Some of these restaurants have been masters of the grill for some time; others are newcomers. What they all have in common is a mutual respect for beef.
When you set out to serve the best beef in town, it helps to source your meat straight from the producer. It also helps to have your own beef dry-ageing room. Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar and Grill has both. The result: beef with great complexity of flavour. Choose from the succulent Blackmore’s Wagyu or Mishima (a Japanese beef). Or try the grass-fed Cape Grim. If you can’t decide, ask the chef to slice a few different cuts on a platter to share. The hollandaise sauce is the best in the business. But remember: dry-aged beef does not benefit from cooking past the medium-rare point.
In a nutshell: opulent steak with all the sides.
Don’t leave without trying: the mac‘n’cheese.
A relatively new kid on the block, Firedoor has a chamber that works in tandem with the oven. The open-flame wood-fire grill makes a world of difference. Head chef Lennox Hastie selects different types of wood to fuel the fire, depending on the result he’s aiming for, from mallee root, gidgee and bark, to bark from apple trees. The wood brings out the nuances of the beef and a beautiful charred flavour lingers well after setting down your knife. There are no sauces and there’s just one cut of beef each night, with a matter of milliseconds separating it from the flame and your table. The prices are based on market value.
In a nutshell: an open-flame grill on steroids.
Don’t leave without trying: the live marron with grilled pomelo.
You need to come to this Argentinean grill with an empty stomach. Every cut of meat is charcoal-grilled in a special parrilla grill, and treated with the same level of care and respect one would give a newborn child. And it’s obvious in the flavour. Choose from either the Kobe Cuisine Wagyu beef outside skirt, or the 350-gram Ranger Valley Sirloin. If you lose your way just look to the diagram of cuts of beef painted across the workbench where you’ll find Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate carving it up.
In a nutshell: enjoy the theatre.
Don’t leave without trying: the suckling pig.
Look beyond the pasta at this Potts Point institution and you’ll find a serious steak on offer. The one-kilogram O’Connor Black Angus Fiorentina steak is another cult classic among those in the know. It’s dinosaur-sized. Tackle this impressive T-bone steak by yourself and you might not have room for the tiramisu.
In a nutshell: great size and value.
Don’t leave without trying: the tiramisu (i.e. share the steak).
The Oaks Hotel has an impressively long steak list, but a highlight is its legendary Tomahawk steak. The 1.6–1.9-kilogram behemoth comes with green beans, duck-fat-roasted potatoes and sauces such as mushroom and seeded mustard, or green peppercorn and roasted pepper sauce.
In a nutshell: you can choose your own cut of meat before it’s prepared.
Don’t leave without trying: a beer you’ve never heard of.
The menu at Chophouse is extensive enough to satisfy every steak lover. Steaks are sourced from several high-quality producers. The New York-esque steak house offers a contemporary dining experience in a warmly lit, wood-furnished room. Situated in the centre of the CBD, it is perfect for an after-work meal. Some options include a 300-gram T-bone minute steak served with sautéed portebello mushrooms and jus, or a beautifully marbled Wagyu scotch fillet with roasted truss tomatoes, lemon and jus.
In a nutshell: good for variety.
Don’t leave without trying: crispy pork belly salad.
Choices range from the leaner 1500-gram New York cut to the melt-in-your-mouth 350-gram rib eye. The vibe is very Big Apple with live music every night, from jazz to New Orleans funk. There are a huge range of wines by the glass and American boutique beers offered by region.
In a nutshell: great for choice and price.
Don’t leave without trying: the barbequed corn with smoked butter and sea salt.