Everyone loves a redemption story.
We had been to this venue before, and the prior score of 6.5 out of 10 declared we were “scraping the bottom of the barrel” of Steakboyz standards. Yet we returned, hoping the first visit was an anomaly, and that maybe we were a bit harsh with our inaugural review......
The venue knew this.
The Steakboyz knew this.
The scene was therefore set for a glorious redemption, like a phoenix rising from the hot coal fires from the restaurant’s much-lauded open kitchen....
The venue itself is dripping in steak inspired décor, as highlighted by the trophy deer buck bust mounted on the wall next to us. It has the feeling of a cosy mountain lodge, where a hearty piece of meat, washed down with some wine would be followed by a cleansing spirit for the soul. I was actually excited to be here, having personally missed the first visit by the Steakboyz. Yet, given all the paraphernalia, something still didn’t feel right - haunting memories of old were still present amongst others, and an air of tense apprehension - an uncomfortable buzz - permeated through the air....
Actually, it turned out that the uncomfortable buzz was due to the exorbitant length of time it took for the initial bottle of wine to be delivered - not a good start.
Entrees were ordered, and the beef short ribs scored nicely, meatballs were nice, while the chicken wings and salt & pepper squid were standard.
Our friendly waitress brought out all the cuts to be viewed before ordering. It was noted there wasn’t much marbling on the 6+ wagyu, but we had faith the finished product would prove our doubts wrong.
7 steaks were finally ordered (1 with an egg for a Portuguese style craving, and though not a menu item, was quickly accommodated by friendly staff).
From here, let me put the same amount of effort and care into the remainder of this review as what the chefs took in preparing our steaks.
6 out of 7 steaks were incorrectly and inconsistently cooked.
Medium rare orders resulted in either very rare for some or very medium for others.
Not for 1 or 2 people mind you, but 6 from 7 steaks were poorly cooked!
The only person who enjoyed their steak was the one who ordered the 500g wagyu - the hardest to cook (maybe chef’s attention was focused on this steak, or the cooking of the egg threw their timing completely).
Sides were ok.
We decided to finish off with the obligatory scotch to wash down the mains. After careful deliberation, including bottle inspections and a misunderstanding by staff of their menu offerings, 7 identical scotches were ordered. Would you believe that only 4 were delivered as there apparently and unexpectedly was not enough for all. Rather than tell us there was not enough for all, they went to the trouble to pour 4 scotches and bring to a table of 7. I have nothing else to say.
Unfortunate, really unfortunate, we were hoping for a different outcome to the first visit.
Will there be a third time lucky outing?
Overall scoring as below (out of 10):
Hunter and Barrel
Tenancy 303, Cockle Bay Wharf
Sydney NSW 2000