Meat and Wine Co. is a hugely successful business with many locations for meat lovers to appreciate high quality meat cooked expertly, and a culture of fine service and semi sophisticated ambience. The brand builds loyalty with repeat visits from happy diners. For example, the Meat and Wine Co. in Southbank is well patronised in the evenings and you can observe the large boards full of meat being carried to tables by eager staff.
I journeyed to Meat and Wine Co. before a show at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, looking for either steak or ribs. I'd heard the pork ribs are exceptional and saw that many diners order this dish. But I was also keen for the steak and so upon asking the staff, was recommended the Rib Eye Steak Sandwich featuring 200g Pasture-fed rib-eye, char-grilled, iceberg lettuce, fresh tomato, sautéed mushrooms & white onion in a freshly baked roll with mayonnaise & barbeque sauce $26, and side of chips. I was also not wanting to make a mess on my shirt before a fashion week show, although they told me they can supply a bib. Was this to be one of the great steak sanwiches/burgers of Melbourne?
The place was packed so it took a good half hour for my burger to appear in its glistening finery. What struck me first up was the sheer size of the burger. This burger featured 200g of prime steak - making the burger great value on the quality of steak alone.
And the chips are golden and crunchy and all round of excellent quality. Full marks for the chips.
The only downside here was the amount of bread on this burger/sandwhich. For me it was too much bread. The trend these days is for lighter bread, as well as an element of sweetness, a la the brioche craze. This bread was heavy, slightly toasted, but just too much. Maybe the punters enjoy this style but I would have preferred something more subtle. So I prized the top layer from my burger and ate the burger like an open sandwich.
The steak was wonderful, as was the slaw and mushroom elements.
The fit out at Meat and Wine Co. is alluring with plenty of timber and up market decor. The mood becomes romantic at night with dim lighting, or should I say great use of downlights in the right places.
The menu is comprehensive with huge cuts of prime meat and ribs if it takes your fancy. As for ribs there's the choice of beef, pork or lamb ribs, or combinations thereof. If you don't want steak or ribs then chicken or calamari may take your fancy.
It's all about choice. There's even a large array of sauce choices. And a plethora of sides, including Biltong, the South African strips of beef.
Staff are professional and engaging - with several staff attending to me during my visit.
Meat and Wine Co. serves up its meals on these wooden boards. Here are some ribs, looking sexy with the black grill markings across them and the shiny complexion of juicy goodness.
An express lunch for $15 is great value for the city worker.
Meat and Wine Co. was a satisfying experience for me, albeit I wasn't into the heavy bread on the burger. Next time I might be tempted with the ribs.