We stare agog as our waitress walks past. The beef ribs on the plate she's holding are enormous! =)
Its lucky recipient is a little taken aback. The ribs are as hilariously oversized as the ones that get heaved onto Fred Flintstone's Flintmobile.
We're having lunch at James Squire Brewhouse, and although our chosen meals don't require a bib and a commitment to wresting our meal with both hands, there's definitely a sense of blokiness about the place. We're in beer country.
Peppered lamb fillets $28.00
served on a puree of baby broad beans with bush tomato relish
There's plenty of wood about the place: tables, chairs, floorboards and walls, a couple of Chesterfield-style lounges in the corner, and a series of pool tables down the back. The bar takes centre stage, its row of beer taps gleaming. It's deliberately unfussy but infused with an undercurrent of testosterone. Predictably the menu is meat-driven and even our knives are rough and rustic with thick wooden handles.
Peppered kangaroo loin fillets $26.00
cooked medium rare with roasted sweet potato gratin and jus
I nurse an India Pale Ale as we wait for our meals. It's a light crisp beer which goes down well. Beer is definitely your best bet here; one red wine drinker has to resort to a third choice after the first two were declared unavailable. As the lunchtime crowd swells (we'd deliberately gotten there early after being told of their no-bookings policy), our meals arrive and we dive right in.
The peppered lamb arrives on a bed of mashed broadbeans, topped with tomato relish and crowned with parsnip straws.
Peppered kangaroo strips are served on a tower of thinly shaved sweet potato with caramelised shallots pairing well with the gamey flavours.
Grilled high country pork fillet $24.00
on colcannon mash with apple and cinnamon chutney
In a week of excessive dining (Steak? Tick. Kangaroo? Tick. Fish & chips? Tick. Lamb? Tick.), I opt for the pork, an unusual choice for me as I often find it dry and overcooked.
There must be some magic that goes on in the James Squire kitchen though, because this pork fillet is the tenderest I've ever tasted. It's so soft it's like cutting into wagyu, and the high-heat searing has added a tasty caramelised smokiness.
Everyone agrees that their meat is super tender. It's just as well we're too busy eating to talk, as the lack of insulating decor does nothing to absorb the ever-increasing din.
Bread and butter pudding $10.00
with honey and almond ice cream and creme anglaise
I'm devastated to discover that their banoffee pie is no longer on their dessert menu, so I opt for bread and butter pudding. The individual serve is pretty but I find it a little too cakey.
The creme brulee doesn't have much of a toffee lid to it, but it is super creamy, even if it does seem a little under-done within.
Classic creme brulee $10.00
with chocolate biscotti
Service was a little distracted and prices are a tad high, but this is King St Wharf where it seems all patrons are subject to open slather. Otherwise it's good food with great beers. And surely real men don't eat dessert anyway.
James Squire Brewhouse
22 The Promenade, King St Wharf, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8270 7999
15% surcharge on Sundays and public holidays.
Related GrabYourFork posts:
James Squire Brewhouse, June 2007
James Squire Brewhouse, Feb 2005
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6/08/2006 12:28:00 a.m.