Steak Tartare recipe: the classic bar counter meal, done the Employees Only way

Steak tartare and an Employees Only Manhattan. Photo: Christopher Pearce

For me it’s one of those must-have dishes. It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, if I am sitting at a bar and I see the steak tartare on the menu, I have to give it a go.

The guys at Employees Only Sydney know the pull that this dish has on guests — it’s their highest selling dish.

“These are served all around the world, in all the [Employees Only] locations,” says bar manager Chris Garner. “That’s LA, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and now Sydney.”

However, as seems to be the way at Employees Only, their steak tartare recipe is very much own. It’s old-school tableside service, for a start — they mix the dish (a combination of chopped raw beef and a selection of accoutrements) for you at the bar.

Your steak tartare ingredients. Photo: Christopher Pearce

“It’s a good way to engage with your guest,” says Garner. “A big thing that we try to do here is always be chin up, facing your guest, talking to them. So the more engagement you can get the better. Every excuse you can find to engage, you need to take it. People don’t like ordering off iPads, but they’ll do it — people prefer ordering off humans for a reason and the reason is the interaction.


“That’s what makes a bar fun,” he says. Take a look over the page for the recipe and the steps, but bear in mind Garner’s advice: “You always want fresh ingredients — you don’t want to leave it three days. And getting the seasoning correct is crucial.”

Employees Only’s Steak Tartare

  • 100 grams chopped beef
  • 1 organic egg yolk
  • Dijon mustard
  • lemon wedge
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon crushed capers
  • Tabasco (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  1. Present 110 grams of chopped beef with dijon mustard and one organic egg yolk in a bowl.
  2. Squeeze citrus on top. Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Add a tablespoon or so of crushed capers.
  4. Next, ask the guest how spicy they’d like it and proceed to give the Tabasco a good go.
  5. Add two teaspoons of worcestshire sauce.
  6. Fold through all ingredients thoroughly. Serve with bread (and a damn good drink).

Adapted from the Employees Only recipe.

Steak tartare steps. Photo: Christopher Pearce