It has called the eastern foreshore of Darling Harbour home for more than a decade now.
But fast taking shape just north is the much larger Barangaroo retail and commercial precinct with an earmarked 50 new restaurants when it eventually opens in 2018. So, the restaraurants at King Street Wharf are looking to reinvent themselves in anticipation of intense competition from its next door neighbour.
And with a kind invitation from The PR Partnership, Mysaucepan and I are embarking on an exciting food safari this evening at the wharf. The idea is to sample pre-dinner drinks, entrée, main and dessert across four different restaurants along Darling Harbour foreshore.
Food Safari, King Street Wharf, Sydney
Bangalow 8, King Street Wharf
We start with pre-dinner drinks in the cocktail bar at Bungalow 8, a popular watering hole for after work drinks in the heart of Sydney CBD.
It’s a seductive setting with dim lighting, chill out music and water views of Darling Harbour.
Steerson’s Steakhouse, King Street Wharf
After a few cocktails, we walk a few doors to Steerson’s Steakhouse for the first course of our food safari.
There’s a flowery bouquet on the nose of a 2014 Saltram Mamre Brook riesling though its citrusy notes so characteristic of Eden Valley is unmistakable.
Acidity is well-balanced with a good lingering finish.
Our sommelier explains this riesling is specially chosen to match the flavours of our entrée.
Tongue ‘n’ Cheek
Tongue ‘n’ Cheek is braised beef cheek encased with a ribbon of pickled cucumber topped with crisp streaky bacon. Three slices of ox tongue are so tender they take on the texture of shaved ham.
Artichoke puree offers a smooth and creamy complement to rich beefy flavours.
The Malaya, King Street Wharf
After our entrée, we walk to The Malaya, one of the oldest Malaysian restaurants in Sydney to embark on our main course. This restaurant has a history dating back to 1963 when it first opened its doors for business in the heart of George street.
It’s a Tuesday night and yet, The Malaya is pumping with Malaysian food lovers by 8pm.
Chefs in the kitchen are busy dishing out fiery Malaysian curries, sambal, laksa and satay skewers.
Bold chucks of Sichuan eggplant are stir-fried in a sweet spicy sauce with dried red chillies and cashew nuts over a bed of water spinach.
The nuts and dried chillies are definitely within the tradition of a Sichuan number while the water spinach breaks all rules as a foreign intruder. The sweetish tinge of the sauce is too bold for my liking.
Sambal King prawn
The spicy-sour taste of tamarind and chilli are obvious in a nyonya style sambal prawns though I’m not a big fan of prawns made crunchy with bicarbonated soda.
Tender chunks of beef rendang are mildly spicy in a rich coconut curry sauce garnished with thin slivers of kaffir lime leaves and deep-fried onion crisps. Perhaps too mild in the spice department while the coconut flavour takes centre stage.
Casa Ristorante Italiano, King Street Wharf
For desserts, we hopped and skipped a few steps to Casa Ristorante Italiano.
Dessert pizzas of oat crumble, caramelized apple and salted caramel ice-cream round off our food safari.
So dear readers, have you been on a food safari and if so, what is your favourite cuisine for a safari?
ChopinandMysaucepan dined courtesy of Bungalow 8, Steerson’s Steakhouse, The Malaya and Casa Ristorante Italiano. Prices are included for readers’ information.
3 Lime street, King Street Wharf
Tel: +61 2 9299 4660
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 12pm – 1am, Friday & Saturday 12pm – 3am
17 LIme street, KIng Street Wharf
Tel: +61 2 9295 5060
Opening Hours: 7 days Lunch 12pm – 3pm, Dinner 5.30pm – 10.30pm
39 Lime street, King Street Wharf
Tel: +61 2 9279 1170
Opening hours: Lunch Monday to Saturday from 12pm, Dinner Monday to Sunday from 6pm
Casa Ristorante Italiano
42 – 48 The Promenade, King Street Wharf
Tel: +61 2 9279 4115
Opening Hours: 7 days from 11.30am to late