Saturday, December 11, 2010
166 Toorak Rd
South Yarra, 3141
Melbourne is at times a town that likes to indulge in rivalries of many forms. Collingwood vs Carlton, Melbourne vs Sydney, Nth of the Yarra vs Sth of the Yarra and in the steak debate it seems to be Vlado's vs Squires Loft.
While I have been to Vlado's a few times, I have never made it to it's great rival Squires Loft. The first thing that you notice when you walk in to either venue is that you are there to do one thing, eat copious amounts of red meat. The difference between the two though is Squires Loft has a bit more variety available over the Richmond steak dictatorship and also a lot more daylight.
L: GRILLED BOERWORS
R: PORK SPARE RIBS
The lunch group I was with got things started with the Squires Boerwors and Ribs. This turned out to be a very good way to start the festival of meat. The Boerwors were rich with nice meatiness and juiciness, the ribs were equally as good. Ribs at times are unappreciated in Australia, a plate of these would convert most.
It was around this time serious attention turned to the wine list. One of the things that separates most steak restaurants from restaurants that serve steak is that the former tends to gouge on the wine markup. Fortunately it is possible to get some really good reds for around the $50 range. We went with the very nice Wirra Wirra Woodhenge which is about $25 retail so is within the normal markup range.
L: EYE FILLET STEAK, MUSHROOM SAUCE, CHIPS
R: FRIED ONIONS
After we sorted out the wine, it was then showtime. The 300g eye fillet that came out plated on an iron plate it was not going to win any beauty awards for presentation, fortunately what it lacked in beauty it made up for in taste. Cooked perfectly medium rare with nice chips it was perfect, there is no questioning the fact that the guys here know how to cook meat. The only criticism I have is that the mushroom sauce was perhaps a bit gloopy for my liking.
The sides of fried onions, salad and vegetables were also well cooked and presented, but faded in to the background behind the steak.
Post steak there was no room for desert, I am sure they are acceptable, but when the meat is that good save it for another day.
So having visited both, I might sit on the fence. Both are good, both have there charms but if i were to go out for a casual steak with friends, I would almost lean towards the casual charm of Squires over the fixed menu Vlado's. There you have it
Squires Loft - 13.5/20
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