3 Stamford Road
Level 2, Swissôtel The Stamford
6338 0261 | wooloo-mooloo.com
Until now, the only culinary association Wooloomooloo had for me was Harry’s Café de Wheels, the iconic roadside pie cart that since 1945 has been serving up legendary pies and peas to late-night Sydneysiders.
You’ll find nary a pie nor a pea on this Wooloomooloo’s upscale steakhouse menu, though if you start in the lovely bar you’ll find an appealing bar menu that includes three mini-burgers ($12), no doubt perfect to mop up the great cocktails with during Happy Hour, which runs from 4pm to 7pm.
In the restaurant proper, subtle lighting and décor strong on wood, leather and Aboriginal dot art give the sort of elegantly masculine vibe that’s right for a steakhouse; it has a lovely outlook, too, through floor-to-ceiling windows, as does the bar. Our outlook is further improved by a comprehensive wine list of 150 labels that includes an unusually wide selection by the glass: seven whites, seven reds, two champagnes and a rosé ($17 to $29).
Starters are outstanding: deliciously creamy yellow fin tuna and spanner crab tartare ($29) and jumbo prawn cocktail ($29), seriously large and meaty and served with a horseradishy tomato dip.
But we’re mainly here for the beef: an Australian Black Angus ribeye steak ($62) and a USDA 150-day wet-aged ribeye ($74). Though billed at 12 ounces (340g) each, neither cut is very thick – unlike Morton’s monsters, for example; but priced accordingly. They’re broiler-seared perfectly medium-rare at 650 to 700 degrees celsius, if that means anything to you, and served with excellent sides ($12 to $16) of sautéed potatoes, grilled asparagus and creamy spinach.
So which is the better steak? Surprisingly, the Aussie cut, bursting with meaty flavour, wins hands-down.
In most parts of the world it’s a good rule never to order fish in a steakhouse, but in Singapore it’s a different kettle of… er… fish: chefs here almost never wreck the delicate meat by overcooking it. Our tender, crispy-skinned fillet of barramundi ($52)with sweet-sour tomato coulis is in itself worth returning for. As for desserts, we’ve never had a better pavlova ($18) nor a more scrumptious bread and butter pudding ($16).
You may be wondering (as I was): Why the name Wooloomooloo? Seems the Hong Kong owners of this group liked the auspicious ring of its eight Os. (Bet you’re counting them right now.)