A very long time ago, Minh’s savoury broccoli and cheese muffin won her a $150 voucher at Kingsley’s Crab and Steak House… it was some time last year, really (but it feels like an age!). Despite our enthusiasm of going to Kingsley whenever either of us brought the voucher up, nothing actually eventuated. But there is nothing like a looming expiry date to really get things going and despite the terrible weather and even worse traffic, we eventually were sitting in Kingsley perusing the menu.
Who could resist from ordering Jamon Iberico? We couldn’t! The super thin slices of cured meat were deliciously salty, slightly chewy and went wonderfully with the crisp bread sticks and mild-flavoured olives (my favourite kind, I realised).
The terrine on its own had such a strong meaty flavour that it made me hesitate with over-indulging in it. However, when it was eaten with the bread stick, the meaty flavour wasn’t so overwhelming. The crunchy, sweet carrots and slight nuttiness from the pistachios also helped to break up the overly meatiness of the terrine.
I think I have a weakness for soft, creamy cheese, while Minh I think has a weakness for burrata in general. So when we saw this on the menu, there wasn’t much discussion besides gasping: “They’ve got burrata!!!” and that was that (poor Dung just had to go along with the two cheese-crazed foodies).
The salad was generously doused with a 25-year old balsamic vinegar, which added a wonderfully rich sweet-sour flavour, but the obvious star of the dish was the burrata.
It was gloriously creamy and super soft; its subtle flavour didn’t seem to be overpowered by the balsamic, rather it was enhanced by the vinegar and juicy tomatoes. Meanwhile, the crusty ciabatta was the perfect foundation to go with the slight tang of tomatoes and creamy, smooth burrata.
Best cheese salad I’ve ever had.
We were so fixated on having crab that we barely gave a thought to anything else, so when it came out I think we just about managed to withhold cackles of delight as we converged onto the legs.
I’m a claw girl myself, as the relative amount of effort required to extract the meat is a lot less than any other part (for a lot more too), but I gotta say, these legs were damn fine: they were utterly juicy and so sweet! With a dash of zesty lemon juice and a dollop of tangy (yet creamy) mayonnaise, these legs were easily the best chilled crab I’ve had. They were also surprisingly meaty.
The only downside to such succulent crab meat were the spikes on the legs – they were downright lethal! Peppered amongst our mmm’s of appreciation were sounds of quiet “ow”s. Those little moments of pain was worth it though.
We couldn’t go past having a chunk of meaty beef goodness – though just between you and me, we were contemplating a steak each… okay, maybe it was just me planning to have my own steak.
We chose garlic butter as the accompanying condiment (at $2.90 per condiment or sauce), but in hindsight, I’m not sure if we made the right choice. Perhaps by the time we got around to eating the steak, it had cooled a bit too much and so the glob of butter just kind of sat there instead of melting into a gooey puddle of deliciousness. Other than that little gripe I had, the condiment was quite nice, but the steak I did quite adore.
The scotch fillet was scrumptiously fatty and had an almost melt-in-your-mouth succulence to it. Being perfectly seasoned, I fancy that it didn’t really need the condiment at all.
To be honest, with the options available, I was also tossing up between a steak and a fish – as I automatically seem to think fish to be healthier than steak, but steak… well… it’s just tastier, ain’t it? Luckily for me, the girls wanted to try both and surely between us three we would be able to finish both mains (and indeed we did haha).
The barramundi was well cooked and seasoned with a scrumptiously crispy skin. I love broccoli and it’s a vegetable that I don’t see often at fancy-ish restaurants (I guess it’s too mundane), so I was quite pleased to see it here (they also went so well together!). I was surprised that there was no heat to the chilli, but it added a subtle sweetness to the dish.
Looking back, we might have overdone it with the sides, but at the time it didn’t seem like it! The Young Greens with Walnut and Shiraz Dressing sounded pretty delicious, but I think we were a bit disappointed with it. While it was good, it wasn’t as great as we thought it would be.
Meanwhile the Roast Eggplant with Persian Fetta and Chilli Jam was as scrumptious as it sounded. As we didn’t have dedicated plates to eat from, we used the mains plates and the eggplant salad bowl instead (actually we didn’t think of asking for spare plates). Minh and Dung were a bit disappointed that there were barely any chilli jam at all on their portion of the salad, but we quickly worked that most of it was left in the salad bowl… which I was eating from. Go figure that the one that’s least chilli tolerant got all the chilli! It was pretty spicy too, infecting everything that it touched. By the end of our mains course, my lips were bright red and felt like it was on fire. It was worth it though. Nom nom nom.
Minh was pretty excited when the Roasted Bone Marrow came out, but all we could taste was garlic butter. Though there was a richness and depth behind the flavour that normally isn’t present in just butter.
The Mashed Potato was absolutely divine. F and I can make a mean mashed potato, but this was really, really good. It wasn’t the fluffy kind; it was slightly dense with a creaminess that was to die for.
The roasted pear was little crisper than we expected (I guess we were thinking more of the poached softness), but all was forgiven when we discovered that hidden inside its hollow core was a big fat sweet prune swimming in decadent, warm dark chocolate sauce. The warm Anglaise sauce was the perfect counterpoint to the chocolate and rounded off the dessert nicely.
As delicious as the roasted pear was, it came a far second to the sticky date and walnut pudding. I’m not the biggest fan of sticky date pudding and I always seem find something else more enticing on the dessert menu, but I was so glad that we had ordered it – despite the fact we were aiming to order something the table next to us had that looked pretty epic and this wasn’t it.
While the icy cold vanilla bean ice cream was pretty good and the chocolate date and walnut cake moist and quite scrumptious, it was the sweet, warm toffee sauce that tied everything together in an explosion of gooey, rich mouthful that made this dessert absolutely divine. We practically inhaled the dessert.
Kingsley is situated on Cowper Wharf, right next to Otto. Its interior is almost warehouse-like, but with a warmness that just seems to welcome you with open arms.
For the most part, we loved the dishes here and if there’s any dish we’d come back for, it would definitely be that fantastic sticky date and walnut pudding.
Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse
10/6 Cowper Wharf Rd
Woolloomooloo, NSW, 2011
Ph: 1300 546 475