The first thing you’re encouraged to do at Walter’s Steakhouse is wait. If you have time, a bow-tied bartender will see you to a deep-set couch in a sitting room lifted from a European country villa. There you might enjoy a Martini or a signature Mineral House cocktail before you’re led into a main dining room of white marble tables and Tasmanian oak.
It’s this homey and attentive service that perhaps best defines Walter’s Steakhouse, which last month opened in the iconic Old Mineral House premises formerly occupied by Restaurant Two.
Owners DAP & Co (The Gresham, Popolo, Heya Bar) have completely reimagined the space – the only detail remaining is the wooden floor. The separate bar and dining areas are divided by an ironbark partition, creating a sense of anticipation while you wait for a table.
The restaurant is named after Sir Walter Hill, the first superintendent of the City Botanic Gardens that sit opposite the restaurant. A portrait of Hill hangs above the bar.
“He [found] swampland and created the gardens,” says Sean Waters, the restaurant’s marketing manager. “He was not just important for botanical heritage, but also for agriculture. [Hill was] known for bringing the macadamia nut to the attention of the world. The first jacaranda trees in Australia he imported into the gardens next door.
“The fact that we’re a steakhouse, having that dichotomy between plant and beast is complementary."
The botanical theme reaches inside, with walls painted with Australian natives and floor-length curtains detailed in patterns of flowers. Interior designer Anna Spiro has covered a wall in framed botanical drawings, paintings of hunting dogs and still lifes.
All the meat on the menu is cut and dry-aged on premises, the house specialty an Australian grain-fed porterhouse beef. Chef Adam Herbert regularly samples meat to get the best product, prioritising quality over origin. The grain-fed beef delivers an earthier taste, the higher fat content adding a particular flavour profile.
The bar is managed by Brendon Osmers (previously of The Gresham). Beyond the signature cocktail and selection of Martinis there’s a lengthy list of wines, liqueurs and beers.
Walter’s Steak House
219 Alice Street, Brisbane
(07) 3012 8640
Mon to Sat 12pm–3pm, 5.30pm–Late Bar:
Mon to Sat 11.30am–12.00am