Ortigas Center welcomes a Big Apple transplant
Ortigas Center is better known for big business – big banks, big malls, and big office buildings. The neighborhood doesn’t really get much attention for its gastronomic offerings. However, what some hip foodies may gloss over is the fact that this CBD hosts a very cosmopolitan and well-heeled community. Tucked away amidst its moneyed streets and edifices, you can discover more than a few gourmand-worthy gems, ranging from Asian to Western cuisine.
Ortiga-zens have gotten rather spoilt for choice, it takes big buzz to pique their curiosity. Boldly opening its doors right on ADB Avenue, is a Big Apple transplant that has had local carnivores drooling at the first whiff of its arrival – Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener.
The eponymous steakhouse can trace its etymology to a hallowed, but no less Teutonic culinary heritage, that of Peter Luger’s legendary steakhouse in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge.
The meat of the matter
The question is, has Zwiener emerged from the shadow of Luger? Considering his current global reach, he’s definitely outshone his former mentor. Legacies and locations be damned, it all comes down to the beef anyway. And at least to the meat-loving denizens of Manila, this Wolfgang delivers.
They make good on their guarantee of consistent quality thanks to their on-site dry-aging rooms. This painstaking process is what takes their steaks’ flavor and texture to the next level. Once ready, the thick cuts of carefully-aged USDA Prime Black Angus grade beef blazed in their 1,500°F ovens, lightly salted and perfectly seared.
The preparation is never meant to upstage the pieces-de-resistance itself, which are the tender, juicy, marbled slices of meat. Beyond the beef, other offerings range from a decadent lobster-laden Mac and Cheese to a fresh and leafy Beverly Hills Chopped Salad, along with an almost intimidating array of starches and veggie dishes. They’re all good enough to satisfy on their own, but can really best be seen as backup singers to the headliner.
As befits its place in power-lunch center, The Podium, this Wolfgang’s location features several lunch specials on its menu. Fresh seafood fare like oysters on the half shell, lobster cocktail, and grilled salmon, as well as poultry, lamb and pork items are also available for those avoiding red meat.
And since this is the Philippines, of course they offer a sublime spin on Steak Rice. Delicious desserts slathered in schlag (German-style whipped cream) and an excellent coffee selection can also be enjoyed by those either ending or in between meals.
What really makes this specific steakhouse special, though, is its cozy mezzanine area that’s perfect for small groups, intimate dates, or clandestine dealings. A full bar and award-winning wine cellar ensures you the perfect pairing for whatever you pick off the menu.
By JUDE DEFENSOR