You might not immediately think of the Danes when you think of steak but the opening of A Hereford Beefstouw in the CBD is set to change that. This steakhouse has achieved great success in Denmark serving up Australian beef and now is attempting to actually sell the ice to the eskimos by opening up in Adelaide and Melbourne. I was invited to go and check out the recently opened restaurant at the launch and then for a media dinner with co-owner Tim Burvill.
Down the graffiti coloured alley that is Duckboard Place the location of A Hereford Beefstouw is very Melbourne. Particularly when you enter the restaurant and take in the beautiful views towards the Botanic Gardens. However take a look inside and it’s all very Danish.
The Danes are known for their design nous and A Hereford Beefstouw makes the most of it. This is no traditional steak house. The exposed brick walls of the original warehouse shell have been retained but blonde wood dominates the stylish pared back room.
Burvill is a dry aged beef specialist so his knowledge alongside that of head chef Daniel Groom means the focus here is rightly on the top of the range meat on offer. But there are other dishes on the menu that are worth exploring including one of Hereford Beefstouw’s signature dishes, the gravad lax salmon ($16) served with a creamy mustard sauce. Carved to order at the table this is a real piece of dining theatre and a great light starter to a meal.
The Danish influence is also evident in the entree of crisp flounder ($17) which is served with a balance of tastes and textures including Danish rye bread, shrimp, quail eggs, flying fish roe, asparagus and lemon.
The classic combination of beetroot and goats cheese is used in a salad of heirloom beetroots contrasting the tangy vegetable with pickled onions, crunchy walnuts and the creamy cheese.
A more substantial entree is the cured lamb shoulder ($19) with parsley crumb, pea puree, spring peas, mint, crispy kaiser flesh bacon and red wine sauce. This is a really impressive dish and could easily serve as a main meal due to the generosity of the serving size.
Of course the steak is the star of the show. We got to sample a variety from wet aged eye fillet, 45 day dry aged rib eye ($37) and the 35 day dry aged mutton ($35). Mutton is something that’s very hard to find on Australian menus and it was great to taste an alternative to lamb.
Nobody goes to a steakhouse for the salad but at A Hereford Beefstouw there is a complementary salad bar which is a definite improvement on the standard accompaniment of a limp piece of lettuce. I should also make special mention of the excellent thick cut chips.
The wine list is extensive and if you order a bottle of the house red you’ll be treated to A Hereford Beefstouw’s spectacular wine aeration system. There are also a good selection of craft beers and an aged Armagnac selection so you can drink your birth year. Perfect for a birthday treat or special occasion.
For dessert indecisives like me your problems are solved with A Hereford Beefstouw’s dessert platter ($25) which gives you a chance to sample a selection of the desserts including the nicely burnished creme brulee and creamy raspberry mousse.
I’m loving this new addition to the city. It’s a little bit different and delicious.
Gourmet Chick was invited to review A Hereford Beefstouw
Details: A Hereford Beefstouw, 22 Duckboard Place, Melbourne CBD (03 9654 8297)
Kids: I didn’t spot any kids when I was dining but did note there’s a reasonably priced kids menu.