Last Updated: April 26, 2016
SKIRT, although seen as a fine-dining restaurant by many, actually wants to be known as a casual steakhouse located in faraway Sentosa island. Their core philosophy is simple: use the finest sustainable produce and cook ingredients simply to preserve its natural flavours.
Stepping into SKIRT (or even W Singapore for that matter) sort of brings you to another world. Upholstery with lines of golden hues, modern overhead installations depicting organic elements like horns and feathers all greet you in this magnificently designed restaurant.
Chef Larry Koh leads a refreshed menu at SKIRT restaurant, introducing an array of epicurean delights that venture beyond just beef, although that is to me still their signature mainstay and what I’d venture all the way here for.
SKIRT is also well known to use the heavily fired Parrilla grill fueled with mesquite wood to cook their steaks, leaving a mild, smoky flavour from the burnt juices that drip down and evaporate up again.
One cannot help but marvel at the meats in the dry aging cabinet within the restaurant.
Choice Scottish, Australian and U.S. meats are hung in aging cabinets alongside specialty cuts of milk-fed lamb, saltbush lamb and venison. Dry aging especially, adds more flavour to the beef as moisture leaves the meat (leaving more concentrated meat), while the natural enzymes break down muscle tissue to create more tender flesh.
Dry aging has to be controlled in specific temperatures, and differs from beef to beef for the Chef’s wanted flavour.
From well-marbled Japanese wagyu to exclusive cuts like the Blackmarket range from Ranger’s valley, it’s every steak lover’s fantasy just admiring the white streaks of pure yum.
Let’s explore what Chef Larry has got in store for us shall we.
Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche, Blood Orange and Nori ($23). The scallop is shucked live and marinated in salt, removing moisture but retaining its natural sweetness. The blood orange adds zest with a off-bitter aftertaste, making this quite a multi-layered ceviche that plays with savoury and acidity. Very apt as an appetizing first course.
Confit Duck Leg, Slow cooked Hen’s Egg and Root Vegetables ($23). This entire dish is quite an arduous process to put together.
The confit duck is baked at 80 degrees to sufficiently render the fats, and the hen’s egg is slow cooked at 62 degrees for that perfect balance of even, yet runny doneness.
The bits of panko breadcrumbs add texture and altogether there’s a nutty flavour together with the cubed potato and carrots. This dish concentrates more on the intricacies of texture and mouthfeel, presenting a variation on the French duck confit although the heavy egginess overshadows the duck at times.
From left: Homemade BBQ Sauce, Apple Bourbon. If you ordered beef, you’ll be served with these 2 little potions. One to flavour your beef, one to freshen the palate. The apple bourbon although strong, is sweet and definitely kick starts my stomach.
F1 Wagyu Grain-fed, Sher Rib Eye 250g MS 6-7 ($118). The beef is further aged for 31 days for a more mellow flavour.
F1 wagyu refers to beef from the offspring of a full blooded wagyu bull that has been cross-bred with a Angus cow, thus you can say its 50% wagyu and carries characteristics of both lineages.
Although not at the highest marbling score, the F1 Sher Ribeye steak was exceedingly buttery and tender – you really need to pair this with a tannic red wine to fully enjoy its intensity without being overwhelmed. The steak is subtly smoky, while the confit garlic is also a great accompaniment to distract from the fats.
Bone-in 500g Striploin ($112). Black Market Black Angus beef with MS 5+.
I tried this striploin steak on a previous visit and it still stands out as my favorite cut here. Exclusively supplied to SKIRT. The striploin has a light char and more complex flavours coming from the roasted bone. Although not as much marbling as a wagyu, I felt this had excellent balance and nice distribution of fats all around.
Skirt steak 200g ($68). Blackmore full blood Wagyu, grain fed with MS 9+. Not exactly winning the beauty pageant of dishes, but the signature steak here. The Blackmore Wagyu seems to have a subtle, unique underlying sweetness to it and is definitely juicier. However in terms of flavour, the bone-in striploin is still my pick for more well-roundedness.
SKIRT also periodically brings in seasonal steaks from various regions like this leaner piece of Scotch steak which exhibits a more earthy, iron-like finish, but tougher than the previous cuts. This was a miss for me without sufficient fats.
Trio Palette Creme Brulee ($20) – Milk Chocolate & Hazlenut, Coconut & Lemongrass, Earl Grey Tea.
My favorite out of the trio was the earl grey creme brulee, which was light but still had a pleasant fragrance enough to distinguish itself from the other creme brulees.
A very relaxing and slow paced fine-dining restaurant, stepping into SKIRT at W Singapore felt like a mini holiday out of Singapore.
SKIRT is exploring a wider range of offerings, but I’d still stick to their prime cuts of steak unless you can’t take beef for whatever reason.
Good service and ambience, SKIRT is definitely a steakhouse I would recommend for special occasions and for magnificent steaks, although prices have been increasing since its initial opening. For steak connoisseurs who know specifically what type of beef they like, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised by the wide selection they have.
Expected Damage: $100 – 150/pax
Related Guide: Best Steaks in Singapore