The old steak has fallen out of favour in recent years. As the ethical and environmental impact of livestock farming becomes more apparent, chefs and diners are getting cosier with vegetables than ever before.
Despite this, there are still plenty of spots to find a good grilled steak in Melbourne (as opposed to steak tartare or American-style smoked beef). At the top spots, you can usually choose your preferred breed, feed (grain or grass), cut, ageing time, condiments and, of course, how you’d like it cooked (no more than medium, please).
But however you customise your steak, such a simple dish is totally reliant on the quality of the animal. The good news: Australia raises some of the best beef in the world. Victorian farmer David Blackmore brought Wagyu here in 1989 and now counts Thomas Keller (French Laundry, USA), Heston Blumenthal (Fat Duck, UK) and a number of other high-profile international chefs as customers.
Then there’s South Australia’s Mayura Station (another pure-bred Wagyu operation) Tasmania’s Cape Grim, Victoria’s O'Connor Beef and many other world-class cattle farms employing ethical, sustainable practices. And it’s all right on our proverbial doorstep.