The Courier-Mail

A MOOV­ING FEAST

This Bris­bane city res­tau­rant’s beefed-up of­fer­ing proves a win­ner for steak lovers

- Food · Recreation · Restaurants · Dining Out · United Kingdom · United States of America · Milan · Paris · Queensland · Australia · South Australia · Mungallala · Paraburdoo · Coonawarra

Is Bris­bane the beef steak cap­i­tal of the world? Prob­a­bly. I say this sin­cerely af­ter years of search­ing for the best steak. My steak odyssey started on my first over­seas hol­i­day in 1969 and has con­tin­ued through the UK, Europe, the US and much of Asia and the Pa­cific.

On my jour­neys around the globe, beef be­came my fas­ci­na­tion.

I con­fess, I even judged en­tire towns by the qual­ity of the beef they slapped on the plate. I didn’t give a hoot whether it was Mi­lan or Mun­gal­lala, Paris or Parabur­doo.

The meat was never as “meaty” abroad and, in­vari­ably, I couldn’t wait to get home to the joy­ful, vis­ceral wal­lop of a rib eye (on the bone, prefer­ably) at the Re­gatta or The Break­fast Creek.

My ob­ses­sion is, of course, Queens­land’s ob­ses­sion. There were 27 cat­tle breeds ex­hib­ited at the Ekka. The stud beef cham­pion sold for $45,000.

My bias to­wards Aussie beef was con­firmed when a dear friend vis­it­ing from South Aus­tralia spon­ta­neously sug­gested we go to Moo Moo The Wine Bar and Grill, in the his­toric Port Of­fice build­ing, next door to the Stam­ford Plaza Ho­tel, in Bris­bane city.

As I made my way past the bronze bull at the en­trance of the el­e­gant old build­ing, I sud­denly had a kind of culi­nary epiphany.

I felt I may have been en­ter­ing the loveli­est steak­house of them all.

She had the 100 per cent full-blood wagyu “flat iron” ($69). I had the F1 wagyu rump cap ($59). We slurped a dozen Pa­cific oys­ters ($39) that were plump, briny and in­du­bitably of the ocean, but mere fore­play for the car­niv­o­rous car­ni­val ahead.

My rump was beau­ti­fully seared on the out­side and ten­der, bloody and full of flavour within. It was the Kobe Cui­sine brand, the cow fin­ished at AACO’s Goonoo feed­lot, in cen­tral Queens­land. From the faint, burnt caramel flavour, I’m guess­ing the cat­tle were fed mo­lasses with their grain.

My friend de­clared her Kobe wagyu with an as­ton­ish­ing mar­ble score of nine the best steak she had eaten.

The acid in the lovely heir­loom toma­toes ($9) cut through the waxy beef, she said.

We also shared a plate of Dutch car­rots ($9) dressed with yo­ghurt and dill pollen. The car­rots, alas, were al­most raw – the only blem­ish on the en­tire meal.

Moo Moo of­fers 16 spe­cialty cuts of beef from a $39 sir­loin to a $135 (for two) spice-rubbed 1kg wagyu rump cap, oven-roasted and carved at the ta­ble.

Right now, the res­tau­rant has a two-course busi­ness lunch spe­cial for $45.

Moo Moo has it all, in­clud­ing dis­creet bal­cony ta­bles, pri­vate booths and a hand­some din­ing room flanked by a floor-to-ceil­ing wine cel­lar.

If there was any­thing to up­stage the beef, per­haps it was our wine. My friend opened a bot­tle of Wynns Coon­awarra Es­tate Michael Shi­raz 2012, a most op­u­lent red to chal­lenge the lovely beef.

Rather than or­der a sin­gle pud­ding, we shared a tast­ing plate that show­cased al­most all of them – a banana brulee, a straw­berry-espresso sor­bet, cho­co­late and hon­ey­comb “bark” and a pineap­ple up­side-down cake. Top marks to the kitchen for a per­fect fin­ish.

Steak out: The F1 wagyu rump cap at Moo Moo was full of flavour, but the Dutch car­rots were al­most raw. Pic­tures: Mark Cranitch

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