Prime Restaurant – Steak de Force
Steakhouses are common in Australia – it’s in our culture, after all. You’ve got great ones, and you’ve got some that just kind of miss the mark. Prime happily falls into the former category, and indeed is one of the best Steakhouses in Sydney.
As I’ve said before, steak is finicky, with many cooking methods to suit various tastes. To be a great steakhouse, all methods must be executed exceptionally. Though it’s not something I can personally vouch for, since I always order mine medium, I’m confident that Prime is able to handle any request thrown at them.
Masters of meat, for sure.
Date Visited: 14/12/2012
Address: 1 Martin Pl Sydney, NSW 2000 (GPO)
Go-to dish: prime fillet
Unlike Chophouse, Prime is an avid follower of the “classy steakhouse” decor, with a very fine dining look and feel to it. Whether or not the rough limestone walls complements this view is up to you. Functional, and smart.
The restaurant is underground (in a way), so the limestone actually does serve a purpose as a natural temperature regulator. I imagine air conditioning bills would be somewhat cheaper as a result
Prime steak takes awhile to took – around 30-40 minutes, so while we wait, we were naturally given some bread starters. As you do.
The bread itself is as good a starter as any. Soft on the inside and tough on the crust. It wasn’t toasted or served warm which is unfortunate, but this seems to be becoming more and more of a pipe-dream as few places seem to do it.
What makes the bread truly stand out is the butter. Or more accurately, butters. Prime dishes up no less than three types of house-made butter, which makes it take top honours in butter provisions.
That sounded kind of lame, since it’s “just butter”, but really they make the starter of bread so much better. All unique too! The mushroom butter has the essential flavour of truffle butter, but with a stronger hint of mushroom. It’s also the creamiest of the lot. Really liked this one.
The tomato & chorizo butter is one I have not come across before. The taste of the chorizo comes across in the aftertaste and the olfactory sense of the cream, it’s like you’ve always just eaten some actual chorizo and are savouring its after-tastes. The tomato flavour is more evident, and makes the butter kind of like a tomato-ey cream.
My favourite would have been the pistachio butter. Again I haven’t come across such a butter, but this just works for me, and works so well. I guess I’m a big fan of pistachio-based stuff. If you’re like me then you’re bound to like this.
Mmm, so much buttery goodness.
The bread comes with olives and pickles as well. I didn’t eat too many of these as they aggravated a minor ulcer I had in my mouth that day. They tasted like what you would expect of olives and pickles though. Incredibly strong stuff that’s for sure. Save it for a palate cleanser later on.
The first cut of steak we got is the sirloin. Never put it past me to get a sirloin if it’s on the menu. Prime seems to source cross-bred beef for its steaks. You may automatically begin thinking along the lines of “purebred is best”, but that’s really only contextual. There are good purebreds and bad purebreds. This cross seems to be good stuff though. The steak is extraordinarily tender and full of flavour. The juices have really sunk in, and the texture is just bingo. The garlic butter that it’s served with acts as a lubricant in case it’s a bit much, but it never really is – it’s just so well cooked.
As for the fries, I must say they’re not the thick cut types I see at most steakhouses. They’re quite thin and crispy, kind of like Maccas fries, only a bit more rich in flavour. A little longer and you could almost call them shoestring fries. They’re really delicious, though you feel like you’re just soaking up oil with each mouthful.
Check out those insides – brilliant hue isn’t it?
The second cut we ordered is prime’s signature steak – the prime fillet. We ordered it as an “express” item, which meant two smaller, thinner medallions rather than one large normal cut.
Compared to the sirloin, the prime fillet is similar in flavour, but slightly rougher in texture. It’s not as much “melt-in-your-mouth” but it does have its own distinctive bite. It’s not necessarily inferior, if I could I’d have both cuts and have them both for one meal.
Oh wait, that’s pretty much what I did
But seriously, it’s just as flavoursome as the sirloin, and its texture is its own. I need not say more.
Prime is one of the best steakhouses around. I personally like Chophouse more as it has a level of variety that Prime doesn’t, but to each their own – they both make steaks that cannot surpass each other, as they’re both just that good.
Most people don’t seem to know this place – I only see one blog post covering it on Urbanspoon. That’s something that really needs to change. This restaurant, despite its high price ($$$$), deserves visits.
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three
The Good: superlative steak, awesome starter butter
What could use improvement: somewhat lower prices, variety is slightly lacklustre
I give Prime Restaurant a grand total of eight and a half Caesars out of ten – 8.5/10