MPD Steak Kitchen
MPD Steak Kitchen’s head chef, Chris Bonello, was group executive chef at Vue de Monde. The 250-strong wine cellar, which floats above the bar in a climate-controlled fishtank, was filled by Banjo Harris Plane, formerly of Attica and currently of Bar Liberty (and twice named Australia’s Best Sommelier).
Its owners, Victor and Robert Zagame, poured more than $3 million into the former nightclub. It’s fitted out with clam-shaped leather banquettes, dark-wood tables with brass inlays, and a Grillworks Infierno, an American-made wood-fired grill whose flames touch almost everything on the menu. The restaurant uses wood-fire only, no charcoal. It burns native Australian ironbark, and mallee, and goes through a tonne of wood a week.
The focus, as the name suggests, is beef. Premium cuts come from brand-name suppliers such as David Blackmore, Rangers Valley Black Market and O’Connors. Along with the tomahawks and hanger steaks, some more unusual cuts are on offer, such as the Pope’s Eye steak (from the cow’s hip).
John Dory and lettuce also get passed over the grill, as does the baba ghanoush – eggplants are roasted each morning. The barbeque sauce is also prepared over wood, with onions, chillies and garlic charred and then poured over spiced creamed corn.
The huge cellar features wines from as near as the Mornington Peninsula and as far Napa, San Juan and Hungary. There are more than 40 bourbons on the menu.