Taste | Sear and dear

Carnivores and paleo dieters ought to make the trek to Newport Mall this month, in time for the opening of a New York legend: Wolfgang’ Steakhouse. They’re famous for hand-selecting only USDA Prime steak and chops, a category that only 1-2% of meat in the United States achieve, shipping these off to their various restaurants, and dry ageing the meat onsite for an optimal 28 days to get that juicy, naturally tender quality one looks for in a piece of steak.

“Over time, there are certain types of enzymes that break down the connective muscle tissue in meat so it gets more tender,” says Peter Zwiener, managing partner and president of Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. “There’s a study where 96% of all the tenderness that you’re going to achieve hits around the 28-day mark, without changing certain types of flavor. The more you age the piece of meat, the more earthy and nutty the meat is going to get, but on average we do dry-age for 28 days.”

Tons of corn-fed Angus and Black Angus beef from the Midwest are already lined up for the Manila opening to satisfy the cravings of Filipino foodies who no longer have to travel to Japan or Hawaii or to a whole different continent just to dine at Wolfgang’s. That includes two Philippine presidents who apparently disagree on everything else but their steak: President Benigno S. Aquino III and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. If temperatures rise, it’s probably a steak on the broil about to be served just the way you want it. Heck, Wolfgang’s will even serve a porterhouse that’s large enough for two, or sharing among three or more friends.

“The ribeye is a lot fattier but it has a lot more flavor; the porterhouse is something you can share. Sometimes I feel like a little filet, and sometimes I feel the nicer piece of striploin as well, so you get the best of both worlds. Once you start eating our steak, it may look large but it’s so tasty, you’ll just go, ‘I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!’” boasts Mr. Zwiener. “We cook it at very high temperature broiling, so we char the outside and keep the juiciness and we can control the temperature inside… And the way we serve it on a platter, people try to imitate that, but they can’t really get it right.”

It costs US$50 per person to partake of the porterhouse, and US$54 for the ribeye steak, so Wolfgang’s makes it worth your while.   — Johanna Poblete