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Raymond Wong

Spilling his steak secrets

INTERVIEW Chef de Cuisine at Seafire in Atlantis explains how to cook the perfect steak

The tomahawk always catches the eye

Cooked with passion, precision and expertise, the steaks at Dubai's popular Seafire restaurant make the mouth water. In charge of the grill is Raymond Wong who talked us through his steak playbook.

"My mum is from Malaysia, my dad is from Hong Kong and I’m from Scotland...
I grew up seeing all these Asian flavours but living in the UK I saw French and British cuisine too. I came to Dubai five years ago and the buzz here at Seafire is great. It’s like Disneyland - busy every day, it’s crazy."

"The standout steak at Seafire is the tomahawk...
It’s 2kg and we have to manhandle it on the grill. It’s heavy so you have to be careful you don’t damage your wrist when you pick it up. It’s exciting for guests to see us slapping this big chunk of meat on the grill in the open kitchen and it’s good for Instagram."

"If you’re buying steak in a supermarket I recommend speaking to the butcher...
The steaks that are pre-packed have been cut for a while so it’s best to ask the expert. Everyone seems to choose tenderloin but it’s quite pricey. Try cuts like flank steak, tri-tip or flatiron. These cuts are forgotten but are much cheaper and taste great. Look at the colour of the meat. I like a lot of marbling because it will melt and give flavour and tenderness. Less marbling means the meat might be tougher."

"A common mistake when cooking steak at home is not heating the pan enough...
If the pan is not hot enough, the juices will come out and the steak will boil. The meat cooks better when it’s room temperature so take it out of the fridge a few minutes before cooking. Grease the steak with a wee bit of oil. I put salt on first and pepper on last because it can burn."

"It’s important to rest the meat after cooking...
It allows the juices to go back into the steak. If you see blood on the plate it means the meat hasn’t been rested. After resting the steak put it in the oven to quickly get the heat back into it."

"We cook about 60kg of meat per night at Seafire...
Me and my team of 12 are cranking out about 180 steaks of an average weight of 250g to 300g. The 250g tenderloin Black Onyx is our most popular cut."

Wong has Malaysian and Scottish heritage

"Our Australian meat comes from New South Wales...
I went there in September to visit the farms and the breeders – proper Australian guys in checked shirts. They do a cross breed between Black Angus and wagyu called WX – sounds like a type of car, doesn’t it?"

"Personally, I like a striploin or tenderloin medium rare...
But if I’m having a ribeye I have it medium because you need that eye of fat to melt. On the side, I go for Dijon mustard."


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