Coming off a successful Sydney Harbor Bridge climb (so fun – super touristy, but also an amazing way to see the city), I wanted to locate a restaurant that was close to the Langham (but also open — Sunday nights can be a bit tricky in Syndey). Fortunately, Scarlett (located within the Habour Rocks Hotel) was open for two hungry travelers.
The interior of the oldest restaurant in Sydney is intimate, with a loft-like feel and relatively close seating — there’s exposed brick, large mirrors, and long banquettes. With a slightly limited menu (5 starters and mains to choose from), there was still enough of interest to both Hubs and myself. Having had a late snack before our twilight climb (food trucks FTW!), we weren’t crazy hungry and so decided to split two appetizers and a main (which ended up being the exact right amount of food). The Baked Scallops (AUS$24, with miso and caviar) were absolutely outstanding – creamy, savory and perfectly cooked, but the Beef Tataki (AUS$22) did not rate as highly, as it was rather bland and perhaps a bit small for a portion.
For our main, we decided to split the Charcoal Beef (AUS$34). While the beef was cut beautifully (and cooked to a correct medium rare), the dish also includes Kimchi Risotto & Maple Jus, which all added up to a strange flavor pairing, and in my opinion didn’t work at all. With too many conflicting flavors, the steak (which should be the hero) gets lost in the mix. Honestly, a simple mash (or really, any starch) with a beautiful cut of beef is all that’s really needed here. Fortunately, the Beer battered fries with truffle and cheddar (AUS$10) were a treat and helped make up for the disappointing main.
Would I go back? Even with a less than spectacular main course, I still enjoyed our visit. Scarlett is a smaller venue, tucked away from some of the busier parts of the Rocks and worth a return visit. Prices seem reasonable and service was friendly.