This is the first time I’ve set foot on the Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo, despite having lived in Sydney all my life. I admire the view of the waves sparkling against the setting sun and the white boats bobbing up and down on the water, and immediately see why this is a dining destination for celebrities and tourists alike.
But tonight, a large group of camera-wielding food bloggers arrive at the wharf, not to check out the view but to dig into some delicious food at the newly-renovated Kingsleys Crab and Steakhouse. We begin with some drinks from the cocktail list that mostly consists of classics with a slight twist.
The mango and chilli daiquiri contains rum and mango sorbet, and the chilli isn’t just there for decoration – there actually is a slight chilli tingle on the tongue after each mouthful! The raspberry iced tea contains lemon slices and raspberries and is not overly sweet.
While we sip on our drinks, executive chef Lars Svensson gives a brief introduction of each dish that is on the menu tonight, and tells us that he will be back again later for some tableside theatrics to carve up the Beef Wellingtons at the table for us.
We start with bread that is still warm to the touch with a crisp, crusty exterior, accompanied by plenty of soft creamy butter. While we wait for the entrees to be served, we are told about the wine matches for the evening and shown the restaurant’s extensive wine list.
There is a choice of three options for the first course, so of course myself and those sitting around me coordinate our choices so that we have at least one of each dish. To nobody’s surprise, Suze immediately places dibs on the burrata mozzarella salad. Though it doesn’t ooze with cream and cheese when pierced, the cheese is definitely creamy and I get a serious case of food envy when I try some.
The baby octopus is quite tender with a light dusting of salt and pepper batter on the outside. It comes with a sprinkling of shallots, coriander and chilli as well as a creamy lime aioli.
I order the steak tartare which comes pre-mixed with onions, cornichons and seasoned with mustard and Worcestershire sauce, and accompanied with sourdough crostini and a truffle aioli. A soft-boiled quail egg, complete with runny yolk, is perched on top of the raw beef mix. It’s a very generous serve and even after offloading some too others I can already start to feel my precious stomach real estate being taken up.
But I’ve made sure to leave plenty of room for one of the stars of the show tonight, the Alaskan King Crab. Four bountiful plates of these vibrant orange crab legs arrive on our table in a bed of shaved ice, along with lemon wedges and mayonnaise. Though crab is notoriously difficult to eat, the Alaskan Crab shell comes off relatively easily compared to mud crabs, with a little help from some cuts made along the length of the leg and a nutcracker for those difficult joints. The flesh is meaty and sweet, and while others stop at one leg I eat to my hearts content until there is none left.
The chef comes back out, parading around some small beef wellingtons with him and he carves them up on a small table adjacent to ours. To my surprise, instead of getting a slice of beef wellington each, we each get given half of the small ones. My eyes widen in a mixture of delight and horror at the though of having to eat it all (I really shouldn’t have eaten so much crab) and General Manager Tim Muschamp laughs at my reaction and says, “You have to finish it all or else no dessert!”
The pastry is crisp and flaky on the surface and is lined with a mushroom duxelle on the inside. The beef is oh so tender and melt in the mouth. It is absolutely delicious and I wish I had more stomach space to fit it in, it seems like such a shame to leave any of on the plate! The wellingtons are also served with sides including some asparagus, zucchini and iceberg lettuce.
Thankfully there is a brief respite before the desserts are served which gives me some time to digest. I opt for the chocolate brownie and banana sundae which comes with a red cherry on top that I offload to Suze. It comes with a small jug of chocolate sauce which I pour on top of the ice cream for an extra chocolatey kick.
The creme brulee has a dark burnt surface and yes there is that satifying toffee crack as my spoon digs in. The custard underneath is also smooth and silky but the best part about this dessert was the shallow dish it was served in = better custard to toffee ratio!
Suze again calls dibs on the toffee cheesecake and with good reason. I’m not usually a fan of cheesecake but this one is delightfully light and airy and wobbles like a pannacotta! I can’t help but steal extra spoonfuls of this while Suze isn’t looking ;)
With all the food it’s probably the fullest and most satisfied my belly has ever been, and I practically roll back to the car and sink into a food coma. Thanks to Sarah for the invitation and the team at Kingsleys for your hospitality and feeding us so well!
Penguin says Feed Me dined as a guest of Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse.
Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse
The Wharf, Cowper Wharf Road
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Ph: 1300 546 475