A good steak these days is hard to find.
True beef, the wagyu kind...
It's true that it's the simplest things that are the most elusive. We headed to Charr at Rydges Jamison in search of the perfect steak.
Sourdough bread rolls
(olive and rosemary bread rolls tucked underneath)
The dining room is a sheltered quiet enclave, off to the side of a buzzy drinks and bar area. The chairs are solid in a sunburnt orange, the linen is crisp and the cutlery is heavy, but the swish factor and business-like ambience errs a little on the cold side for my liking.
Service is extremely attentive, although admittedly we are one of only two tables in the room. Our complimentary bread rolls arrive wrapped in heavy napkins, swaddled tightly as though they were sleeping babies. They are fresh from the warming oven and we are given options of olive oil or butter (we choose both). The olive oil, we are told, has stone fruit undertones of peaches and apricot; I can't quite tell but Veruca Salt is adamant she can taste the sweetness.
Pastured-fed Hereford rib-eye culet with red wine jus $36.00
The rib eye cutlet is a meaty looking affair, a thick wad of beef attached to the bone.
Wagyu beef rump steak with bearnaise sauce $38.00
400 days on grain (350 grams)
The bearnaise sauce accompanying the wagyu thoughtfully arrives in a jug for tailored saucing.
Wagyu beef rump steak with mushroom sauce $38.00
400 days on grain (350 grams)
I elect to have my wagyu steak accompanied by a mushroom sauce. It’s a thick rich gravy which goes well with the accompanying quenelle of mashed potato and the poached skinned whole tomato resting on a giant field mushroom.
My steak is more medium than medium rare and it's also a little chewier than I anticipate. Halfway through, I swap with a colleague who found hers a little too rare for her liking and upon tasting hers, I soon realise that my original serving was decidedly tougher and almost gristly. My new portion is soft and spongy, juicy and rich like a good wagyu should be.
Kipfler potato chips with rosemary and sea salt $8.00
Given our last encounter at Georges where we had a distinct lack of vegetables, we order two sides to share between four people. It is only when we receive our plated steaks that we realise extra vegetables were really unnecessary. Nevertheless the Kipfler potato chips are crisp and more-ishly starchy, and the French beans and sugar snaps are a fresh shade of green, crunchy and sweet, and generously scattered with toasted pinenuts.
Baby beans, sugar snaps and pinenuts $8.00
We receive a complimentary platter of petit fours, a random scattering of nougat, pistachio bread, shortbread drops and a cocoa dusted chocolate. This all seems rather generous, but is put into perspective when we later realise that our 300ml bottles of spring water (Mount Franklin) have been charged at $7 each.
Three prime steaks out of four, although at $38 each you'd be hoping you didn't get the dud one. Best steak experience still rests with our orgasmic experience at Prime. I'm torn between returning to a fiery paramour, or allowing that perfect encounter to remain romantically unblemished.
Level 1, 11 Jamison Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9696 2500
Open for dinner only, Monday to Saturday from 6.30pm.
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7/13/2006 04:00:00 pm