Outback Grilling Done Right
One of the greatest things about traveling is the concept of ‘living like the locals’. Getting to the small hidden gems of a city or country is, in my opinion, the best way to see a place and what makes the best memories. From that point of view, I believe that the best hidden-gems always, and I do mean always, come in the form of food and drink.
I know that the best pizza in the world is in fact in Italy and not New York City, as most New Yorkers claim. The best Fish Tacos I’ve ever had isn’t from the local Mexican restaurant, but rather from a street vendor on the Baja of California. And I’ve never had a better Pisco Sour than the one I bought for a quarter in a small, back-alley bar in Cuzco, Peru. I don’t consider myself a connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but I am certainly willing to give everything a try. This is especially true if I know that I can’t get whatever is on the menu back home.
And it is for this very reason that while I was vacationing in Sydney, Australia that I knew at some point I was going to try kangaroo.
‘On a hippie trail…’
Having friends living in the area that you are vacationing in always helps, especially when it comes to the ‘hidden gems’. Unfortunately, for this situation not one person that I asked could help me out with any recommendations.
I guess dining on kangaroo is one of those things that gets chalked up to ‘gimmick’ status rather than ‘everyday dining option’. Nevertheless, a quick Google.com search lead me to the downtown central business district, to the waterfront of Darling Harbor.
I’m Angus is an award winning steak house boasting the finest Australian beef and freshest seafood. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lover of ribs, steak, chicken, or seafood, I’m Angus’ chefs are going to absolutely win you over with their knowledge of the best of the best when it comes to all of the cuts.
The interior is simple in design, but very welcoming and cozy. The tables are a bit close together, but not so much where you’re dining with other patrons. I’m Angus, like the other properties under the Nick’s Restaurant & Bar Group can be hired out special and completely stripped down to the bare essentials to customize any exclusive use function. But let’s get back to the food…
‘I said to the man, “Are you trying to tempt me?”’
For me, I went directly to the section of the menu titled ‘Something a Little Different’. The first item listed was the ‘Seared Kangaroo Loin’…that was almost too easy.
I had to ask the waiter what the best cooking practice was for this category of game as I had no idea if it needed to be medium-rare or well-done. His only response was ‘How do you like your steak?’ - which is all you need to know about kangaroo meat apparently.
It was served with two sweet potato fritters, a generous serving of bok choy and a red wine jus for dipping or drizzling, whichever happens to be your preference. Wine parings were also an adventure as the wine list comprises of many Australian wines of both white and red varieties but if that doesn’t suite your palate, then I will easily suggest one of the local craft beers as an alternative or one of their amazing cocktails.
I did see my favored Italian Aperol Spritz and very refreshing Pimms, but this was a special night out, so I opted for something that would satisfy not only my penchant for new and exciting things, but also my sweet tooth…something I could keep drinking through dinner and into dessert – The Salted Caramel Martini.
Australian ‘True blue’
When it arrived, the kangaroo loin was the thickest cut of meat I have ever ordered and probably weighed in at around six ounces. Which was plenty by my estimation.
Slicing into the thickest section first, it was tender and juicy. Completely the opposite of what I had expected it to be. Seared to perfection, it nearly melted in your mouth with each morsel with a flavor that was neither ‘gamey’ nor ‘odd’ in any way that I could compare to. In the end, if you didn’t tell me it was kangaroo, I would have assumed it was a grass-fed strip loin that had been botched at the carving station of the butchers.
The sweet potato fritters and bok choy were excellent counterparts to the kangaroo, offering a bit of texture balance to the dense loin. The portions were absolutely spot on. Completing the local delicacy wasn’t difficult, but I certainly wouldn’t have wanted anything larger in terms of ‘size of cut’.
Come back another Day
Dessert was an easy convincing. A second round of martinis were ordered. If you’d like to try your hand at making your own, you’ll need Stoli Salted Karamel vodka, Licor 43, White Crème de Cacao with milk, pure cream, Monin caramel syrup and Pink Murray river salt flakes. See why it’s good?
Literally, ‘candy in a glass’ the gentleman at the neighbouring table took one look at mine, and asked for a sip – which I obliged – and immediately admitted that he had chosen poorly with a beer.
But feeling that I needed something a bit more refreshing, and with the recommendation of the waiter, I was pleasantly surprised by the Ice Cream Sunday. It was simple in design, but exceptional in overall satisfaction. The vanilla bean and praline ice cream was drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with nut brittle. Add in a couple of sliced strawberries and you’ll be surprised as well.
Maybe this with the martini is just overkill as each on their own nullifies the doldrums of the night. I’m Angus is great for families or those special intimate nights celebrating all of life’s moments.
Until next time; ‘Hooroo.’
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday
Lunch: 11:30am – 3:00pm
Dinner: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday – Saturday
Lunch: 11:30am – 3:00pm
Dinner: 5:00pm – 11:00pm
11:30am – 10:00pm
The Promenade, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney
Phone: +61 1300 989 989
Online: I'm Angus Steakhouse