I’m sure I’ve walked past Pepper Lunch on George Street hundreds of times. Every time I go past I curiously peer past its yellow doors, glance quickly at the menus mounted on the exterior walls and try to convince whoever I’m with that we should be eating here! Unfortunately for me, not many have shared my enthusiasm and curiosity for Pepper Lunch, that is until Squishies suggests it as a quick dinner stop before we go to watch a movie.
Pepper Steak has been a staple on George St for about 2 years, it’s hard to miss the yellow awnings as you walk past on George St. To those unfamiliar with the concept, Pepper Steak specializes in meat dishes which are served raw on their own sizzling platter. The platter is super heated thus cooking your food for you at your table.
I’m not totally unfamiliar with the concept and have had something very similar in Akihabara a number of years ago, on my recent return to Japan I was devastated to find that my favourite food court had actually been demolished! Oh sad days. With only two of us at the table we aren’t going for quantity with this round. Squishies, a seasoned pro (complete with loyalty card!) goes for her usual, the “Tokusen” Rib Eye Steak, after much scouring of the menu I go for the aptly named, ‘J-Curry’.
There’s nothing like the pop-sizzle of a steak on a grill and that’s exactly what greats us when the Tokusen Rib Eye comes out, convenient pre-cut into slices for easy consumption cooking is a matter of minutes. Squishies frets a little as I take my photos worrying that the steak with be overcooked, the moment the camera comes down she is all action and the steak pieces are quickly flipped over with a renewed sizzleeeee. I steal a bite and for a moment am genuinely taken aback at how tender and perfectly cooked the steak is. The seasoning is light with only the appropriate Pepper dusting and a generous smear of mustard.
The Curry plate definitely wouldn’t win any prizes for visual appeal but at this moment is exactly what I’m craving despite the hot weather. When it arrives at the table the platter is so hot I can actually see bubbles forming in the curry sauce, very carefully I begin the task of mixing everything together. Rather than steak, the J-Curry is served with a whole Hamburger patty which sits on the plate, soaking up as much curry as it possibly can. Squishies tries a bite of the curried rice and nearly chokes, the pepper flavouring is more than generous and while I love it, it sends her groping for a glass of water.
No meal is complete without dessert, and seeing the lack of dessert options on the Pepper Lunch menu we continue onto Azuma Cafe, which luckily is situated just on the other side of the theatre. I’ve been a big fan of the Vanilla/Green Tea mixed yoghurt and settle on a serving while Squishies goes for the cake option. I usually adore the Cakes at Azuma and have previously enjoyed the Strawberry Layer Cake, but found it almost dry this time around, perhaps a victim of sitting around too long?
Whatever the case, Azuma Cafe provides a quiet place for us to relax while waiting for the film to begin. In case you’re wondering, we went to see ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ which was simultaneously charming and disturbing. Definitely not a film for the kiddies!
537 George St
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9264 3222
Ground Floor Regent Place Shopping
501 Greorge Street Sydney NSW 2000
In The Press
Check it out, we’re in the papers! We were thrilled when Howie’s local paper called us up asking for an interview even though their final photo choice provided us with much hilarity (Photoshop submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org).