Steer Bar and Grill
15 Claremont St South Yarra, VIC 3141
When a group of friends and I decided to catch up over lunch, it was the perfect opportunity to visit Steer Bar and Grill after their move from Chapel Street to South Yarra. Having been to the old establishment before for K’s birthday, I had high expectations for both the food and service.
Walking in, the new restaurant was unrecognisable. Gone was the giant bull display, dim lighting and street art décor – instead, the space was bright and open with a more restrained and modern design. The service, as always, was impeccable – we were seated straight away and handed 3 separate menus, one each for non-steak options, steaks and the Friday lunch special.
K and I couldn’t go past the lunch special of $39.50 for 2 courses or $44.50 for 3 courses, both of which also included a choice of a side as well as a glass of wine – a great deal for a place like Steer. However, it’s important to note that the special doesn’t apply to their entire range of steaks and other dishes, but there is a decent selection to choose from.
The ocean trout was beautifully cured with beetroot and tasted like it had just come out of the ocean. There was also a subtle hint of horseradish that completed the dish.
I absolutely loved the pumpkin puree, which was smooth and sweet. This, paired with the quince, complemented the crispy savouriness of the zucchini flower.
This was ordered in addition to the lunch special, and consisted of a surprisingly large selection of cold cut meats, terrines and pâté. It was the perfect platter for sharing and while some items were better than others, it was all quite delicious. I particularly liked the pâté, which was very smooth and full of umami flavour, but not everyone at the table enjoyed it.
The steaks were, of course, what everyone was looking forward to, and they didn’t disappoint. I ordered the Black Angus Scotch Fillet (2+), which is taken from the forequarter of the animal, an area that doesn’t do a lot of work, and is therefore quite tender. I’m certainly no steak expert, but this is the cut of beef is what I usually like to eat, and it was brought out to me cooked to a perfect medium-rare. I was, however, disappointed with the piece of bone marrow that was served with my steak – there was no seasoning at all on the herby crust and it made for a rather half-hearted accompaniment.
K absolutely loved his steak, which had a greater degree of marbling than mine and was noticeably tastier (I had to admit this after trying a piece). It was very tender, seared perfectly and had great flavour.
This is a must-order side from Steer if you like rich, smooth, buttery mashed potato (who doesn’t?). It’s probably one of the best that I’ve ever tasted – 100% recommend!
Good, fresh vegetables, but nothing too special.
To finish off our meal, K and I shared a cheeky dessert, which turned out to be a great choice. The pannacotta was demolded (which is big tick in my books) and had the perfect wobble. The texture was smooth, creamy and had a great hit of green tea flavour. The accompanying elements were also quite nice, although the ice-cream veered on the side of too icy, and I thought the mandarin segments were a little clumsy – perhaps taking the effort to peel them would have been worthwhile? Nevertheless, it was a very nice dessert.
The quality of the food and service at Steer Bar and Grill certainly lived up to my high expectations. Each person from our table of five enjoyed their meal and were all very happy with the steaks that were served. The Friday lunch special was a fantastic deal and I would definitely recommend this option if you want to try out the restaurant without having to fork out for their more expensive ala carte menu. If there’s any piece of advice that I would give, it would be to opt for a steak with at least moderate (3-4+) marbling – this experience has certainly shown me that there is a difference in flavour and texture – although I’m not sure if this still extends to the higher marble scores. I’m no steak expert though, so don’t take my word on this! Let me know if you have any experience/opinions about this topic – I’d love to read about it!