It’s that time of year again where the hard-working team at DMARGE venture deep into foodie territory to track down some of the country’s most handsomely succulent cuts of meat (if you’re a regular reader of this piece, you’ll soon come to learn that it is always that time of year to seek out succulent steaks).
With Sydney on our doorstep, a city devoted to the culinary arts, singling out the very best steaks is both a tough and an easy task. Easy, because there are several restaurants slinging steaks, making them easy enough to find, but tough because – not only can we eat so much in a couple of days – deciding which should be awarded a ‘best’ title poses a significant challenge.
This is no $10 pub steak contest either (even though there is a pub on the list). Some of the places featured here aren’t even dedicated steak houses. Instead, these are the coveted Sydney eateries which have all executed a signature steak dish within the culinary expertise fostered by their own imagination and unique interpretation of what the perfect steak is.
You want premium cuts and big flavour with a dash of flair? You’ve come to the right place. This is your ultimate steak guide for Sydney.
Rifling your way through hipster territory ground zero will lead you to one of Surry Hills’ more upmarket eateries called Firedoor. Head Chef Lennox Hastie leads the way with this innovative establishment which uses only select types of fire wood to cook their food, hence producing a distinct aroma to every dish.
Firedoor presented us with their famous 160+ day dry aged rib on the bone which comes in at a hefty 500g.
Cool fact: The Firedoor kitchen is completely open and you can watch the staff make your food without using any gas or electricity. We don’t recommend you stare and smile for too long though as this can creep them out.
Location: 1a/23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills
Vic’s Meat Market
Ever been to the Sydney Fish Markets only to smell the sweet char of BBQ? That’s Vic’s doing. Anthony Puharich is the man behind Woollahra’s Victor Churchill (a.k.a ‘The Bulgari of Butchers’) and also heads up this meat station in Glebe which includes a Wagyu Bar. On the menu? Australia’s most prized Wagyu beef by David Blackmore.
Vic’s Meat Market presented us with their top of the line Blackmore Wagyu sirloin with a marble rating of 9+. Don’t let the 250g serving deceive you though – each extravagant bite packs more succulent flavour than an entire herd of cows.
Cool fact: Eric is the Wagyu Bar’s dedicated chef. He’s a maestro behind the grill and a marvel to watch. He will also gladly grill you if he sees you pointing your chopsticks the wrong way. Think of him as a cross between Karate Kid’s Mr. Miyagi and the Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi.
Location: 50-60 Bank St, Pyrmont
Steak at an Italian joint? Believe it. Besides running like clockwork as per any authentic Italian cafe with lots of shouting, Fratelli Paradiso also dishes up one of Sydney’s meanest looking steaks. Simplicity is key, they tell us, even though the elaborate plate up looks anything but simple.
Fratelli Paradiso presented us with their signature Fiorentina, also known as O’Connor Black Angus weighing in at a massive 1kg.
Cool fact: The exuberant staff at Fratelli Paradiso appear to run on coffee and adrenaline. We got offered coffee no less than five times until we said “Yes, Nonno”. The restaurant manager also told us that back home, the Fiorentina is usually up to 5kg of premium cow, but they had to downsize it to suit local tastes.
Location: 12-16 Challis Ave, Potts Point
The Oaks Hotel
The classic steak and pub gets a well deserved make-over across the bridge at The Oaks Hotel. Renowned for their 2kg Tomahawk steak challenge, we approached the kitchen and asked what would a real gentleman eat. Enter The Oaks signature dry aged rib eye. It’s no monstrosity of a steak but it was certainly a gorgeous piece of prime cut with sides to boot.
The Oaks presented us with their dry aged rib eye on the bone complete with roasted bone marrow.
Cool fact: There’s a huge Oak tree growing in the beer garden which probably explains the name of the place. The staff are also exceedingly friendly to a point where you want to hug them when they bring you your bill.
Location: 118 Military Road, Neutral Bay
One of Sydney’s most famous Argentinian restaurants also has a dish that flies under the foodie radar. Their Wagyu skirt is one of the most unique cuts of steak you’ll ever taste this side of town. Prepared in the signature Porteño way with charcoal, the dish comes served in a hot iron pan.
Porteño presented us with their Wagyu beef outside skirt grilled over charcoal.
Cool fact: All the cooks at Porteño dress better and have cooler haircuts than you. In fact, they’re all models who just cook for fun.
Location: 50 Holt Street, Surry Hills
Rockpool Bar & Grill
You can’t say steak without thinking of one of Sydney’s finest steak houses. Perched in the centre of Sydney’s CBD is Neil Perry’s award-winning Rockpool Bar & Grill. The steak menu is extensive to say the least and the high ceiling design of the space is fit for any modern Gatsby-goer.
Rockpool Bar & Grill presented us with their Cape Grim rib eye which has been grass fed and dry aged for 60 days.
Cool fact: This expansive establishment has enough slick decor to match its high pedigree of food. The bar downstairs has a wine glass feature which houses at least a thousand glasses above your head.
Location: 66 Hunter St, Sydney City
Black Bar & Grill
The Star isn’t only good for a punt at the tables. It also accommodates one of Sydney’s slickest restaurants which does a beast of a premium cut steak. Inspired by both classic American grill and contemporary European dining, Dany Karam is the man at the helm of the kitchen who dished up their signature 1kg, 28 day dry aged Wagyu rib eye.
Cool fact: Their larger tables have real coral features which can cut your hands if you play with it. They look really cool against the backdrop of the water but we don’t recommend you take selfies with it. You also need two people to move it.
The Cut Bar & Grill
The Rocks precinct in Sydney isn’t just good for ghost stories and touristy types. They also have a premium steak house which gives the title for best steak in Sydney a run for it’s money and it’s called The Cut. Housed within the heritage stone walls of The Rocks, The Cut carries an extensive selection of Sydney’s best tasting steak. And as they say, go big or go home. So we went big.
The Cut Bar & Grill presented us with their signature cut called, wait for it, The Cut. A 4-hour slow roasted Wagyu clocking in at 1kg.
Cool fact: Dining in The Cut is like dining in a dungeon with lots of happy people and great medieval/industrial interior design. The vibe of the area can also make you want to drink regardless if it’s a Tuesday morning.
Location: 16 Argyle St, The Rocks
Photography produced exclusively for DMARGE by Darwin Gomez – No reproduction without permission.