Dim Sum, Malaysian, Singaporean and Decently Priced Steak in Sydney
I'm heading to Sydney after a few days in Melbourne and am looking for recommendations for these foods. As the for steak, I've discovered that the US$ is not doing so well and am finding that we are going over our food budget, so I'd appreciated recommendations for a steak dinner at around $150AUD for 2 people, Also, when we read that Wagyu beef is on the menu does that mean that the Wagyu beef is the real thing? In the U.S. references to Wagyu beef almost always mean that the beef is Wagyu-like.
Steak is tricky on a budget as the best raw material is so expensive. IMO you do get what you pay for and I would rather spend a little extra and get one outstanding steak than meet my budget and compromise. I would recommend "Rockpool Bar & Grill" and order carefully. Even their cheaper steaks are great.
In good places Wagyu is real Wagyu and Australia is a big Wagyu producer so lots of it is local. If you get to a good butcher they may stock it ($140 plus a kg). I think there is a lot of bad Wagyu around though and possibly not all Wagyu is true Wagyu (given how much there is). In particular I have seen (eaten) some Wagyu burgers that were pretty horrid, maybe the meat maybe the technique. One place to try a Wagyu burger is the bar at Rockpool Bar & Grill - that is very good, although my partner prefers the grain fed.
I don't like Aussie dim sum (that is a sweeping statement!) but if you are keen try Zilver or Marigold are decent, or Din Tai Fung for steamed dumplings (or Shanghai Tang). For Malaysian try Mamak for its Roti dishes or The Malaya for a broader choice (you need to book). Sorry I can't really help with Singaporean or Nonya food in Sydney.
Mamak rotis are good but for laksa, go to Malay Chinese, the cramped space at the basement of Carlton Arcade in the city, opposite the MLC centre for a vibe of Malaysia, if that is still there. Otherwise, go to the posher (if you can call it that) sister joint - I think it's on Hunter St.
So is the burger at Rockpool Bar & Grill only available at the bar with no reservations necessary? The bar menu does look good and reasonable. How's the steak sandwich?
Just curious, but is the chef inspired by Zuni Cafe in San Francisco? I see Zuni pickles on the menu and noted that they have a roasted chicken with a bread salad just like Zuni cafe when I looked at the menu at their Melbourne location.