We love our beef and cooler months bring on the desire to indulge in well-cooked steaks in warm dining rooms. Add horseradish, butter, salt, garlic, big glasses of rich, full red wine and you’ve got a good night out. Here, we list our favourite places for a steak…
Rockpool Bar & Grill
Neil Perry’s jewel in our Crown can be on the pricey side, but in saying that, grass-fed, dry-aged Cape Grim steaks cooked on the wood fired grill are worth every penny. Rib eye on the bone, T-bone and sirloin are intense in flavour and dense in texture. If the luscious texture and milder flavour of grain-fed beef is more your style, there are steaks from Rangers Valley. The beautiful, dark den of a dining room only adds to the experience – this is steak in high heels.
The new kid in town has taken two interesting cuts of beef and made them its own. The bar menu at Mark Best’s first Melbourne restaurant has a feather blade steak with chard and relish that brings out the intensity in flavour of the secondary cut. The restaurant dining room has been serving a hanger steak with slippery jack mushrooms that’s proving to be one of the many reasons diners are loving Pei. It could also be due to the striking interior, designed by Helen Rice, which cleverly balances minimal finishes with rich textures, or the sharp service and smart wine list by sommelier and manager Ainslie Lubbock. But the steak is certainly helping.
Middle Park Hotel
We do love a pub for a good steak and the Middle Park ticks all our boxes, particularly for creating an old-school pub feel with a modern Melbourne aesthetic. Executive chef Paul Wilson has sourced Victorian Black Angus steaks (a rib eye and a T-bone) exclusive to the pub. The menu also includes rump cap, porterhouse and the legendary 1kg Middle Park Black Angus club steak for two, sliced to order from the whole rib.
The Station Hotel
In the heart of Footscray, this is a no-nonsense pub with a steak list as detailed as a Heston Blumenthal recipe method. The weight, the cut, the origin and whether its grain or grass-fed are listed on a menu that covers all price points. There’s the 200g John Dee, 100-day grain-fed Black Angus 'Flat Iron Steak' from Queensland for a very affordable $28, as well as a 200g Sher Wagyu, a 500-day grain-fed, full-blood Wagyu rump cap for $65. Choose pepper or béarnaise sauce and kick back at The Station. It’s that kind of place.
It’s a permanent fixture on the Carlton landscape and while Adrian Richardson’s La Luna has a broad seasonal menu with lots of Mediterranean influences, meat is also a mainstay. Beef is butchered and aged on the premises, giving it strong focus in the casual dining room. Dry-aged, grass-fed meat from Gippsland may put the prices at the higher end of steak-dom, but the care Richardson and his team take is worth it.
Charcoal Grill on the Hill
While it may not be the most imaginative name for a restaurant, it certainly articulates what it is. This masculine dining room looks like its been plucked straight out of the late 80s and is a bit of a boys club, with businessmen gathering to eat big steaks and drink big reds. It’s uncomplicated but consistent, with a wine list that is still regarded as one of the best around town.
289 High Street, Kew (03) 9853 7535