Alfie’s Review: Bistecca Team’s Latest Steakhouse Bets Big On Sirloin
— 31 October 2023

Alfie’s Review: Bistecca Team’s Latest Steakhouse Bets Big On Sirloin

— 31 October 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

Although Bistecca and The Gidley — two of Sydney’s definitive steakhouses — are dimly lit, stylish and appropriately grand, upon review, Liquid & Larder’s latest bovine-focused offering Alfie’s is as casual as they come.

A loud, piercing blend of 90s and contemporary hip-hop pours from the ceiling, the light-filled brutalist space is plain and underdressed, with few notable details aside from a butchery window and a visible meat aging room, and the menu has just one main.

Yes — one main.

Liquid & Larder has taken a simple, highly efficient approach for Alfie’s. You’ve got a $38, 220-gram sirloin taken from the group’s staple order, Riverine Black Angus, and then a healthy list of accoutrements like fries served with gravy, bubble & squeak, and a cheesy potato gratin. Aside from a tight list of desserts — get the treacle tart, trust me — there’s no other food on the menu.

It’s a risk. If the sirloin isn’t up to scratch then Alfie’s is a failure. Thankfully, Liquid & Larder have very little to worry about as they trail the “do one thing and do it well” dictum.

alfie's review

The pitch is that a medium-rare sirloin will arrive at your table in 15 minutes. That’s the unique selling point for Alfie’s so, on my visit, I took review of the time between ordering and delivery. 14 minutes was the result.

Instead of opening a premium eatery and offering a quick prix fixe menu for busy office workers in the area, Alfie’s is an entire show that lives and dies in an hour. Clearly, it’s for the corporate crowd who can’t afford to take another long lunch but don’t want to compromise on quality.

And while it’s more affordable, don’t mistake sirloin for compromise.

Liquid & Larder take steak very seriously. Look for the bathrooms and you’ll pass an on-site ageing room where whole sections of beef sourced from Haverick Meats sit on a shelf, wet ageing for a month before the carcasses are broken down at the on-site butchery. T-bone goes to The Gidley. Rib-eye goes to Bistecca. The sirloin stays at Alfie’s.

alfie's review

Consistency is the result of such commitment. When you’re opening a restaurant on the same street as Hubert, Rockpool and Chophouse, and just mere streets from the great Bentley Bar & Restaurant, you need to have a product that’s going to satisfy each and every time.

Once the steak arrives, it does so on a plate that looks as if it was custom-designed for partitioned TV dinners of the meat-and-three-veg variety. There’s a space carved out specially for the steak, like a culinary jigsaw puzzle with the main piece already slotted into place. The rest of the plate is completely bare, leaving room for all the shared sides.

Because the meat is wet-aged, the sirloin has a more intense, robust flavour. But the sides can be hit or miss. Those fire-roasted baby carrots are tough and flavourless, the potato gratin could stand to be a bit softer, and the curry sauce that comes with the hot chips is a bit too watery. Yet, most of what’s on the table pairs well with the steak. The risoni of blistered tomatoes, peas, asparagus, and green tomato is garden-fresh and delicious, as is the flavourful cucumber salad.

The speedy European steakhouses of East London serve as inspiration for Alfie’s and Liquid & Larder is clearly the team to pull something like this off for Sydney. I’m not sure how they landed on the location but it works perfectly. Here is an approachable steakhouse sitting directly opposite one of Sydney’s most premium meat meccas (Chophouse). Not only that but Hubert, Bentley and Rockpool are, as mentioned above, all in very close proximity.

And Alfie’s stands tall amidst these culinary powerhouses. It’s somewhere I’d gladly return to, given the attractive price point plus the fact that you know exactly what you’re doing to get, and how long it will take you to get it.

I doubt we’ll see more places like this open up around Sydney but Alfie’s is a very good start for a city that isn’t used to these kinds of one-note restaurants.

Enjoyed this Alfie’s review? Take a look at some of our other Sydney dining content.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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