Best Steak and Meat Restaurants in Melbourne
Got those meat cravings? Here are some of our favourite steak and meat restaurants in Melbourne:
Le Bon Ton - Collingwood
Le Bon Ton is a meat revelation in trendy Collingwood; a "go to" happy place for many meat lovers. We were literally drawn by the aroma as we drove through Collingwood; having to stop the car and wander in to catch some "smoky meat action". The World Loves Melbourne loves their monastic seriousness about southern style BBQ. Is there anywhere better for your BBQ fix? Pit-smoked meats baby! There's almost certainly other house specials but we couldn't get past The Smoker's Lot. Le Bon Ton is also famous for its Buttermilk fried chicken, Crab cakes, Oysters and Cheese Burger.
What to order? We wanted it all. The engaging waitress suggested the Smoker's Lot - a massive meat tray of smoky-moist meat. What a sensation. For The World Loves Melbourne this was the best BBQ imbibed in Melbourne. The meat came out warm and smoking and featured Grain-fed Riverina Angus Beef Brisket (1/2 lb), Otway Ranges pork shoulder (1/2 lb), Jalapeno and cheddar hot-link sausage, and 1/2 Chicken basted in apple BBQ sauce.
Every element was a knockout and a home run "out of the park". The brisket was high quality meat smoky-moist and with fat - melt in your mouth. The smoky flavours hit you and all meats on this board were smoked over iron bark and fruit woods for up to 12 hours...
Texan style BBQ features sausage and the meat board here featured amazing sausage infused with jalapeno and cheddar - intense and rewarding. All the meat here is intense in flavour - but the adventurous will still add the hot sauces on the table. As you do. The hottest sauce hit me between the eyes like a redneck punching me in the face...
The pork shoulder seemed a mountain of pork and more than the 1/2 lb advertised. Again, it was smoky-moist and delectable. Note the salad on the board - you need something refreshing to contrast all the meat.
A cool surprise was the 1/2 Chicken - it turned out to be a highlight with intense smoky flavours. Yep, there were no weak links in this southern style slow cooked meat bonanza...
Nothing better than imbibing amazing southern BBQ while listening to vintage Johnny Cash.
Meatmother - Richmond
Meatmother now stokes the fire with a different kind of heat! The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to experience the new Meatmother.The cooking method is charcoal, with coals in the pit. The menu offers more choice, a step up from the previous limited menu.
With meat still as ever at the heart of their menu, the new Meatmother is now focussing on cooking over premium white charcoal, which allows all the natural flavours of their amazing locally sourced produce to come through. They're grilling, (still smoking), roasting and barbecuing until scorched and succulent.
The menu is Australian BBQ reimagined – incorporating the best techniques for cooking over charcoal from around the world, not limited to one cuisine.
Not only have the team changed the heat in the kitchen they have also enlisted the talents of renowned chef Adam Liston from Northern Light in Smith Street as a consultant, remodeling the kitchen and menu, with nearly every element having some contact with their custom made pit.
The re-launch into Melbourne’s coveted food scene has seen Meatmother transform into Meatmother 2.0 with the introduction of daily pit specials – think charcoal skewers of milk-fed lamb and pulled suckling pig buns, a new look, sharp, refreshing cocktail list and a tight craft beer and wine list. Meatmother has changed, but ultimately the proposition remains the same: that if you treat ethically-raised, quality produce with the same respect and approach the cooking process in the most natural way, the results are simple but incredible.
A highlight for The World Loves Melbourne was the Beef Brisket, smoked and peppered, with burnt eggplant and zucchini pickle. The Brisket had wonderful smokey flavours. Charred broccoli was a perfect accompaniment. These guys are famous for Brisket and the new Meatmother is still bringing their Brisket A game.
Dinner by Heston - Crown
The sensory experience begins as you glide through the dark corridor, scented with woody smoke and heady leather aromas. Once inside, the fit-out is all class; think smooth timber tables, stylish circular banquets and lime green furnishings, all with that celebrated Yarra River view. Known for many things, you can also put Dinner By Heston up as a haven for meat lovers.
Meat fruit. Mandarin jelly, Chicken Liver Parfait and Grilled Bread.
Not to be blurred with the wild magic of The Fat Duck, the food at Dinner is inspired by the historical dishes of the British Isles dating as far back as the 13th century. Heston has researched these dishes throughout his journeys and has developed with flecks of Australian ingredients. This fascinating culinary exploration is manifest throughout the menu which references the source of origin of each dish, from which one can feel the sense of place on the plate, reincarnated with each little bite.
Service is superbly polished and the floor is graced with approachable ease. When explaining the bible of a wine list, there is real enthusiasm and an educational element from sommelier, Loic Avri. Have no doubt you will drink like a king from all corners of the globe, albeit with a hefty price tag.
Lamb and Cucumber is an amazing dish; the composition of best end of lamb with roast cucumber hearts, delicately cooked sweetbreads and broad beans is hugely satisfying.
Epocha - Carlton
Epocha is simply one of Melbourne's best dining experiences, featuring a formidable team, stellar European cuisine and a killer ambience at this terrace property. Nestled in Rathdowne Street close to the city and opposite Carlton Gardens, Epocha exudes charm and elegance, if not an air of sophistication. The World Loves Melbourne was invited with other media to sample some of the fine wines and cuisine offered by Epocha.
The fit out is a nod to the classic, and is understated rather than overstated. Large windows with chunky frames, elegant timber floor, and green wicker chairs and wooden tables embedded with tiles.
We dare to place Epocha in a meat and "dude food" line up, even though this is fine dining with finesse and known also for other things. The large share plates would make any dude estatic - Lamb Backstrap, Bird, Scotch Fillet, Rib Eye 550g, and Veal Rack 700g. Scotch fillet with a bone marrow sauce has been enjoyed by The World Loves Melbourne on several occasions; perfectly cooked and pleasant on the eye...
Steak Ministry Bar & Grill - Glen Waverley
Steak Ministry Bar & Grill are surely one of the top go-to places for a fantastic steak experience! They are the only Australian restaurant to serve the 1.2-2kg Sher Wagyu Tomahawks.
Steak Ministry are also a restaurant that pours award winning wine, spirits and beers from around the world. As well as stocking limited edition bottles such as: Penfold Grange Hermitage, Rockford Basket Press Shiraz and the Bogle Phantom Red.
Executive Chef Chris Wade has worked in famous kitchens around the world and in Melbourne and boasts associations with Marco Pierre-White and Gordon Ramsay, as well as Michael Lambie and Scott Pickett. We had a chat with Chris and got to hear his passion for fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere. The fact that Steak Ministry has been packed out since it opened a couple of years ago is a testament to Chris Wade and his team! The customers love it!
When we dine we don't just have ourselves in mind; we're looking for restaurants we can take friends, family and international guests. Australia boasts some of the best beef and meats in the world. We are looking to showcase such amazing produce to our overseas friends. Steak Ministry is the perfect place to take 'out of towners'.
Nieuw Amsterdam - CBD
Nieuw Amsterdam the New York style restaurant in Hardware Street is where the foodies, as well as hospitality crowd, love to visit. It's become somewhat of a foodie icon in Melbourne. You can feel the energy. Staff are upbeat and engaging and know their stuff. American style cuisine with a twist is playful with quality meat offerings.
Southern fried chicken? How about Southern Fried Quail? This is a delightful dish; we enjoyed the spices on the juicy quail, as well as the crumbed crispy exterior. This dish links back to a much older southern tradition when quail was a staple. Nieuw Amsterdam have used pickled grapes to link in the tradition of preserves being served with meals throughout the colder months.
The World Loves Melbourne's favourite for the night was the Curry Spiced Lamb Rib. Lamb in America has its history rooted in immigration largely from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. Nieuw Amsterdam cooks this dish low and slow to maximise the flavours of the lamb, while slowly infusing the flavours of the curry. These ribs were on point and the nuance of the curry added delightfully to the dish.
Brisket baby! Brisket has become a chart topper here in Melbourne and all around the world in recent times. A favourite of pitmasters in Texas and NYC Jewish delicatessens alike, brisket has taken centre stage. That tender cut from the breast or lower chest. Brisket needs that long cooking process to break down the tough connective tissue to ensure a juicy cut. Nieuw Amsterdam spice rubs the brisket, in this case a coffee rub, and then sous vide for 48 hours before placing it on the charcoal pit grill. Finishing in this way enables a "bark"; a feature of BBQ brisket.
We were surprised at the thickness of these brisket cuts; we're used to thin pieces of brisket served on paper. This was an eloquent dish with juicy smokey brisket, served with onion, mushroom, blue cheese (wow) and a red wine jus. The crispy potatoes and salad were also perfect accompaniments.
Meatworks - South Melbourne
Meatworks in South Melbourne has burst on to the slow cooked meats scene with a canteen style eatery opened by the man behind Jones the Grocer and The Victoria Room in Sydney, Lindsay Jones-Evans. The signage may be nondescript but this place is an eatery to be reckoned with; slow cooked meat paradise.
Meatworks is serving a selection of smoked, slow roasted and braised meat dishes, prepared to mouth-watering perfection. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to sample some of the fare and we were highly impressed.
During our visit the lunch time hordes descended on Meatworks; the local creatives excited by this new affordable, ambient and savvy eatery. What's there not to like? The meats are succulent. With brisket we know it can easily dry out but Meatworks has a process that retains the moisture.
The meat platter was extremely affordable and generous for the price (and a wow factor as it came to our table on a board). The brisket and the lamb were standouts, but the rest of the platter was also sensational. Lamb, pork, beef and chicken, all locally sourced. Downed with a beer, this was what the punters want and hope for. We even consumed a delightful pickled cucumber salad - perfect accompaniment to the meat. Delicious, engaging and approachable are words that befit Meatworks.
The Cut Steakhouse - CBD
Romantics take note. Up your first-date-game from a boring pub steak dinner and head to The Cut Steakhouse to experience some choice cuts of in-house dry-aged beef from boutique producers (the 36-month grass-fed scotch fillet from Cape Grim in Tasmania is the Cut of choice). Yes we've always been of the opinion that Cape Grim cuts are the best we've had. Fresh unpolluted air and all that.
Be transported to an elegant New York-style steakhouse with parquetry and black and white marble tiled floors; rich, deep-green, leather-upholstered, custom-made banquettes and chairs and luxurious curtains. We were amazed by the transformation from Stokehouse City with its sea themed casual elegance to something less of an open design and instantly sophisticated and sexy.
Steaks can be paired with one of nine sauces and condiments and 10 different sides, including buttermilk onion rings, hand-cut chips, roasted mushrooms and slow-roasted leeks. The menu also features Dorper lamb, Great Ocean free-range duck and oysters from boutique producers, including limited-release Hidden Cove oysters from Tasmania.
Big Boy BBQ - various
Big Boy BBQ impresses with a broad ranging menu of something for everyone. Come here for a massive meat fix, or choose items that are not so heavy. The kids will love it here too, and mine have repeatedly asked us to return. If you place Big Boy BBQ in the fast food bracket then its a great option for what you get. A quick burger and chips does the business. They say it's about slow food, fast.
Get around a generous pile of beef brisket, smoked cheese, fried onion strings (addictively crunchy) and BBQ sauce. A knockout. While I love a burger with a large juicy beef patty I'm prepared to jump out of my comfort zone into the realm of slow cooked beef brisket in a burger. The beef brisket sings with the flavour of the American south, slow cooked and sassy.
Rockpool - Crown
Rockpool has a modern fit out with high ceilings, great use of timber panelling, subtle mood lighting, large artwork tributes to the humble cow, several attractive dining areas and luxurious tables and chairs. What struck me about Rockpool was the finery and great use of textures. The ambience here is refined yet relaxed. Waiters dressed impeccably attend to your dining needs and are engaging and knowledgeable.
The meat here is sourced from Australia's best producers and dry aged on the premises. Rockpool are strict about humane treatment of cattle and about no hormones or antibiotic feed supplements. Welcome to 9+ marble score steak! Rockpool features David Blackmore's Dry Aged Mishima, Cape Grim Dry Aged and Robbins Island Dry Aged Wagyu meat. It's the best of the best.
image: Rockpool Instagram.
MPD Steak Kitchen - Berwick
We stepped into the space that previously hosted a night club, past cow hides and onto reclaimed wood flooring to to find ourselves under hanging greenery, a wall of bovines across the room from a row of gleaming spirits, the western theme flowing throughout.
Sophisticated, atmospheric, and delightfully a little quirky, this certainly is setting a new standard for suburban fine dining; once through the wooden doors we found ourselves transported to another world, the thoughts stuck on repeat, we're not in Kansas anymore.
Bonello’s menu at MPD is steak focused – offering a selection of regular, to the more unusual cuts of beef, like Pope’s Eye which is part of the rump and full of flavour.
Bonello sources the majority of the beef locally from suppliers like O’Connor Beef and Vic’s Premium Quality Meat, and also brings in the big guns like David Blackmore Wagyu and Cape Grim to complement. Lamb (Flinders Island), fish, poultry and pork lovers should be satisfied, with shared entrees and sides rounding out the offering.
Entrecote - CBD
Entrecote now with 2 venues, burst on to the scene with it's signature dish of Steak frites; grilled O'Connor porterhouse, frites, sauce Maison au beurre et aux herbes. The Parisian influence is evident, bringing class to a steakhouse experience. While there are other attractive options on the menu it's the signature dish that's the big deal. Do one thing and do it well. The herbaceous buttery sauce is a distinctive that also excites.
Image: Entrecote Instagram
San Telmo - CBD
The World Loves Melbourne loves the dark tones of San Telmo with its South American vibe echoing the neighbourhood of San Telmo in Buenos Aires (a place visited by The World Loves Melbourne). Yes we've eaten fine steak in Buenos Aires so we were keen to compare.
The Argentinian Parrilla Grill is also a standout attraction, particularly the theatre from sitting at the counter with the kitchen action unfolding in front of you.
A highlight was the Vacio steak featuring O'Connor's premium pasture fed flank steak. This was served with fresh and zesty Lechuga baby cos lettuce with shallots and horseradish dressing, and the Papas crushed potato, green olive, parsley and garlic aoli. The perfect combination. Of course O'Connor meats are some of Australia's finest, and are taken to next level from cooking on the parrilla.
Another highlight is the small dishes such as this Morcilla, spiced black sausage. this was so flavoursome melt in your mouth. One to file away for next time.
In the mood for steak we ordered the Ojo de Bife O'Connor's premium dry aged rib eye. This is the premium cut of steak at San Telmo and was again a melt in your mouth experience. Bring on the marbled fat we say!
Steer Bar & Grill - South Yarra
The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed one of our best steak nights ever at Steer Bar & Grill with several courses of steak that were spectacular; from a tartare to prime cuts. These guys know what to do with steak; it's not just plonked on a plate but served with flair. They market themselves as a specialty steak house, and we agree. Grain fed, pasture fed, ration fed; take your fancy. Some of Australia's finest beef is here such as David Blackmore (a favourite of ours), O'Connor Black Angas, Rangers Valley Export Quality Black Angas, John Dee Supergold Black Angas, and Sher Wagyu.
Image: Steer Bar & Grill Instagram.
One of the best things to do in Melbourne is to visit a top notch steak and meat specialist (most have vegetarian options also and cater for broad needs).