Often it’s great food that a restaurant has going for it. And other times, it’s all about the location and the view. And every now and then you stumble upon a spot that combines the best of both – and the result is pretty magical. Enter Kingsleys Woolloomooloo, a steak and seafood restaurant located right on the wharf at Woolloomooloo by the sparkling harbour.
As mentioned, surf ‘n’ turf is the star of the show here – but you won’t see any slap-dashed plates of oily deep-fried crustaceans and chewy cuts of meat on head chef Leonardo Rachid Militão’s menu. Instead, you'll find premium meat and seafood from the finest sustainable producers around the country, expertly prepared and served alongside basically any condiment or side you could dream of. Seriously.
The menu is extensive, and some dishes are rich, so we say come hungry – start off fresh and light and then strap in for the main course. You should begin with oysters either with lemon, a mignonette or kilpatrick; and the Hokkaido scallop ceviche with avocado, sunrise lime, coriander and jalapeno. King prawns come with confit garlic butter, basil, chilli and lemon; meanwhile, locally caught calamari is kicked into gear by yuzu mayo, togarashi and green onion.
There are a handful of mains that aren’t steak: prawn and spanner crab linguini; charcoal roasted chicken; Moreton Bay bugs, to name three – though it would be remiss to order anything but. Militão, alongside Australian Venue Co’s (BrewDog South Eveleigh, the Winery) executive chef Jason Roberson, have curated a first-class steak menu showcasing mostly grain-fed, grain-finished or pasture-raised beef from some of Australia’s leading farms like Riverine, Westholme, 2GR and O’Connor. The result is some of the finest steaks in the country.
All cuts are cooked on a charcoal grill. Highlights include a 250g Wagyu bavette; 500g 28-day dry-aged ribeye on the bone; 1.5kg 120-day grain fed tomahawk; and 1kg six-week dry-aged T-bone bistecca. Steaks come with onion jam, snow pea leaves, smoked salt, and a bunch of mustards. Plus, you can choose your sauce from bernaise, chimichurri, red wine jus, green peppercorns, confit garlic butter and fermented chilli. Read: condiment heaven.
Kingsleys does not mess around when it comes to sides. You’ll be happy with yourself if you order the wood-fired broccolini with fermented chilli and tamari almonds; duck fat potatoes with rosemary and confit garlic; and an iceberg salad with a green goddess dressing, Persian feta, walnuts and watermelon radish.
Finish your meal on a top note with a dark chocolate fondant with hazelnut, cacao nibs and vanilla bean ice cream, or a burnt Basque cheesecake with Davidson plum.
Wines are mainly from Australia and New Zealand, and you can order a glass, carafe or bottle. The cocktail menu features signature, homegrown and classic drinks.
Whether you visit Kingsleys Woolloomooloo for lunch or dinner is up to you – but we reckon you can’t go wrong with either. By day, the place is lit up, sun-soaked, and full of energy and buzz. By night, you can breathe in the twinkling cityscape, the romance of the restaurant and feel like you could be in any one of the world’s great cities. But of course, you already are.