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Sydney steak-out

By Kate Kingsmill

Sydney steak-outDuring the 1980s and 1990s it seemed that city steakhouses were heading for oblivion. But now, with the introduction of meat standards that guarantee a perfect steak every time, downtown steakhouses are more popular than ever. From this issue, OUTBACK is showcasing Australia's best steakhouses, starting with some in and around Sydney - to coincide with the 2003 Royal Easter Show.

Until it closed a couple of years ago, the place for a steak in Sydney's CBD was Johnnie Walker's Steakhouse. For more than a generation it served up sumptuous T-bones, porterhouse and rumps to an ever-hungry clientele. Some suggested its closure signalled the end of the upmarket steakhouse era. Not so, for several top-of-the-range steakhouses have emerged to fill the gap, while other established restaurants and pubs are enjoying strong demand for prime cuts of beef.

"Finding a good steak in Sydney has never been easier," confirms Meat and Livestock Australia trade marketing manager, Lachlan Bowtell. "There's been a resurgence in steakhouses at clubs, pubs, brasseries and restaurants. The MSA beef grading program is fast becoming a product of choice in leading outlets across Australia."

City steakhouses these days are sleek and stylish establishments - like Prime Steakhouse in the old GPO at Martin Place, Wildfire at Circular Quay, Kingsleys' three locations in and near the city, I'm Angus (two locations) and Moonshadow Grill at the MLC Centre. Still there, of course, is Bourbon & Beefsteak, a Kings Cross institution, as well as upmarket pubs that have long had a reputation for serving a good steak - the Rag and Famish in North Sydney, the Woolwich Pier, The Oaks at Neutral Bay, and the Coogee Bay Hotel. If you're feeding a bunch of kids or don't want to travel near the city, there are other good options - like the Lone Star, Hogs Breath Cafe and Black Stump chains, all of which all have outlets around Sydney.

Perhaps surprisingly, beef eaters are spoilt for choice in Sydney. The only decision is whether you want a casual pub-style meal or a more upmarket experience, and whether to choose a juicy scotch fillet or go for the rump.

Daniels Steakhouse, Sydney

First established in 1984 in Brisbane, Daniels opened for business in Sydney in 1993. Known for big fat juicy steaks, from the 200g ‘ladies cut' eye fillet to the 500g rib eye, Daniels is popular with the lunchtime crowd.
Phone (02) 9251 6977.

I'm Angus on the Park, Sydney
While I'm Angus Cockle Bay is all about al fresco dining on the water, I'm Angus on the Park is a more discreet, tucked away in the heart of the city. A version of ‘surf and turf', fillet steak and prawns, is the most popular dish. Phone (02) 9264 1919. I'm Angus Cockle Bay, Sydney, phone (02) 9264 1919.

Kingsleys Prime Steakhouse, Sydney
Still going strong after nine years, Kingsleys King Street, Sydney is the best known of the three Kingsleys restaurants (others are located in Bridge Street and Woolloomooloo), and is famous for its one kilo T-bone and its consistently good steaks. Phone (02) 9252 7777.

La Grillade, Crows Nest
With a French provincial setting and a French/Australian menu, La Grillade, established 25 years ago, is just as serious about its vast wine list as it is about its steak. Phone (02) 9439 3707.

Moonshadow Grill, Sydney
Opened in June 2000, Moonshadow Grill's choice of steaks range from 100-day grain fed, 300-day grain fed, the Rangers Valley sirloin and the 400-day grain fed Waygu.
Phone (02) 9232 1155.

Prime Steakhouse, Sydney
This multi-award winning steakhouse was established in 1999 but has been under its current management since March 2002. With a string of awards from the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and the Restaurant and Catering Association, its 250g grain fed dry aged yearling prime fillet is its most popular dish. Phone (02) 9229 7700.

Rag and Famish Hotel, North Sydney
The pub was established in 1860 and these days, a downstairs bistro and an upstairs restaurant serve three different steaks. The steaks and sauces are changed every six to eight weeks. Phone (02) 9955 1257.

Wildfire, Circular Quay
Established in 2002, Wildfire is in a prime position on the harbour and is best known for its churrasco, a Brazilian barbecue where various meats are put on large skewers and turned over hot coals. Phone (02) 8273 1208.

Woolwich Pier Hotel, Woolwich
Built in 1891, the hotel offers sensational harbour views, and a seafood and steak menu in the restaurant and bistro. The most popular steak dish is the 300g rump steak with béarnaise sauce and chunky chips and garden salad. Phone (02) 9817 2204. Story end

Full story: Issue 27, April / May 03

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