Located in the swanky Wynn Palace Cotai, which actually has its own cable car system to take guests around the property, SW SteakhouseMacau is inspired by its Las Vegas counterpart. This means that the elegant restaurant also has a bar doling out killer drinks, and no surprise that it made the top four list in the category of best bar in a hotel at The Bar Awards Hong Kong & Macau 2019, alongside bars like Vida Rica at the Mandarin Oriental and the Ritz Carlton Bar & Lounge.
If you’re thinking American-style steakhouse results in SW Steakhouse being decked out in dark wood and leather and boys’ club vibes all round, think again. Instead, the dining room has a high ceiling and ivory toned interiors, accentuated with gold furnishings and warm lighting. For entertainment, guests can look forward to vignettes of film classics on stage performed throughout the evening. The bar is also sleek and fuss-free, and the most amount of wood you’ll see comes from the American oak barrels (medium toast) in which cocktails are aging.
Naturally, our first drink came from their list of barrel aged signatures, the SW Negroni (MOP120). Made with the classic thirds recipe – gin, Campari, and vermouth – it spent six weeks under influence of the wood. The result? A softer, more complex yet rounded Negroni, which SW Steakhouse also attributes to the use of red vermouth Antica Formula. And here, one barrel only ever houses one type of cocktail during its lifespan.
Our next tipple comes from their list celebrating the art of fine cocktails, and we enjoyed it alongside a little pop culture trivia. Ostensibly a twist on the Aviation, Fly Me to the Moon (MOP130) is also a tribute to the friendship between Steve Wynn (ex-CEO of Wynn Resorts) and Frank Sinatra. Equally balanced between sweet and sour, the long lavender note mid-palate surprised us. What we liked was how the yuzu and cox apple lifted the combination of gin, lavender-infused lillet Blanc, and yellow chartreuse. Crème de violette gives it its light purple hue.
At the point of our visit, the team mentioned that the menu will be undergoing a revamp in a few months, so we asked to try some of the new candidates up for consideration. Aged in oloroso barrels for three month, their Bamboo bears the funkiness of sherry well enough, though we wished the finish was drier. Pairing the agave spirit with Mancino vermouth, the Mezcal Negroni sees time in an amontillado sherry barrel, and presents better body and texture than the classic.
If you’d like something other than a cocktail, don’t hesitate to talk to the sommelier on hand. During our visit, we had the opportunity to sample ice wine from Chateau Fenhe in Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province – and it pays to know that it’s exclusive to SW Steakhouse in Macau. The ripe aroma was alluring, and with each sip, notes of new world fruits burst out against a backdrop of old world minerality.
Given that SW Steakhouse is Wynn Palace’s only Western fine-dining establishment, you won’t find thoughtless bar grub here. Though straightforward, it is handled with plenty of finesse here, be it the Snake River Farms Wagyu Beef Sliders (MOP100 for two) – well-seasoned, medium rare cuts and horseradish cream between housemade brioche – or the Bacon Wrapped Hotdog (MOP80). Butchery is done in-house so guests get a really nice snap on the bacon-wrapped homemade sausage topped with beer mustard and a moreish jalapeño relish.
For something spicy, you cannot go wrong with the Buttermilk Fried Hot Chicken Sandwich (MOP80 for two) – crispy buttermilk marinated fried chicken and housemate hot sauce sandwiched between two half of a milk bun. That’s not all; for regular bar snacks there’s also addictive house made potato chips and beef tendon puffs (also known as chicharron) seasoned with chili lime salt!