It’s chilly, winter, and prime time to let our carnivorous cravings get the better of us. So, if you’re in the mood for a solid hunk of meat, here are our top picks. (Apologies in advance to our veggie mates. We fully acknowledge that this guide will not be of any great use, unless you plan on eating sides for dinner).
The Old School
Where: Vlados, Richmond
It’s a ‘rare’ event and a telling sign when after 50 years, a menu hasn’t changed.
Vlados, an iconic steakhouse in Richmond had a set menu in 1964 – it’s still the same. 1st course is a pork and beef sausage, second a selection of livers, pork neck, hamburgers and eye fillet. Then a red tray is brought to your table with 3 tenderly hand massaged pieces of Rump, Fillet and Porterhouse in their raw form. It’s up to you to specify your chosen cut, and how you’d like it cooked. And from blue to well done, it will undoubtedly be perfect. After all, they’ve had half a century to get it right.
The High End
Where: Rockpool, Crown Casino Melbourne
Everyone who’s anyone knows the name Neil Perry. He started Rockpool in Sydney and several years later rocked it into Crown in Melbourne. Rockpool beef is sourced directly from the producers, and dry aged on the premises to maintain ultimate control of flavour and quality. They have every type of premium steak, on offer – grass fed or grain fed, including a David Blackmore’s dry aged full blood Wagyu. Your entry level 250gm fillet starts at a hefty $49 and goes up to as much as $119.
Where: France Soir, Toorak
It would be remiss not to mention France Soir. A traditional, authentic French bistro that has been consistently serving us excellent French fare for more than 30 years. It’s charming, romantic and the epitome of elegance.
The waitstaff are professional and the establishment is well renowned for exceptional quality ingredients, including the beef steaks which are all pasture fed from O’Connor South East Gippsland.
The New Age
Where: Meatmaiden, CBD
Meet Meatmaiden. Sister, to Meatmother. With its slick black interior, wooden tables, and a dark, sultry dining room MeatMaiden is the new kid on the block CBD steakhouse with a modern masculine edge.
Steaks are proudly ‘dry aged for 40 days to achieve maximum flavour and tenderness’. From the smoker, you can devour a 20 hour Rangers Valley brisket, from the grill – gnaw and rip into a 250gm pasture fed porterhouse. And, serious options for serious eaters include a 1.2kg Sher Wagyu rib eye. Pretty much a cow on a plate with a 6 score marbling, it’s a big commitment, and your belly reaps big rewards. Knock it back with some craft beer.
The Out of Towners
Where: Squires Loft, all around town
Who would believe a franchise in Melbourne would make it into the ‘top’. But ‘Squires’ as they are colloquially known, a South African chain, consider themselves to be ‘Steak Specialists”. With over 15 steakhouse restaurants in Australia, and a new one in Koh Samui, they clearly must be doing something right.
Their excellent quality steaks include rump, black angus porterhouse, and for the hungrier stomachs – a 500gm T – bone. Known widely for their awesome selection of sauces you’ll find favourites including the Mushroom, Black Pepper and Creamy Garlic – but if you want to be daringly indulgent, opt for the Danish Blue Cheese.
The Parisian Style
Where: Entrecôte, South Yarra
Entrecote is a French concept of a Parisian steakhouse that has been adopted in South Yarra. There’s a straight-to-the-point menu, and that point is their famous $39.90 Streakfrites. It’s a big, juicy piece of grilled Hopkins river porterhouse, served with a rich, velvety green ‘secret’ herb and butter sauce, a soft leaf salad and unlimited fries (French style of course). Pair it with red wine, finish off with some cheese.
The Pub Grub
Where: Station Hotel, Footsctray
There’s nothing like a good old fashion steak in a good old fashion pub. The Station Hotel is more of a gastro pub, but still an informal and relaxed atmosphere with lads cheering, beers flowing and ladies knocking back a chardy or two. It’s also known for its excellent meat. Again, you’re spoiled for choice with 11 different cuts, from a Black Angus sirloin, to a pasture fed New York strip, to a 500gm Gippsland grass fed rib eye (good luck getting through that bad boy). Whatever massive protein hit you opt for, your carnivorous cravings are sure to be satisfied. Not to mention, it makes for a pretty fun night out. Cheers to that!