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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Charr at Rydges Jamison, Sydney

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.

bread rolls
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.

rib eye steak
Pastured-fed Hereford rib-eye culet with red wine jus $36.00
(400 grams)


The rib eye cutlet is a meaty looking affair, a thick wad of beef attached to the bone.

wagyu with hollandaise
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 with mushroom
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.

potatoes
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.

beans
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.

petit fours

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.

Charr
Rydges Jamison
Level 1, 11 Jamison Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9696 2500
Open for dinner only, Monday to Saturday from 6.30pm.


6 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 7/13/2006 04:00:00 pm


6 Comments:

  • At 7/13/2006 6:36 pm, Blogger chocolatesuze said…

    mmm look at all the meaty goodness... did it cost extra for the mushroom sauce? think id give it a go just to try the pistachio bread (i can never find a decent one!)

     
  • At 7/14/2006 8:06 am, Blogger Reb said…

    I absolutely agree with you about Prime. I've never found anywhere better for a big cow-fest. But this does look pretty good!

     
  • At 7/14/2006 12:25 pm, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    The bread was soo good.

    I think we should survey as many steak houses in the Sydney area to find the best steak.

     
  • At 7/14/2006 2:37 pm, Blogger M said…

    I was staying at that Rydges for a few days last month and didn't even think to eat at Charr. Maybe next time....

     
  • At 7/14/2006 4:20 pm, Blogger Kirsten said…

    Hurrah! I thought, another option for work lunches, just across the road from my office. Then I read ‘open for dinner only’ – what’s the go with that?

    I have to say that one of the best steaks I've had in Sydney recently was at the Orient Hotel in the upstairs restaurant - melt in your mouth goodness.

     
  • At 7/15/2006 12:48 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi chocolatesuze - Nope the mushroom sauce was included. The pistachio bread was pretty good. A little thickly sliced. Have you tried making your own? I keep meaning to. Apparently it's really easy!

    Hi Reb - Yeah Prime is what our dreams are made of. It was just kinda funny that of everyone at our table, I got the dud steak (but then cleverly swapped it... mwa ha ha ha!)

    Hi Veruca Salt - Yes the bread was good. As I recall, that was the downfall for us not being able to finish our sides. Doh!

    A steak stakeout sounds great! I think I've just about recovered from our steak streak.

    Hi M - I'm sure you had plenty of other good meals though. Maybe next time? Although actually I'd say go straight to Prime. It's so worth it!

    Hi Kirsten - I think a lot of hotels struggle with lunchtime trade. Gone are the glorious 1980s power lunches.

    Don't think I've ever eaten at the Orient. Another one to remember...

     

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