with a view and Wooloomooloo Prime is one of the few restaurants that not only provides magnificent scenes of the city at night but also amazing views of the nightly laser-light show. So for those who feel meh about steak, take a gamble on Wooloomooloo for dinner and surprise yourself with an elegant dining experience and incredible flavours.
21/F, The ONE, 100 Nathan Road, TST, 2870 0087
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