As my shiny red heels click-clack along the boards of Woolloomooloo’s finger wharf, there are large groups of men in business suits and ladies in cocktail dresses enjoying pre-dinner drinks in the evening sun outside several of the restaurants located along there. They appear to be the beginnings of year-end work celebrations and the lovely Sarah Ashmore, Functions & Marketing Coordinator of the Pacific Restaurant Group, confirms that Kingsleys is a popular choice for these shindigs and reservations are taken well in advance. All of which is understandable given the location and its view of the city skyline and relaxing surrounds.
But the view and location are all for naught if the food doesn’t stand up to the test of customers and, on this fine evening, twelve eager and camera-wielding food bloggers with appetites at the ready. Cocktails “with a modern twist” are offered all round but I’m afraid I’m not particular au fait in this area and can only remember two things about mine: 1) it was blueberry flavoured and possibly made with sparkling wine, and 2) it was girly and easy to drink.
The sourdough I do remember, with its distinct chewy crust and dense but soft interior enjoyed with real butter. However the show is stolen by the clean flavours of the ‘Burrata mozzarella salad with heirloom tomato and basil’, as well as the ceremony by which the hand-tied ball of cream-filled cheese is hoisted precariously via tweezers from a glass and rested on a bed of awaiting colourful tomato segments and where the remaining balsamic vinegar contents are drizzled over the salad itself.
The ‘Baby octopus with chilli, salt and pepper’ are tender, tasty and not at all greasy. The ‘Steak tartare with truffle aioli and sourdough crostini’ is anointed with a cute little quail egg replete with oozy yolk, and the tartare can be requested unmixed along with an array of condiments for a do-it-yourself experience.
I thought the show had been stolen by the burrata, but that was before the Alaskan king crab legs made their entrance thus completely upstaging everything before it. With pre-cracked shells for eating convenience, the flesh is sweet, springy and briney all in one bite and the triumph is in extricating a piece of meat from a segment of shell intact in its entirety.
Beef Wellingtons, encasing 400 grams of eye fillet to serve two and which require pre-ordering, are cut in half to reveal their blushing pink centres before us and plated by Group Executive Chef, Lars Svensson. Even with the vegetable relief provided by ‘Charred asparagus with parmesan’, ‘Iceberg salad with radish and blue cheese’ (very subtle in blue cheese for those who aren’t fans of it like me!), and ‘Zucchini with peas, mint & Persian fetta’, I fail to finish the meat but make a serious dent into the puff pastry outer and mushroom duxelle. Heh, I am never one to let pastry go to waste.
Dessert time proves that the ‘Chocolate brownie & banana sundae’ is a popular, classic choice, whilst I go for the ‘Toffee cheesecake with praline ice-cream’ in all its silken, toffee-swirled wobbliness. I am also told that the ‘Crème brûlée with sticky blueberry compote’ is crack-a-licious.
Dinner ends with tea, coffee, chocolate-coated coffee beans and happily satisfied bellies while I sit back under the twinkling stars and city lights wondering which lucky people will get to enjoy their Christmas parties there.
Mademoiselle Délicieuse dined as a guest of Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse, Sydney, and the Pacific Restaurant Group courtesy of Sarah Ashmore.
Restaurant 10, 6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo NSW
Tel: 1300 546 745