For a family event, we headed to the Meat & Wine Co in Southbank. Ever since it opened (I'm estimating at least 8-10 years ago?), it's been on my list for "sort of interested in trying" eateries. Any place that specialises in steak has my attention. One of the reasons why it's taken me so long to try this place is well, a lot of places are over-hyped, and, frankly, I was skeptical as to whether M&WC would live up to my expectations (quick summary: it didn't).
So on a warmish weekend, we fronted up for lunch. First impressions, the place seemed okay. Inside, it's light and fairly spacious - downstairs is the restaurant, while upstairs is the bar. Despite being spacious, all the tables were a tad squishy. This was evident as several groups of diners (including a few with children) tried to make themselves feel more comfortable by spreading out as much as they could.
It became clear that M&WC promotes itself as a place to drink and (tries to be) a place to be seen. As such, the staff seem slightly too cool for school (all of them appear to be looking out into the distance... I mean, what are they looking at?) and the slightly doof-doof music is definitely more suited for wannabes cruising the meat market after dark.
When we finally caught the attention of a waiter we placed our order and waited and waited... and waited some more. In intervening 35-40 minutes, we got our drinks. A couple of fruit mocktails. Delicious passionfruity thing that Bubba Chuck gulped down in a matter of minutes (there goes $10!).
I got the mint, ginger and lime mocktail that was deliciously minty, gingerly and limey (points for not being stingy with the mint and lime).
So onto the food. We got...
...Mr P got the 350gm (it may have been 400gm) steak w mushroom sauce, which he liked. I think the quality of Mr P's steak was better than mine.
...Mother Hen got the braised lamb shanks w garlic spinach mash. This was surprisingly nice - it was tender and flavoursome. Rich lamby flavour without that unappetising gameyness that lamb sometimes has. The mash was also delectable - buttery and smooth without being too rich.
...Mr Strong went for the steak sandwich. The photo doesn't do it justice. It was a pretty hefty sandwich and the bread was nicely toasted...I had a bit of food envy.
...Bubba Chuck got the kids spag bol, which I think the view was that it was okay. She ate some of it but didn't finish it.
...I got the 300gm steak sans sauce. The steak was disappointing. The texture of the meat was grainy and slightly chewy. Definitely not a prime cut of meat here. The good points were that the chips were incredible. Thick, hand cut chips, perfectly fried with a lovely crispy outer and a fluffy inside. I wish I had more chips.
...Last but not least, Beaker was intent on getting the skewered meats, and skewered meat she got. Flame-grilled Angus steak served on a hanging tripod. Points for presentation and 'ooh' factor, but I was rather alarmed at the greasy look. While she liked her meal, I don't think it was as good as Beaker had hoped.
Food – 6.5
Ambience – 7
Service – 6.5
Price – 6
M&WC tries hard. I've been to better eateries where the steaks were better (either at cheaper prices or higher prices) and the service was snootier but at least they earnt the right to be snooty.
Service was a tad slow. Not sure what that was about, given that place wasn't overly busy.
Maybe I'm too fuddy duddy but this place ain't my scene.
Meat & Wine Co
3 Freshwater Place
Telephone: 9696 5333