I HAD never eaten steak tartare before my visit to The Meat & Wine Co in Perth.
I’ve never been put off by raw red meat, but I’ve found it difficult to trust an establishment’s ability to put together such a quality dish.
To me, the beef should be high-grade and it’s imperative that it’s fresh and locally sourced. Frankly, I want to be eating something that was mooing in an Australian paddock a few sunsets earlier.
The Meat & Wine Co’s tartare ($16) is made with dinky dices of tender Australian wagyu. Incorporated into the cake of raw meat is crushed capers, spring onion slices, crunchy fried garlic, and a burst of freshly ground peppercorns which work together to make the wagyu sing.
Unifying the dish is a raw, smoked egg yolk foam that coats the ingredients in an irresistible sheen. I couldn’t fault this interpretation of tartare which was a superb introduction to the delicate dish.
When it comes to steak, there are three types of Australian beef to choose from at The Meat & Wine Co – grain fed or grass fed Monte, Shorthorn which originates from Scotland and wagyu which is renowned for its marbling of intramuscular fat, or IMF.
Hungry, I settled on half a kilo of wagyu rump ($49).
I loathe wooden boards used as plates. I won’t go into the sanitary reasons why I’d rather my meat not be served on absorbent wood, but it’s a trend I can’t wait to see the back of.
Nonetheless, my lust for this premium cut of wagyu helped me get over my bacterial nervousness quicksmart.
Cooked medium-well, my gargantuan steak was so tender it sliced like a hot knife through butter. The sweet meat oozed fatty juices and the perfectly criss-crossed grill marks left a very pleasant smokey flavour on the palate.
I was leaning towards the black garlic butter as a side sauce, but my waiter suggested the blue cheese sauce and I promptly agreed.
The gooey sauce had a pungent aroma and a strong bite which made it the perfect accompaniment.
This was one of the best steak meals I’ve ever eaten which I’m sure is going to lead to disappointment the next time I have to cook a Coles porterhouse at home.
I celebrated the arrival of WA truffle season with a side dish of mac and cheese ($15). Al dente penne is swimming in a truffle béchamel and topped with melted parmesan.
The mac and cheese is earthy, salty, creamy and was uplifting on a cold and rainy day.
Located in the heritage-listed Palace Hotel building on St George’s Terrace, The Meat & Wine Co injects old-world charm, sophistication, elegance and high-end professionalism into the steakhouse experience.
I can’t stop raving about it.
by MATTHEW EELES
The Meat & Wine Co Perth
108 St Georges Tce, Perth
Phone 6163 8880