Is swanky Sydney steakhouse Poetica the Rockpool Bar & Grill of the north?


Article originally appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide to read the full review please head to

For all the blue-chip properties around North Sydney, Kirribilli and Neutral Bay, there aren’t too many places where you can gorge on steaks more expensive than a Paul McCartney ticket and drink the appropriate shiraz. A bistro for steak frites, sure – and there’s no end of chips-or-salad pub rump specials – but any north-of-the-bridge locals jonesing for high-end wagyu have long needed to venture into the city or grill their own.

At least, I would have said that until Poetica opened in North Sydney’s central business hub four weeks ago. It hasn’t just filled the fancy steak gap: it’s stuffed to the brim with hulking sirloins, rib-eyes and tomahawks to share. Floor-to-ceiling fridges display gnarly cuts of maroon-red beef tagged with the farm of origin and dry-ageing date, some waiting more than a month to be cooked over charcoal and served with a herb sauce so green it almost looks radioactive.

Etymon Projects – the group in charge – also operates The Charles Grand Brasserie & Bar in the CBD and hatted Lavender Bay bistro Loulou. They know a thing or two about stiff drinks and French sauces. The team also knows how to gussy up a room and the long, first-level dining area is decked out in soft oak and steel-blue hues. A semi-concealed bar is impressively comfortable and a beaut spot to hide out with a smoky house martini ($26) and half a dozen oysters ($46). Is this what the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge feels like?

Culinary director Sebastien Lutaud has worked with chef Connor Hartley-Simpson to create a menu that’s more contemporary than Etymon’s other venues. A lot of fuss is made about the open kitchen’s charcoal oven and wood-burning hearth, and the steaks, such as a 400-gram wagyu sirloin ($120) from King River in North Queensland, are indeed full of potent, concentrated flavour.

To read the full review please head to