The Wollongong Local: Steamers is King of the Hill

I promise, not all of my articles will be based on high-end restaurants, but recently we have had a few special occasions, and Debutant wasn’t the only restaurant that impressed.

We had been to Steamers Bar & Grill before, and although the entrees were memorable, the rest of the experience wasn’t what we had hoped. Forward-fast a few years, and we decided to try it again, and I am so delighted that we did.

Photo Credit: Steamers Bar & Grill Facebook

From the second we walked in, you could tell somebody had made significant changes in this restaurant. We had a special request on our booking for a quiet area as our children don’t cope well with loud ambient noise. My words over the phone were clearly well documented. When seated in a small, quiet, yet open-air area around the side, our host explained her thinking in seating us in that particular spot — which was perfect, by the way. It was evident that an extensive amount of consideration was taken when allocating our booking. Our host also asked if we would like the music lowered, which we did not as it was ideal as it was. When sharing my appreciation with her later on, I found out that she had also tried to seat quieter parties around us to assist with our needs.

As a Mum, someone that tries so hard to help your child have an enjoyable experience is worth their weight in gold.

Of course, I had studied the menu at a considerable length from home. I knew that both the wood-fired chilli salted calamari and wood-fired king prawns were going to be on the list. I remembered them from those few years beforehand and never forgot their excellence. But what came after was a complete surprise.

Photo Credit: Steamers Bar & Grill Facebook

Plate by plate, we ate our way through a culinary collection of worldly experiences. Bao Buns, Saffron Fried Cauliflower, Israeli spiced lamb, Moroccan Braised Beef Short Rib, and Peking Duck. Each one, perfectly flavoured with herbs and spices authentic to their country of origin.

Every dish that came to the table was a hit with all four of us, and we all left more than satisfied. For me, it wasn’t just the food that was incredible; it was more about the service. Not only were the issues we had previously experienced nowhere in sight, but the care and attention paid to our particular circumstances made an impression on me that will keep us coming back to Steamers.

I’ve been in situations where despite booking months in advance, my usual request was met with a table in the centre of the room followed by a judgemental stare and hollow apology. Even when available tables off to the side were clearly visible.

You can’t see autism, and instead of making us feel insignificant, the host on-site that day made me feel like we mattered. Like our family and my children mattered. No questions asked. It’s a rare feeling in the world of special needs, but when it comes, you never forget.

Photo Credit: Steamers Bar & Grill Facebook

In summary, with a menu that has been curated to perfection and an attitude towards service that is beyond reproach, Steamers Bar & Grill is definitely a stand out in the Wollongong food scene.

Be sure to give it a try, and don’t forget to get those wood-fired king prawns, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Zoë Wood is an international travel writer from the local Illawarra area. Contact her here: Facebook –  Instagram  –  Email

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