MPD Steak Kitchen Launches in Caulfield
Dining options have been beefed up in Melbourne's southeast with the official launch of MPD Steak Kitchen Caulfield. Helmed by executive chef Chris Bonello, this sister venue to the Zagame Group’s MPD Berwick, which launched in 2016, this restaurant takes the bones of the original – quality service and produce in a stylish, relaxed environment – and turns up the heat. We were invited along and were highly impressed; a memorable night of steak high points, great service and superb ambience. Easy access parking nearby and worth a drive across the city. Locals are loving such a high quality premium steak restaurant in their midst.
Simple, seasonal dishes are the focus of the menu, and we found that the food is presented with a touch of class. Influences from Bonello’s Maltese heritage and his time spent in fine-dining restaurants around the world are evident. A prawn entrée comes with Maltese toast, steak tartare is served with a 63º egg yolk, and the beef wellington is a signature dish.
“A lot of research has gone into every dish on the menu,” said Bonello. “But my family were farmers in Malta, so using produce in season has been ingrained in me from a time when I helped my father harvest crops from the field.”
For the design of the 98-seat MPD Steak Kitchen Caulfield, Robert Zagame and stylist Linda Whitfield (Surround Style) took inspiration from MPD Berwick, but provided this new venue with its own flair.
MPD Caulfield is simple yet sophisticated, with natural design elements and materials that complement architectural lighting and furnishings chosen to inspire the heart, capture the soul and engage the subconscious. Service is about casual smart dining, with an emphasis on personality, driven by an efficient and engaged waiting team that adapts the service style to pre-empt their guests’ requirements.
A feast. Ultimate Surf n Turf with 1000 Tomahawk steak and 1/2 Grilled crayfish, as well as the Beef Wellington.
Sides are a perfect compliment.
As far as the kitchen goes, Bonello has installed a Josper Grill as the perfect foil for the restaurant’s feature steak dishes.
Head Chef and Josper action.
“It is how we’ll prepare all our carefully selected steaks,” he says, adding he has sourced new brands for the Caulfield menu. O’Connor’s, King Island and in-house aged Cape Grim rib-eye set pieces are staples on the menu. The famous Mayura Station and Sher Wagyu are also a feature on the menu.
Haloumi dish that hits the high notes.
“When we select a producer to feature on our menu we find out every single detail for the full life span of the animal, from what it eats to what happens right up until it gets delivered to us,” said Bonello. “That’s the only way to ensure what we are serving the customer is the best it can be. “Sustainability is a key factor, but we are also always on the lookout for great stories and for what is new to the market.”
Jalapeno poppers with meat filling were delicious.
From the bar, MPD guests can expect an extensive selection of quality bourbon and scotch, plus a focus on local craft beers and ciders. The cocktail list is adventurous, incorporating liquid nitrogen to freeze gingerbread cream on MPD’s espresso martini for the city's most dramatic affogato. Over the bar comes a delightful selection of cocktails, with special mention to the award-winning Ruby Rose Martini, created by the bartenders in residence.
Steak Tartare was a highlight.
Desserts hit the high notes.
Sommelier Marcus Radny (a legend in hospitality himself and engaged us wonderfully) has hand selected more than 100 wines from local, sustainable and organic vineyards. A diversity of styles, including alternative varietals, creates a list that’s designed to match and enhance the flavours of each dish. Look for funky labels like Inkwell ‘Dub Style’ Primitivo by the glass to match with a perfectly cooked King Island porterhouse. We enjoyed an SC Pannell Grenache. Highly recommended.