So just how good is the World’s Best Steak? It’s a reasonable question, given it costs a pretty penny – $130 buys you 180g – and so in the spirit of journalistic enquiry we ordered the Jack’s Creek Farm sirloin from Black Bar & Grill to find out.
No, that’s not a self-appointed title. Jack’s Creek Farm have won the top gong at consecutive World Steak Challenge competitions for their F2 Wagyu, which means it’s 75 per cent Wagyu, with 25 per cent Angus beef in the mix.
At Black, Head chef Dany Karam smokes your precious serve for ten minutes over cherry wood before grilling it over ironbark coals. It’s seasoned with Murray River pink salt and glazed with rendered fat that they trim from the meat, and the result is four utterly perfect slices. They come caramelised and salty on the outside and so juicy in the middle that you get a dopamine hit every time you bite down. The flavour is as pure and clean as the NSW pasture the cattle are raised on, and it’ll make you close your eyes, lean back, and groan quietly while pleasure firecrackers explode in your brain.
In saying that, would you have been equally happy with twice as much of the medium rare flat iron Wagyu that has a deeper, earthier flavour and a silkier texture? Probably. But then, you can’t say you ate the World’s Best Steak. Depends what bragging rights are worth to you.
The wood grill is the major drawcard of this dark, moody restaurant with views out over Pyrmont Bay, which makes it popular with tourists and romantically inclined diners who just want the kitchen to play the hits. The Port Douglas oysters are extra plump and creamy; there are 12 steaks on the menu; and the wine list is full of elegant, food-friendly drops by the glass, like a South Australian cab sav from Heartland that has a nose full of blackberries and plums but a soft, suede finish.
Your dining experience here revolves around what comes off the coals, so sides might be thick, creamy mac’n’cheese spiked with tarragon, or simple broccolini spears with butter and almonds. You can choose three for $27, so add the cos salad. It’s taking cues from a baby Caesar and its fresh crunch is the hi-hat to a meal of deep bass beats.
Order the jerky. The classic roadside snack might seem incongruous in such salubrious surrounds, but it’s the best we’ve ever had. They marinate the high-fat Wagyu for a full day before drying it, and the result is tender and sweet spiced in a way that reminds us of a concentrated massaman curry.
Everyone’s telling us to eat less meat, and to eat better meat. We took that statement to its zenith and ate the best steak in the world, and we don’t regret a single bite.