Squires Loft City Steakhouse | Burgers at Rockpool
I used to say that Friday night is the one night where I’m least likely to eat out. After a week’s work, you sort of just want to plonk yourself down at home and sleep early. But recently, I’ve been eating out a bit more on Friday nights. Here’s where we went.
Squires Loft City Steakhouse
12 Goldie Pl
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9670 7317
Still a happy partner-in-crime, I followed Fakegf on her (soon to be completed) hunt for Melbourne’s best burgers. Unfortunately, we’d turned up at Mr Burger in the CBD minutes after they’d closed for business at 8pm Friday. Hangry and lost, we wandered down Little Bourke St (with a burger mindset) and finally settled on Squires Loft.
Okay, okay… it’s more a steak place rather than a burger place, but we were desperately hungry and steaks seemed ‘close enough’ to burgers for a Friday feed, if not a bit more fancy. Just as well we did so, because we got to enjoy Friday after-work wines.
The interior felt like a busy bistro from olden times… bricky with shiny dark woods and chalk-scrawled menus on mirrors and boards. Service was okay… but I thought our waitress was a touch disinterested.
Pork Spare Ribs (500g) 32.50
Marinated in Steakmate baste, tender and char-grilled
Fakegf’s dish… I guess it’s only in a steakhouse where you can get 500g of char-grilled pork ribs as an entrée. They were very tender with a gentle seasoning, Fakegf liked that the sauce wasn’t typically sweetish the way many BBQ sauces tend to be. All that said, I thought the dish lacked a bit of something in the flavour department and wished it had a bit more ‘oomph’.
Rib Eye on the Bone (350g) 38.00
A fine cut of pasture fed prime steer infused with flavour from the bone, char-grilled & brushed with Steakmate baste. Served with a choice of chips, mash or baked potato with sour cream & chives.
As much as I wanted to try the lamb loin chops, it’d be ironic to blog this place (a steakhouse) without having their anchor dish – steak! So I picked my favourite cut and asked it to be served rare, which they did correctly. Nicely charring on the outside with good blushy ‘rareness’ inside.
My steak was okay… the char-grilling was good but getting into the middle section of the steak, the beef had not much flavour considering it was a somewhat pricey rib eye. I also did not like how you have to pay an extra $4.50 to choose a sauce with your steak. Most steak places offer condiments and sauces at no extra cost.
I’m sure Squires Loft (and all its branches) has its supporters, but overall, I think it isn’t a destination for foodies. I’m more used to steak places that gives you the provenance of where your beef comes from, the breed of cattle, descriptions of marble scoring if it’s grain fed, and the option of choosing dry aged cuts. And quite often they do that for you at similar prices.
Rockpool Bar & Grill
8 Whiteman St
Southbank, VIC 3006
03 8648 1900
One week later, we met up again for our Friday night burger witch hunt, this time with The Angmoh and Roen.
Rockpool has its scarily expensive (and often fully booked) fine dining section, which I’d visited a year ago. But you can try your luck as a walk-in and grab a table at the (more relaxed) wine bar section, where the bar menu becomes available. Rockpool’s Wagyu burger is only available from that bar menu, meaning if you booked a table in the restaurant section, you can’t order it.
Hungry and with fingers crossed, we turned up at 7.45pm that Friday and managed to nab one of the last few tables in the wine bar. And in the spirit of Friday night drinks, we started off with a selection of beers and wine to help us unwind and ease into the weekend.
Hand Cut Chips $12 | Onion Rings with House-Made Ketchup $9
Four of us dined there that night, and we all got the same thing from the menu – the Wagyu burger. Before I cover that platter of deliciousness, here’s our unanimously chosen side dishes, served with beautifully puréed handmade ketchup. I think the sauces at Rockpool are really good, I remember swooning over the freshly grated horseradish condiment when I had steak here last year.
David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger with Bacon, Gruyere Cheese and Zuni Pickle $24
And behold… the meaning of life!
Granted, you’re looking at one of the more expensive burgers around, but it’s worth the price…. moist and nicely balanced, and big enough to to satiate even the hungriest amongst us. The char-grilled patty was spectacular and full of flavour… a fine example of good (full blood) Wagyu done nicely. The soft bun hugged the patty, caramelised onions, deeply aromatic gruyere cheese and slices of gently pickled zucchini like a big friendly bear!
Grilled Pistachio and Chocolate Millefeuille $23 | Strawberry Tart with Balsamic Ice Cream $25
We ended with two shared desserts, one of which was actually pricier than the burger…! Fakegf and The Angmoh shared a cream tart topped with fresh strawberries and aged balsamic vinegar ice cream. Roen and I shared the millefeuille, which I’d mistakenly thought was the same dessert as mille crepe cakes. After a brief disappointment at my sweet ignorance, we soon found ourselves in pistachio heaven. Both desserts were wonderful.
With beers and dessert, our night at Rockpool became one of the most expensive burger meals we’d ever had, reaching $52 per head. But how smashingly good was every bite? Experiences like this helps affirm my conviction that food, if done perfectly, is worth paying the extra dollar for.