May 31, 2011

Hangovers for the Greater Good. Wolfgang's Steakhouse, Waikiki.

Sydney continues to be a city of grey skies and steady downpours today. 

Winter doesn't even officially start until tomorrow but we've already had a pretty impressive preview of the the best(comfort food and The Hangover II) and worst (the weather)  that winter will have to offer.

I've watched this trailer approximately 15 times on Mr SSG's iPad since Saturday morning and I'm trying to convince him to come with me to see it over the long weekend.  Mr SSG is a little disturbed at how well I've taken to such a bloky and politically incorrect film and is trying to persuade me to see that X-Men film instead.  The winner will be decided by whichever film has the session most convenient to our dinner plans for that evening, I think.

Many people are counting the cost of minor flooding in the city today as they survey their houses and cars.  I'm one of the fortunate few who seems to have survived this wet patch with only a broken umbrella as a consequence. 

Perhaps it's all this winter discontent that has fuelled the rather personal and mean spirited backlash to Cate Blanchett's decision to support the carbon tax and use her celebrity to raise awareness of the issue.  Apparently the freedom to have an opinion and raise awareness is means tested to penalize the famous or wealthy and to render their actions to be ridiculous and out of touch.

The wealthy and famous have the dubious honour of being deemed ridiculous and out of touch regardless of how they chose to play their fame card.  At least we can 'tsk tsk' when we read about their personal lives.  When they highlight issues we should all be thinking about and trying to progress?  That would require us to 'tsk tsk' at our own apathy.

Don't take my word for it, the readers of The Daily Telegraph have spoken their mind.  Perhaps we all need to go see The Hangover 2 over the long weekend, have a good laugh and return to the discussion with clearer minds to discuss the issues not the messenger.

The bleaker the weather gets, the more important it seems to me to inject some colour and vitality into the the day.  I'm calling it dressing for the weather I'd like to have back.

Scarf - Hermes, cardigan - Cotton On, T - Target.

My Dancing Pearls scarf resurfaced at the weekend as part of my major wardrobe restructure.  So I wore it to work today.

Is anyone in the work lunch doldrums?  You try to be healthy and frugal for those 5 lunches of the week (so that your weekends may be full of treats and indulgences) but sometimes, you just need a little hit of flavour to keep you on the straight and narrow and not running to the hot chips and the vending machines at the staff cafeteria.

I'm probably slow to catch on to this, but I've finally got myself some salt and pepper grinders for work.  I've been going crazy seasoning my salad leaves and tomato wedges this week.  My salads are still a long way from gourmet but at least they are much tastier now.  I had forgotten how good a little salt on raw tomatoes tastes.  I know salad dressing would have been the more obvious option here but I can never find a good store bought one and trying to tranport a home made dressing from home is fraught with potential complications.

This power of salt and pepper to transform simple foods reminded me of Hawaii (as everything seems to these days). 

Today's Hawaii memory involves a dinner Mr SSG and I had at  Wolfgang's Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zweiner.  To put things in context for Australian readers who are in the midst of a boutique bar and grill frenzy, I did a little research about Wolfgang's.  It is at a price range that most Americans would consider top of the range for what they would pay for steak.  The beef served comes from Texas and is dry aged in a special facility on the island.  There are also branches of the restauarant in New York (the location of the original restaurant) and California.

The concept is similar to what many of you would be familiar with in Australia.  The beef is the focus of a tightly edited menu.  There is also an impressive wine selection to match.  No, there are no decorative Riedel wineglass installations but guests do have a prime view of the wine library.  I cannot comment on whether or not the ladies' powder room stocked Aesop toiletries.  Service is friendly but formal, well informed and efficient. 

We shared the crab cakes for an entree and they were excellent.

Price wise, steaks are expensive by American standards.  My main was a 400g beef fillet that cost $59 USD from memory.  By weight, most Australian restaurants serve a 250g fillet in this price range. 

I was in red meat heaven and definitely got that red meat energy hit I was craving.  American beef has a richness and complexity of flavour that is quite distinctive if you've been raised on Australian beef.  This is not my criticism of either but I was just surprised that I could taste the difference.

The sauce was curious blend of tomato sauce, mustard flavours and a secret blend of herbs and spices.  It went with everything.

It was a testament to the flavour of the beef and the way it was cooked that I was quite happy to eat as much as I could of my serving without the need slather it in too much of Wolfgang's steak sauce.

I didn't have much room to finish the onion rings which were lightly battered, crsip and very moreish.

But I did finish off this generous serve of steamed broccoli.

We didn't have room for dessert, but this is a sneaky snap of a neighbouring table's share plate of desserts.

It was a delicious meal and good value from this tourist's point of view.

Wolfgang's Steakhouse By Wolfgang Zwiener on Urbanspoon


  1. The food at Wolfgang's looks deeeelicious!!!

    Try transporting your dressings in a screw top container like an old vegemite jar or such.


  2. That food looks amazing!

    I also use a screw top container to transport dressing to work :)

    Can't wait to see Hangover II - everyone has said it's better than the first one!!

  3. The food looks great, your photos of food always make me feel hungry! I can't wait to watch Hangover 2 - the first one was hilarious! And I love X-men too, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is just super hot:)

  4. Wolfgang's crab cakes look delicious!
    (I have not eaten breakfast yet)

    I love the Dancing Pearls scarf...
    I like the colour palette that you have chosen.
    I think I'd opt for red shoes to pair with the pops of red baubles!

    I always think of red as a quick pick me up for rainy days.

  5. Very jealous of the crab cakes!

    I agree with colour being a good option on bleak days.

    Take care.

  6. I wore red and black yesterday too! So comforting in the cold weather! If Mr SSG objects to seeing The Hangover, I'll see it with you. Mr K isn't particularly keen.

    I am totally off red meat (unless it's completely disguised, like mince or in a stew) but even my mouth is watering at the sight of your bronto beef steaks. They look fantastic!

    I always found portion sizes gigantic in the US. We rarely bothered with appetizers and often had little room for dessert, other than a smidge of icecream. Sad but true.

    K xx

  7. Phwoarr those onion rings look absolutely delicious!

  8. And here I was saying the other day that Cate B seemed untouchable and beyond criticism! Alas apparently not.


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