Good Eats

The Meat & Wine Co @ Darling Harbour

I’m always a bit hesitant to eat at a touristy looking restaurant smack dab in the middle of tourist city  like Darling Harbour, but don’t let that deter you from going here because it is incredible.

The Meat & Wine Co first opened in South Africa in 2000 and then in Australia in 2003. There are now four restaurants in Australia. Spanning over three levels and boasting the most desired location in Darling Harbour, The Meat & Wine Co offers spectacular views of the city skyline and dazzling harbour from every floor. Exclusive line of beef; Monte Beef, wagyu, ribs and traditional African flavours

Starters

Spicy prawns

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Prawns

At first glance, I thought it was some kind of Thai curry prawns. Then upon tasting, it was made of African-influenced spices. The taste was not shy and hit you directly. Served on a bed of al dente grains, I would not call them rice because they were too crunchy for my liking.

Beef carpaccio

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Beef carpaccio

The beef was slightly seared on the outside and then sliced ever so thinly and plated. Served with a measly sprinkle of rockets and parmesan shavings, it was dressed simply with EVOO and salt. Then when you eat it, you realised the flavours were all on the seared beef. Delicious.

African farmers’ sausage skewer

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African farmers’ sausage skewer

African farmers’ sausage skewer with chakalaka and mielie pap 

This is a very lean beef sausage enough for 4 to share as an appetiser. . Mielie pap is a mash made from relatively coarse maize flour which is known as mielies in South Africa. Chakalaka is a South African vegetable relish, usually spicy, that is traditionally served with pap. The sauce and pap were quite good with roasted corn and polenta-like mash.

The Paddocks

Kangaroo loin fillet

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Kangaroo loin fillet

Kangaroo loin fillet, medium rare as recommended, harissa marinated loin fillet, butter roasted potato, tomato chutney and crispy onion rings

I do not know how kangaroo is prepared, so we opted to order one and share. Luckily we did. I imagined a lean steak, but it came as nuggets of meat. The meat itself was very lean but still tender, tasted like red meat but texture of chicken. The berry flavouring didn’t match well in my opinion. Not bad, but I think it should have been much better, maybe as a Chinese hotplate with ginger and scallions.

Monte Black wagyu 450D MB6+ ribeye

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Monte Black wagyu 450D MB6+ ribeye

Monte Black wagyu 450D MB6+ ribeye

The Meat and Wine Co is well known for their delicious steak, one of the best cuts available is the Monte Black range. Monte is the premium line of beef exclusively sourced for The Meat & Wine Co.

I had a wagyu ribeye steak done medium rare. The meat was cooked very well and the portion was hearty. The bites with a bit of fat in them from the edge were the best (steak heathen)  but the rest went the best with the green peppercorn sauce.

A strange note; the steak knives were awesomely hefty. They made very short work of cutting the steak. Which was done perfectly to my liking.

Before you order the sides, remember all mains came with hand cut fries. But we definitely need some greens to go with the meat.

Sautéed broccolini, almonds

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Sautéed broccolini, almonds

Sautéed mushrooms, olive oil

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Sautéed mushrooms, olive oil

Both sides were surprisingly small but they were tasty. Finished every last bite of the sides and left the fries and mesclun salad that came with the mains alone.

Meat and Wine Co, Darling Harbour is definitely set for a special event: spacious, dim lights and of course the view onto Darling Harbour (and Saturday night fireworks). The menu is classic steakhouse with classics like steak, ribs,  so I judged them very harshly on service. The service felt understaffed as the wait between courses was too slow. The view is alright but only worth it for Saturday fireworks.

The Meat & Wine Co (Darling Harbour)
Level 1, MAX Theatre Complex, Cockle Bay
31 Wheat Rd, Darling Harbour New South Wales 2000, Sydney

Date Visited : Sep 2014

Closed, but they are still available in the CBD at InterContinental, and a new location just down the road at Barangaroo.

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