22 March 2010

The Beaufort Street Steakhouse

It's exciting times on the Beaufort Street Strip, with 2 new meat-based establishments having opened in the last couple of weeks - Grill'd and the Beaufort Street Steakhouse. It was a tough call deciding which one to patronise first, but the Beaufort Street Steakhouse won on the basis that there was no unnecessary apostrophe in its name.

With Stinky being happily minded by Mother of Booto (father of Booto was around, but was busy reliving his incredible conversation with a Sikh chef down at the North Perth Bowling Club) the bloggers put on their glad rags, polished their thongs and headed off to the Beaufort Street Steakhouse. The BSS occupies the space which Alt Heidelberg left vacant some years back - some you may recall the taunting sign on the door about Alt Heidelberg closing for renovations and checking the local rag for announcements on the reopening date. The Brains read each local paper (all 3 of them) every week for 3 years in anticipation of that announcement, which sadly never came.

But that's by the by.

Parking at BSS proved to be an issue. Not because it was difficult, but because The Deliberator insisted on directing us down tiny Northbridge streets so that we ended up parking in a dark alley facing the wrong way, then yelling at Booto for driving down tiny Northbridge streets so and parking in a dark alley facing the wrong way. The dressing down continued until we walked in the door, but calm was restored as we entered our cozy and quite fabulous surroundings. The BSS has the most sensational wallpaper (stylised white bull heads on a red background, tessellated to make flower-like shapes), beautiful booths (upholstered in red velvet) and the best steak knives we had ever clapped eyes on. A discussion about how easy it might be to kill someone with those steak knives quickly erupted.

We bagsed a booth and were soon presented with an amuse bouche, which to everyone's delight was an incredible dollop of steak tartare, delicately decorated with wafer thin slices of cornichons, mini-capers and tiny pieces of red onion. It was fabulous - had it been on the menu we all would have ordered it again as an entrée. It wasn't, so we ordered:

1. charcuterie plate, made up of house made duck liver parfait, terrine, chorizo, mustard and thin strips of prosciutto;

2. natural oysters

3. garlic chilli prawns

4. garlic bread

We were covering all bases. Every item was great, from the delicious oily chilli sauce that the prawns were swimming in, to the generous amount of garlic on the garlic bread to the smooth and creamy parfait. We enjoyed our entrée with 2 bottles of Tim Adams Riesling and a conversation about lung oysters.

We were keen to move onto red wine before our steaks arrived and went with the owner's suggestion of a Bellarmine Shiraz, at a very reasonable $35 (or thereabouts). It turned out to be a great suggestion, and Bellarmine Shiraz is now a firm group favourite.

With the red wine poured, we had to make a decision about the steaks, which was a nightmare - The Deliberator wanted to have the 750g rib-eye which was designed for 2 people for himself, plus he wanted to add 2 sauces, 3 mustards and an additional serve of chips. We managed to talk him out of the 750 gram big boy into a 600 gram rump, but he still ordered that to come with chips, as well as an additional serve of chips for the table. The Sponge ordered the same, Booto had the ladylike 220 gram eye fillet and the Brains chose the 300 gram sirloin. Despite having a choice of garlic mash, hand cut chips or jacket potato with crème freche and chives, we all opted for chips, and between us, we were able to get every type of sauce and mustard available on our table.

When the Deliberator and the Sponge's enormous meals arrived, the waitress (whose poor little wrists were bending at an unnatural angle due to the weight of those bastard steaks) accidentally dropped a couple of the monstrous the hand cut chips on the floor. While she rushed back to the kitchen to replace them, the Sponge's survival instincts kicked in as he bent over, picked up the chips from the floor and went to eat them. Thankfully, Booto was in mothering mode and managed to wack them out of his hand before they went into his mouth.

Everyone was extremely happy with their steaks. The Deliberator and The Sponge's steak took up the whole of their plates which pleased them both no end. The sauces were all amazing - a choice of mushroom, Diane, béarnaise, port and thyme and pepper - the chef makes them from scratch on the premises and you can taste the home made goodness. The hand cut chips were enormous slabs of potato, stacked on the plate like a game of jenga. Despite their crispy deliciousness, no one touched the extra chips for the table that The Deliberator insisted we order - they were a complete waste of time as the individual servings were more than generous. We also had a rocket and parmesan salad which did get eaten, but that was probably better left unsaid.

Dessert does not feature in our review.

So, with stomaches filled to the brim with cow and spuds, fuzzy heads from too much booze and a general warm glow from having had such a great experience, we left and spent the rest of the evening prank calling each other in the car (and then later on The Deliberator and The Brains' couch). And we are pleased to report that even in your 30s, the Wing the Wong number joke does not get tired.

In summary:

Service: Very friendly and attentive. There are plenty of wait staff to go around. As the restaurant has only just opened there is a hint of nervousness and a little lack of confidence, but this will surely pass.

Food: Exactly what you want from a steak house - perfectly cooked steak, great selection of sauces and sides, giant serves and even some interesting starters.Ambience: Cosy, groovy with a hint of Spain.

Highlight: The steaks, stupid. Oh, and the steak knives.

Lowlight: We were surprised to see there was no t-bone on the menu, and we were also slightly put-out that the waitress did not stop to explain what exactly was what on our charcuterie board. Pretty minor lowlights though.

Rating: 4.5 bleeding cows out of 5.

Will we be back: Certainly. As far as we can tell, it's the only decent steakhouse in town. It's exactly what the Beaufort Street strip and Perth in general needs.

Details: The Beaufort Street Steakhouse is located at 283 Beaufort Street, Perth, next door to Source. The restaurant is fully licensed and you can call them on 9228 2008. We paid about 85 bucks a head for entrees, a whole beast and most of their wine.

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