CUT has been drawing in the crowds since its opening in Marina Bay Sands in 2011. A regular night there sees throngs of C-suite types out for a good time, thanks to their stellar drinks programme, and decadent, contemporary steakhouse fare. Celebrity chef to the celebrities, Wolfgang Puck clearly knows a thing or two about making customers feel special: service is attentive, as expected of any top-notch restaurant, but with the added vibe of a private member’s club. Steak choices include American, Australian, and Japanese beef in a variety of cuts, both aged and not, all grilled over a mix of hardwood and charcoal to impart a smoky sweetness to the meat.
While the beef is rightly the star of the show, sides and starters here are also exceptional. Make space and conscience for delights such as their bone marrow flan with mushroom marmalade and parsley salad; and their mac & cheese, a heady-no frills baked ramekin of corkscrew-shaped cavatappi pasta and sharp white cheddar that hits all the right notes of crusty, al dente, cheesy, and rich. It’s a dish that’s inspired more than one person to unabashedly sit alone at the bar with just the side and a tipple. While any steakhouse worth its salt would undoubtedly have a reasonably extravagant wine list (and this one does), do also give the cocktails here a chance — the drinks are thoughtfully crafted and go way beyond the classics.
2 Bayfront Avenue B1-71, Galleria Level The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Tel: 6688-8517
This steakhouse in Shangri-la Hotel Singapore offers something quite uncommon: the chance to try steaks from different provenances. The current menu offers a selection from Australia, Japan, and Ireland and U.S.A.; with variables like whether the cattle are grain, grass, or corn fed; and whether the beef is aged or unaged. There’s everything from grass-fed, 35-day dry aged beef from Ireland, to intensely-marbled wagyu from Niigata that’s aged in a snow-covered room in a proccess called yukimuro. While there’s undeniable pedigree with Japanese beef, the Australian beef here is what really surprises — full-blood wagyu cattle raised in Down Under that can rival any of their Asian counterparts. Besides their USP of a chance for a horizantal-tasting of beef, Origin Grill’s atmosphere also departs from the traditional masculine, dimly-lit steakhouse template for a breezier, almost nordic atmosphere with its high ceiling and white-washed walls.
Heading the kitchen is Sydney native chef Heidi Flanagan, who presents a menu that’s decidedly more continental than their other steakhouse counterparts: pan-seared Hokkaido scallops with coconut chilli jam, Korean barbecue-inflected shortrib, and even green beans sauteed with house-made XO sauce.
Shangri-la Hotel Singapore, Lobby Level, Tower Wing, 22 Orange Grove Road. Tel: 6213-4595
The closest you can get to cult New York steakhouse Peter Luger’s in Singapore is Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (no relation to Wolfgang Puck). Especially since its founder, Wolfgang Zwiener, spent four decades as head waiter at Luger’s before opening his own in 2004. Here, you’ll find the quintessential New York steakhouse: warm mood lighting so dim you inevitably squint at the menu; straightforward, classic sides like creamed spinach; and glorious hunks of beef, dry-aged in-house to a compelling funk. On a typical weekend night this place is bustling — the air thick with the perfume of luxurious Old World (perhaps some New) reds; and the thick heady vapour of beef sizzling in a mixture of its own fat and butter.
Order the seared crab cakes, which are thankfully more crab than cake; and head for a USDA Prime porterhouse. The hefty bone-in piece of meat offers the chance to try two cuts: tenderloin that yields effortlessly to your knife; and the little more challenging, but also more flavourful striploin. For carbs, the German potatoes and cottage fries are particularly worth the calories, although nothing’s stopping you from eating your steak with a heaping plate of white rice, which they also offer. There are also vegetables to assuage the guilt of all that meat: try the creamed spinach or asparagus. The latter is comes with hollandaise and is stated on the menu as “boiled”, although you should try to get them — and this is the superior option — grilled. It never hurts to ask.
Not a steakhouse per se, but the custom-made beast of a wood-fired oven they have churns out very good meat. Like many restaurants with the “Australian” branding, Burnt Ends plays by its own rules. Steaks here are sold by weight, and usually features less-common cuts and Australian beef. While the beef cuts and provenance might change occasionally, mainstays include onglet, also known as hanger steak. This comes served with a sweet burnt onion sauce, and absolutely welcome chunks of bone marrow scattered on the beef. In case you’re worried about having to go small with something as pedestrian as hanger steak, the restaurant also offers chances for extravagance like 45-day dry-aged Mayura ribeye.
Don’t just have steak though. The sides and starters here are inventive, delicious affairs that take full advantage of their massive, kiln-like oven: gooey-on-the-inside smoked quail eggs heaped with briny caviar; meltingly-tender burnt leeks with brown butter; and their signature sanger — a squishy, super savoury construction of pulled pork, chipotle aioli, and coleslaw in a brioche bun. Expect to have to book 6 months in advance if you’re looking for seats inside the restaurant.
While New York has Peter Luger Steakhouse, Chicago has Morton’s. The brand has been in Singapore for over two decades thanks to a legion of fans that turn up for classic steakhouse fare, faultless service, and “Mortini Nights”, where there are specially-priced martinis and complimentary steak sandwiches.
While many classic steakhouses follow hardwood-and-leather cavern layout, Morton’s the product of a different era where shades of brown are swapped out for shades of grey. Black leather booth seats, art deco chandeliers, and a carpeted floor complete the look. Beef here is aged for roughly 28 days, with USDA Prime anchoring the permanent menu, with other types like American wagyu appearing on their seasonal menu. Steaks also come with the option of additional saucing, with decadent choices like Cognac sauce au poivre and black truffle butter. Portions here are on the larger side, so do order to share, and remember that a U.S ounce is about 28 grams because the steak sizes are in imperial measurements. Crowd favourites include oyster Rockefeller (grilled with garlic butter), lobster bisque, and their jumbo lump crab cakes. Save space for a rare, classic treat: Grand Marnier souffle baked to airy perfection.