The Newly Reopened Skirt
It was back in 2012 when I last wrote about Skirt, then brand-new steakhouse that differentiated itself by aging its own beef in-house. At that time, the concept of aging beef was just beginning to gain traction, with a handful of local suppliers venturing into this uncharted territory. The prospect of a steakhouse taking on the task of aging its own meat was nothing short of groundbreaking. It made headlines and sparked intrigue among steak lovers like myself.
Fast forward to today, and the landscape of aged beef has evolved considerably. As beef aging is no longer a novelty, Skirt has decided to revamp its menu to align with the current trend of wood-fired cooking. They have introduced a wood-fired oven and a Japanese-style Konro alongside their existing parilla grill. While there remains a strong focus on beef, the menu now includes other protein options such as dry-aged duck. Additionally, the steak portions have been reduced. They now offer smaller 200g portions in response to feedback that their standard 300g portions were a little too generous for some.
Renovated Woodfire Kitchen
The layout of the restaurant remains much the same, featuring the open kitchen as the central focus. The dry aging fridge, once displaying various cuts of beef, now showcases duck breasts– a new addition to the menu. A newly installed built-in wood-fired oven now resides on one side of the kitchen, promising to infuse the dishes with a touch of smoke. The parilla, a reliable workhorse since its inception, has been moved to a less prominent spot, allowing the new Konro Grill to take center stage. As the night progresses, the new attraction draws attention to itself with bursts of popping noises — the crackling sound of imported Japanese binchotan as juices drip from a well-marbled Wagyu steak onto the glowing charcoal!
Review of the Dishes
We began our meal with the Confit Yuca, a promising starter for the tasting menu. Yuca, simply a fancier term for tapioca, is a root vegetable that was considered a staple during the war years due to the shortage of rice. However, the chefs managed to achieve a delightful crispy crust while retaining a sweet and buttery interior by slow-cooking it. It was a true revelation! The dish was elegantly topped with a creamy, smokey, and umami-rich taramasalata made of uni and delicately smoked eel. 4.25/5.
Moving on to our second course – the Japanese Swordfish Crudo. It was cured and lightly smoked, accompanied by a transparent tomato gazpacho and basil oil. Personally, I felt that the fish could have had a stronger smoky flavor, and the transparent tomato gazpacho could have been more vibrant. However, Lisa thoroughly enjoyed the light and delicate flavors. 4/5
I on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed the Roasted Pumpkin soup with Seared Lobster. It had a luxuriously smooth and velvety texture that was truly comforting. The roasting process infused the pumpkin with a delightful caramelized flavor, adding a level of richness that elevated the dish. The seared lobster also brought a smokey sweet, crustacean essence to the soup, harmonizing beautifully with the natural sweetness of the pumpkin. Its firm yet succulent texture also provided a delightful contrast to the soup. 4.5/5
The dry-aged duck is a new addition to the menu. The legs and wings are first removed from the premium local duck. The breast is then dry-aged for 7 to 14 days to desiccate the skin, concentrate, and tenderize the meat. It is then slow-roasted and finished over charcoal to crisp the skin and infuse it with smoke.
Before carving, the waiter will come over to the table to show you the whole duck breast perfectly grilled, and placed in a cast iron pot. The duck is then brought back to be sectioned into perfectly oblong slices. The tender duck is then plated with a sauce made from the legs and trimmings. It is very good, BUT I just can’t help but compare it to our local roast duck. For the price, I wouldn’t mind having the legs as well! But, such is the nature of fine dining! 4.25/5
I have to quickly mention that you get to choose your own steak knife from their selection of Roland Lannier steak knives . It made for a good topic of conversation and the knives do add an additional touch of class to the whole dining experience.
We finally got to the steaks and they certainly have a good selection of meats that are not easily available at the local butchery.
We had the David Blackmore Full Blood Wagyu Tri Tip which was an excellent cut of meat. It was perfectly charred on the outside and medium rare on the inside. There is nothing to complain about the execution of the steaks, but Tri Tip wouldn’t have been my first choice. I find the meat fibers to be denser and coarser than a ribeye. 4.25/5
What I really had my eye on was David Blackmore’s Rubia Gallega bone-in Ribeye! But a 750g portion would have been a little too much for Lisa and me, especially when we were also having the duck!
The Osso Buco dessert is an imaginative creation designed to resemble bone marrow. While we appreciated the chef’s ingenuity and enjoyed the visual presentation, ultimately, it just didn’t taste as good as it looks! 3.5/5
The recently updated Skirt menu which emphasizes a wood-fired grill approach, offers a contemporary twist in line with current culinary trends. The assortment of premium, exclusive beef cuts remain exceptional, but they now offer smaller portion options, allowing diners to sample a wider variety of gastronomic delights
This was a media tasting. That means that the meal was hosted but the review is entirely our own.