A word of warning: don’t go to Charcoal Grill if you are a vegetarian or generally not a fan of red meat. They serve steak, and basically that is all. It was strange indeed to not be confronted with 30 different options for a change. All you really had to choose was the cut (scotch, porterhouse, eye or rump) and size (300g, 500g or 700g).
There were also a small handful of entrees (all meaty, of course). We ordered half a dozen oysters, the duck sausage and some other sausage that I forget the name of which was made of beef and lamb. The duck sausage was very much to my taste (I mean, it’s duck)! The other sausage however was a bit on the dry side and it had that faint lamby aftertaste that I hate.
Now to the star of the show, the steak. The whole affair was quite simple really; to be honest I was a little apprehensive about having nothing but a selection of mustards to accompany my slab of meat. The steaks were served with chips and a slightly redundant ‘salad’, which consisted of a few cos lettuce leaves drizzled with a dressing that seemed to continue on with the whole mustard theme.
I had ordered myself a 300g eye fillet, cooked medium. And oh my was it perfect. The inside was just the right shade of pink, wonderfully tender and juicy. It was amazing how melt-in-your mouth soft the meat was. There wasn’t the slightest hint of chewiness or toughness at all. The flavour was incredibly rich and smoky. I’m not much of a steak eater and I usually prefer it drowned in red wine sauce, but as it turns out it’s true what they say about good meat not needing sauce at all. The dijon (my preferred mustard) was all it needed. At the risk of sounding like a bit of a pig I think I could have happily skipped the entrees and had a 500g steak instead.
There was a small selection of desserts as well so we thought we might as well have some to round out the meal. I had the sticky date pudding which was nice enough but fairly forgettable. The accompanying ice cream was icy and low quality. It wasn’t too bad but not really worth the $14 (lucky work was paying!). I also had the chance to sample some of the lemon and lime brulee tart, which wasn’t amazing. The ‘brulee’ part consisted of a floating circle of burnt sugar in the middle of the eggy and overly sweet curd. The result of this was that it was hard to get the toffee to crack properly as it kind of just sank into the curd when tapped with a spoon. The pastry tasted like frozen shortcrust from the supermarket: it wasn’t proper sweet shortcrust and it was dry and hard. Really I shouldn’t have expected too much from a steak place. Maybe next time I’ll try the cheese platter?
The prices are fairly high for food that is decidedly un-fancy. The steaks were worth every cent; however the rest of the offering was a bit lacking. I get the whole no-sauce-for-good-steak thing but it would be nice to have a few proper sides other than chips and lettuce. I will definitely come back but next time I won’t bother with entrees or desserts. Now I have to go to Rockpool and see how it stacks up…Charcoal Grill on the Hill 289 High St Kew