It’s a long way from town, so it was not an obvious choice for entertaining my clients. But it just happened the client stays in the exclusive enclave of Sentosa Cove, I could only suggest SKIRT for a quiet dinner place to talk business.
SKIRT inside W Singapore, Sentosa Cove, is known amongst many to be one of the best restaurants in Singapore, where prime cuts of meat and fresh sustainably sourced seafood are beautifully prepared on the centrepiece Parrilla grill.
SKIRT has a very avant garde interior design that symbolises the life of a cow. Remember to take a look around the restaurant, especially the décor at the ceiling that featured laser-cut leather chandeliers and exciting pieces of art that are equally at ease in a modern art museum. The polished horn salt and pepper shakers and aged wood surfaces all serve as the setting for the jewel: the charcoal fire Parilla grill of the open-concept kitchen that takes centerstage in the spacious restaurant.
Almost everything are grilled on the Parilla grill to give the maximum smokiness and Maillard effect on each piece of meat. Sous chef Eddie Gan worked carefully with his professional team on their centrepiece through a carefully controlled charcoal flame. They ensured that the most delicate flavours are not burnt by the ruthless flames. Strangely, we could not smell anything in the dining room.
The complimentary focaccia bread which came free-flow with the meal was fluffy like a pillow with just the right amount of smokiness and salt. Bits of burned herbs (rosemary) and shallots gave the bread the distinctive focaccia fragrance.
Each loaf was freshly baked and clearly marked for ease of pulling it apart a bun or two. But resist my friend, they were so good with the salted butter that one would tend to stuff oneself with these carbs before the main course arrives.
And there’s the complimentary amuse bouche that came with every main course ordered, and tonight we got prosciutto ham wrapped around some Spanish melon and garnished with sour cream.
Burratina – Watermelon & Heirloom Tomatoes
We ordered a starter to share, and usually I could not resist the burrata cheese if there’s one on the menu. The appetiser was a beautiful ball of burrata with white balsamic-marinated heirloom tomatoes and compressed watermelon on bed of tomato-watermelon granité garnished with smoked sea salt
Two hotel toiletry-sized bottles of apple bourbon were given to us in between dishes as a palate cleanser. Made with apple juice with a dash of bourbon whisky, it was quite refreshing. Don’t worry, you will not get drunk with this shot.
The Main Course
Whether it is Blackmore 9+ Wagyu, Tajima Crossbred Wagyu and Cape Grim Angus from Australia, Black Angus from Creekstone Farms, USA or Donald Russell Irish Aberdeen Angus from Argentina, the dining experience at SKIRT is always remarkable with its amazingly luscious steaks. SKIRT’s “cuts of the day” are aged in-house in a special aging cabinet under consistent conditions and lined with blocks of pink Himalayan salt to produce bold undertones of umami that grow in complexity over time.
To get ready for the main attraction of the evening, the table was cleared and the dinner service was set on a leather placemat. Cutlery that would not be out of place on the set of “Game of Thrones” was placed next to a rather ornate Southern porcelain plate. Game set, bring out the beef.
21 Days Dry Aged Tajima Wagyu Sirloin 250g
When you think wagyu, what comes to mind is the Japanese beef with even marbling. The most popular breed of Wagyu is the Japanese Black 黒毛和種 (Kuroge Washu), accounting for over 90% of the country’s cattle. Within the Japanese Black breed, there are three bloodlines—Tajima 但馬, Kedaka 気高 and Shimane 島根. Tajima Wagyu is prized for its ability to develop extremely high degrees of marbling. So for the price we were paying that evening, it’s the Australian Tajima bred that were crossbred down under. We had been warned that because it was dry aged, it would not be as juicy as the wet aged ones.
The Aussie wagyu meat boasted perfect marbling and a mild, smoky flavour that paired well with the confit smoked garlic and red wine jus. The buttery texture of the meat made it all the more pleasurable to cut through, and the watercress added just the right amount of earthiness to counter the sirloin’s rich flavours.
21 Days Dry Aged Black Angus T-Bone 800G
The T-Bone steak consists of two tender cuts of steaks, the striploin and the tenderloin connected by a T-shaped bone. While similar to the Porterhouse, the tenderloin in the T-Bone is slightly smaller in diameter. This well marbled, hand cut steak is often referred to as the “king of steaks”. What we were served was like a Porterhouse with a significantly larger tenderloin. I am a sirloin guy, and so was quite disappointed when I saw a rather small strip of striploin.
The steaks each came with a sauce of choice, so we picked the béarnaise (very rich sauce which I didn’t like as I thought it would renegade the natural taste of a good piece of meat) and red wine sauce (which I found to be a bit bitter).
The T-bone aged very well and it was a really tasty piece of beef. The Black Angus was not fatty piece of meat and the dry ageing intensified the flavours of the meat. The grill had imparted the smokiness that only an open fire can. I only wished the sides were more exciting, because it was rather dull having only one good thing on the plate.
Blistered Asparagus, Hazelnut, Smoked Olive Oil
Stalks of Australian asparagus that went through a baptism of fire through the Parilla grill and blistered ever so lightly, the greens were dressed with a shaving of roasted hazelnut and smoked olive oil. I had to put the béarnaise to provide any flavour.
Parrilla-Grilled Shishito, Pink Himalayan Salt, Lemon Vinaigrette
Statistically there’s only one hot shishito in every ten of them. We couldn’t find a single one that was hot. I wished it was burnt more in the Parrilla grill. We could not say it was good as the sweetness was not there as well.
A very relaxing and slow paced fine-dining restaurant, stepping into SKIRT at W Singapore felt like a mini holiday out of Singapore. The service staff was very knowledgeable of everything that we were served. I only wished they would be able predict the outcome of the steaks.
The wagyu was totally murdered by the intense heat while the T-bone turned out beautiful. Wine list was alright, but the cocktail was the drinks of choice here. If it was in town, it would be packed nightly. But pre-Covid, they were a popular spot in the weekend too. Perhaps Wednesday was a slow night.
W Hotel Sentosa Cove, 21 Ocean Way, Singapore 098374
Tel : +65 6808 7278
Visited in Jul 2022