Stick to steaks the
OPENED about a month ago, Red Red Grill’s owner/ manager Craig Seymour says it is a ‘‘ concept restaurant’’. The menu introduction explains: ‘‘ Red Red is about red meat and red wine. But it’s much more than just another steakhouse’’ with ‘‘ a menu designed to showcase highquality produce in the context of international food icons’’.
Whatever that all means, there’s certainly plenty of red meat – wagyu, grain- and grassfed steaks, kangaroo, pulled pork, ribs, ox tongue, corned beef and even lamb’s fry and bacon at breakfast.
But after eating a dinner there and speaking at some length with Seymour, I’m still not sure what the restaurant is about.
Our bistecca rossa, a rib- on- the- bone take on Tuscany’s famed bistecca florentina, was superb. Juicy, perfectly charred and cooked, pleasantly salt- rubbed and served with aromatic sprigs of rosemary, it was as good as you’ll find anywhere.
Unfortunately, the four dishes preceding it didn’t come close.
Steak tartare that wasn’t, along with overcooked tongue, flavourless corned beef and OK pulled pork presented in a rather unappetising jumble as a charcuterie selection; beef tataki including that ox tongue again with very sweet pickled ginger and a wasabi dressing that lacked any distinctive wasabi flavour; long- cooked, fall- off- thebone ribs with a cloyingly sweet, thick and sticky bourbon- based sauce; and a spanner crab, fennel and orange salad on sweet corn puree with shellfish oil, which sounded good and fresh but, like our other entrees, was overwhelmingly sweet.
Chatting with Seymour, I got the impression the sweetness of our entrees was there to provide ladies with an alternative to the 300g and 450g steaks. And he said they would shortly offer lady- portioned 200g steaks. Which is good news, for the steaks are the only thing I’d return for.
There’s an adequate and reasonably priced selection of wines plus a listing of more than 50 whiskies from Tasmania, Scotland, Ireland, Japan and the US, I guess to cater for what the menu introduction claims is whisky’s ‘‘ global surge in popularity as an accompaniment to food’’. Yes, well . . .