Home Arts & Leisure Wolfgang’s opens in Gateway and Boracay

Wolfgang’s opens in Gateway and Boracay

A DINNER accompanied by a string quartet was a portent of things to come at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse Grill in Quezon City’s Gateway 2.

On Feb. 21, BusinessWorld sat down to dinner at Wolfgang’s along with the Hiraya Strings Quartet. The menu consisted of Skirt Steak Tacos (messy and satisfying), Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich (could have filled me up for the rest of the evening), Burrata Salad, Lomo Saltado (marinated skirt steak; thin but indulgent), charbroiled flank steak (definitely a highlight), along with the sides of creamed corn, mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach. The meal ended with New York-style Cheesecake and Key Lime Pie, while we noted the string quartet’s selections, which included “All I Ask of You,” “Viva la Vida,” and Sharon Cuneta’s “Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas.”

While the string quartet evenings, slated for all the Wednesdays of February, ends this week, they just might bring it back. “The whole idea is to immerse the restaurant in the Quezon City community. Being able to serve the residents, but also we were thinking of linking up with the artists in Quezon City,” said Wolfgang’s Philippines Managing Partner Raymund Magdaluyo.

More than the music, Mr. Magdaluyo emphasized the difference between the steakhouse concept and the grill concept. “We’re using more of the cow. More cuts. After the pandemic, we asked the suppliers, ‘what else can we sell?’,” he said. These then included selections like the flank steak, the brisket, and the skirt steak; more than the famed Porterhouse by Wolfgang’s. As for the selections like Lomo Saltado, these were a nod towards the heritage of Wolfgang’s co-founder Peter Zwiener whose parents hail from Germany and Peru. Mr. Magdaluyo also said that they’re adding more Peruvian-themed selections, especially in their Boracay branch, slated to open this week (more on that later).

“The whole idea is to have some sort of variety also. We figured that not everybody is in the mood for the one kilogram (porterhouse),” he said.

This also opens more options for more wallets varying in size: the porterhouse steaks cost between P4,688 to P8,988, depending on the weight, while the Tomahawk steak costs P13,988. The Charbroiled Flank Steak we had for dinner, at 300 grams, costs P2,488 (more within reach). This will lead to other promotions, such as Steak for One in the future, which would serve steaks of between 250 to 400 grams, developed after their observation of how many people walked the mall alone.

They’re also developing “new” old ways to serve steak, such as the classic Steak Diane (a prewar dish sometimes served flambéed), and maybe Steak Oscar (a surf and turf dish with the steak  topped off with a seafood hollandaise sauce).

Meanwhile, Mr. Magdaluyo pointed to their strategic location at the Araneta Coliseum’s Red Gate (where the audience of the shows and basketball games held there pass): “We want to be there as the choice restaurant.”

Speaking of locations, Mr. Magdaluyo will open Wolfgang’s Boracay branch this week. This will include an al fresco viewing deck. “We want to push the spending, and we want to increase the spending of tourists. You put up restaurants where staff can be paid higher, creat(ing) a secondary market for other restaurants,” he said. He plans to open one in Mactan, Cebu in 2025. “By the end of 2025, we’ll be 12 stores.” At present, branches that have opened include ones in Newport World Resorts, The Podium, Bonifacio Global City, City of Dreams, and Gateway 2.

“The whole point is, in key cities, we need a steakhouse where people can meet, shake hands, close deals.” — Joseph L. Garcia