Woodcut restaurant in Barrangaroo, Crown Sydney is an expansive restaurant on the waterfront. As you enter the Crown Complex, Woodcut can be found on the ground floor. Staff will direct you to your tables where you’re met by your waitstaff for the night. The dining room features separate open kitchens, catered to different cooking methods; steam, fire, smoke and ice (for the raw selection). This is a great concept and as you walk by you get a glimpse of the chefs at work, and also inspiration for what to order.
The restaurant comes to us by Sunny and Ross Lusted (ex bridge room) and they’ve put together a great concept and food menu. It showcases Australian produce, cooked with wood, charcoal and steam. This is how the menu is organised; and it is extensive, which is a good thing for you can return to try more.
There’s also plenty of ways to experience this with regular dining, chef’s table experiences, private rooms or just a drink at the bar. The space is also very stylish, tones of wood, green leather chairs, and large stunning art pieces.
Staff provide genuine and friendly hospitality and we liked that Ross Lusted was making his way around the restaurant to chat to diners. Although he didn’t make it to our table, since almost every table was waving him over and he certainly had a busy night of meet and greets. Our waitstaff were all competent with their knowledge and service skills, and gave recommendations where asked.
Whilst there aren’t many written reviews around as yet on the food, certainly word on the street was to order some of the black garlic bread. Woodcut’s grilled Tasmanian black garlic bread was a decent serving of crusty bread lathered with with a black garlic paste / butter that made this a very tasty dish and the aroma coming from it was phenomenal.
It wasn’t the only bread for they also have slow ferment sourdough, cultured butter wood oven sesame bread, and one of the best Miche boule loaves, served with cultured butter and Woodcut smoked salt. Bread is a must order to start with, take your pic, for it is all excellent.
Our dining party of four opt to share multiple dishes so we could get a good experience of a number of dishes. Our favourite was the cooked marron, served in a buttery sauce ugh tomato, purslane, palm hearts. It was perfectly cooked and certainly made us want more, for this was only one small piece.
The “brick chicken”, named so, for it is normally cooked below a brick (here a steel plate) to give the crispy top layer. Served on a cast iron pan with lime, currants and little barberries to provide a good acidity to the protein.
From the ash grill, we sampled a few things – a Wagyu beef skewer flavoured with lime chilli, green onion as well as the pressed bean curd skewer, enoki and cucumber. It was hard to decide between the octopus and squid, but we opted for the line caught squid, citrus ash with squid ink oil. The squid was nice and soft, grilled perfectly.
There’s certainly a great selection of meats, some of it fetching a price tag of $195 (1kg 270 day aged T-Bone). Much of the meat is from New England, Glen Innes and South Gippsland. We opted for the grass-fed, dry-aged, bone-in O’Connor sirloin from South Gippsland ($55) cooked at our request medium rare. If you’re not after beef, there’s also seafood, duck and eggplant done in the wood oven. The food is amazing, though probably not best you visit if you’re on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
There’s quite a lot of sides to accompany your meal and the salt baked potato with potato cream and green onion oil is a winner. Soft potato with a flavour packed exterior, it was a great accompaniment to our mains. In addition we loved the wood roasted pumpkin, which was essentially almost half a pumpkin, beautifully charred, topped with pumpkin seeds and grains.
We were too full by desserts, but they didn’t necessarily catch our eye, with plenty of fresh fruit on ice featuring on the menu. These dishes are literally pieces of fruit resting on a bowl of ice, so we couldn’t warrant that expenditure. Though there are also a few pastry options and the cherry and meringue dish looked great. In addition, cheeses are also an option.
Drink wise, the wine and cocktail list is extensive, celebrating a wide range of provenances, topographical regions and flavours. We opt for cocktails on our visit, with the MAVERICK – Starward Nova single malt whisky, Poor Toms imbroglio, Antica Formula, and charred orange and the venue as also kind enough to make up a delicious mockail. If you aren’t sure what to drink, seek the guidance of the Sommelier.
A great meal all round and we look forward to revisiting to try more of the menu, especially some of the raw dishes when I’m no longer pregnant and can eat it.
Note – wear your mosquito repellent. As the restaurant is open to the air and nearby the water, these bugs are in full force and distracted from our dining experience.
Level 1/1 Barangaroo Ave
Barangaroo NSW 2000