Char was one of our favourite eats in Darwin. Our concierge had directed us to Darwin's pre-eminent steak specialist, and we were managed to wrangle a last-minute lunch seating.
Located on the esplanade, the seafront restaurant was scenic, which makes up for the lack of parking. The food, while pricy-ish, was superb, and service was upbeat and cordial.
The Roasted Hervey Bay Scallops (A$27) may have been a little on the scanty-side, but the crispy pork belly lent heft. A shaved apple & fennel salad gave lift while salted chilli caramel sauce grounded the appetizer-sized surf-and-turf.
The NT Barramundi Fillet (A$40), beautifully bronzed, was dunked in a delightful saffron veloute choc-a-bloc with tiger prawns and Tasmanian mussels. The mussels had a grainy dullness to them, but the prawns were springy and sweet.
The Ranger's Valley Rib Fillet (A$66 for 350gm) hails from Glen Innes NSW, grain-fed for 300 days and aged 30 months, so the meat has a caramel cereal flavour. This was decadent, indulgent and sinfully delicious. Sides of roasted pumpkin, onion jam, walnut & and goat's cheese salad and a sauce of red wine jus complemented the slick marbling of the meat.
The Rocket Salad (A$9) was flecked with parmesan and almond flakes, and tossed in a chardonnay dressing that provided levity. So simple yet so yummy.
The Roasted Field Mushrooms (A$10), woodsy and juicy, was sprinkled with crumbed marinated feta, pangratto, and pea shoots. Well-balanced and scrumptious.
The restaurant has a large outdoor patio, which is great for people watching.
But the outdoors can get humid during the warmer months, which the tables indoors would be much more comfy then.
70 Esplanade (cnr of The Esplanade and Knuckey St)
Darwin City, NT 0800
Tel: +08 8981 4544
Open Saturdays to Tuesdays from 6pm to 11pm;
Wednesdays to Fridays from 12noon to 11pm