Sydney is spoilt for choice when it comes to tracking down a good steak.
Australians are, by nature, steak connoisseurs, whether it’s a fine Wagyu or a $10 pub steak on a Tuesday night. In Sydney, the competition for the public’s hearts (and steak knives) is fierce at steakhouses, pubs and fine diners. We’ve picked out the city’s finest restaurants for when only a steak will do.
￼Inspired by a classic New York steakhouse, this festival of the flesh puts an emphasis on fire, steak and wine in a truly Australian way. Guests sit on red banquettes and dark-brown bistro chairs in a gorgeous industrial space beneath rafters that look like the rib cage of a giant animal. While the dry-aged Riverina-district sirloin and Wagyu rump cap from the Darling Downs sell like hot cakes, the 1.7-kilogram Rangers Valley Angus tomahawk for four will put a grin on any carnivore’s face – especially with a table full of condiments, steamed greens and fries on the side.
25 Bligh Street, Sydney; (02) 9231 5516
￼Now part of the Rockpool Dining Group, The Cut bar and grill has proved to be a cut above the notion of laid-back steakhouse. Housed in a heritage block in The Rocks, the space is dominated by exposed brick, huge wooden pillars and rafters, and chairs upholstered in cowskin and leather. There’s a bevy of brilliant bovine to choose from – the pure Black Onyx from the Rangers Valley, say, or O'Connor grass-fed fillet from Gippsland. Of course, if you want to splash out, the David Blackmore full-blood Wagyu rump with a 9+ marble score will leave you stunned at its rich splendour.
16 Argyle Street, The Rocks; (02) 9259 5695
Black Bar & Grill
Housed in The Star, Black Bar & Grill takes the concept of steakhouse to sophistication at every turn. Stellar harbour views are matched by a dining space that screams serious business by day and entertaining elegance by night. Think polished brass, leather booths, bar seating, waitstaff with professional poise and a wine list as accessible as it is in-depth – especially at the big-red end of the spectrum. It sets the tone for an extraordinary steak menu. There are 13 cuts of Australia’s finest on offer – from grass- and grain-fed Angus to ration- and grass-fed Wagyu. It’s hard to go past one of the world’s best – a 450-day grain-fed Wagyu striploin – or the one-kilogram 28-day dry-aged Wagyu rib eye. Just add creamed spinach, potato purée and Béarnaise for good measure.
The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont; (02) 9657 9109
Rockpool Bar & Grill
Arguably the pinnacle of steakhouses down under, Neil Perry’s monolithic meat fest is housed in a heritage-listed former bank in a breathtaking space of colossal marble pillars, an open-kitchen mezzanine and soaring ceilings. Rockpool’s steaks are as majestic as its surroundings. There are a staggering 15 cuts from Australia’s best producers including David Blackmore’s full-blood Wagyu ox, Cape Grim 60-month-old grass-fed and Richard Gunner’s grass-fed red poll.
66 Hunter Street, Sydney; (02) 8078 1900
Prime Steak Restaurant
Prime has been the beefy heartbeat of the CBD since 1999, with an epic selection of 18 steaks ranging from Black Angus and Angus-Hereford yearling to full-blood Wagyu. The restaurant even has what could well be the world’s first seven-course meat-only degustation. For serious carnivores only.
Lower Ground Floor, Sydney GPO Building, 1 Martin Place, Sydney; (02) 9229 7777
Eastside Kitchen & Bar
Evoking the energy of New York’s meatpacking district, this relative newcomer is housed on the first floor of the refurbished Rum Store in the Kensington Street precinct. Eastside’s menu takes its cues from America’s rich steakhouse history and the Japanese tradition of cooking over binchōtan coals. The results are steaks worth travelling for. Ranger’s Valley Black Angus and cross-bred Wagyu feature prominently – just make sure you order the roasted brussels sprouts as a side.
2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale; (02) 9212 0900
Kingsleys Australian Steakhouse
With more than 23 years in the business, Kingsleys must be doing something seriously right. Housed in a heritage-listed (1883) former soap and candle factory, the restaurant has made a name for itself as one of the leading business and long-lunch venues in town. Why? Kingsleys likes to keep things simple. The winning formula: source quality beef such as Riverina grass-fed, Nolans grain-fed, Grasslands free-range and Rangers Valley Wagyu, and serve simply with a choice of starch and salad. It’s about letting the steak speak for itself.
29A King Street, Sydney; (02) 9295 5080
Gowings Bar & Grill
Deep in the bowels of Sydney’s theatrical QT hotel is steak authority Gowings Bar & Grill. It’s something of a European brasserie meets modern grill with a focus on classic cuts and pairings such as a Darling Downs rib-eye with béarnaise or a Cape Grim Angus Hereford with peppercorn sauce, Cognac and shoestring fries. Perfection.
1/49 Market Street, Sydney; (02) 8262 0062
Main image: Prime Steak Restaurant