Lively spot to get beefed up

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - RESTAURANT - LIZZIE LOEL

It’s a sparkling day at Bris­bane’s in­ner-city oa­sis, South Bank. Buskers busk, swim­mers lounge in the pool and the river glit­ters beyond the man­made beach and board­walk. I’m par­tic­u­larly happy be­cause I’m watch­ing all this from the bal­cony of the newly opened Live Fire Steak Bar, await­ing a range of starters from the beef-cen­tric menu.

The multi-level venue has a se­ries of decks that over­look the pool, some of which are bor­dered by planter boxes full of fresh herbs. A bar on the lower level leads up to the in­door/out­door din­ing space. The kitchen opens onto this and has a huge, open win­dow in its back wall.

Oys­ters topped with lime pearls and mignonette dress­ing (shal­lots and vine­gar) are fresh as daisies, as is the chimichurri and mojo sauce that comes with the wagyu ke­babs. Lime, co­rian­der and gen­tle spices cut through the rich­ness of the medium-rare beef, then we graze on a salad of heir­loom toma­toes and buf­falo moz­zarella while we wait for our steaks to ap­pear. There’s not enough basil on the salad, so I reach into the gar­den be­hind me and pluck off some leaves and they pep things up nicely.

Steak-wise, you can choose from grass-fed cuts from Cape Grim in Tassie, Rangers Val­ley (NSW) grain-fed, and “wagyu Kobe” with a mar­ble score of 9+. As for sides, hand-cut chips, but­tered green beans with al­monds and onion rings sound good but more so the rose­mary and con­fit garlic, and we can’t pass on the crispy brussels sprouts with a pomegranate re­duc­tion, roasted and almost caramelised, charry outer leaves peel­ing away to re­veal softer cen­tres and the pomegranate seeds adding a citrusy tang. Wagyu skirt steak ( above), in medium-rare medal­lions, is a rich cut of meat and as ten­der as the cut gets. It comes with a pep­per sauce, a de­li­cious, sticky jus that just lacks the pep­per­corn punch. My grass-fed sir­loin has been smoked and this adds another di­men­sion. Slices of sweet and savoury potato bake and another set of sides (trussed tomato and scorched onion tart, truf­fled chanterelle mush­room risotto, smoked ox­tail and roasted bone mar­row with cele­riac and ap­ple re­moulade) ac­com­pany the steaks, but we’ve almost done our dash.

For dessert, de­con­structed banof­fee pie has ap­peal but we share a Val­rhona choco­late tart with cherry choco­late soil and le­mon curd ice-cream. We love the buried cher­ries and the crazy-rich choco­late cen­tre but can’t quite lo­cate the le­mon in the curd ice-cream, though it’s creamy, home-style and very rich.

The ser­vice is chilled and help­ful, and the waft of grilling meat that fol­lows us out the door adds to the feel­ing we’ve just left a friends’ bar­be­cue.

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