The Meat & Wine Co has opened its door in Canberra in April 2021. The multi-chained steakhouse, being famous in their dry-aged steaks, offers a different experience to many counterparts in the country. Tina and I recently attended the venue for her birthday and enjoyed the warm hospitality.
Located in the recently constructed Constitution Place complex, which is mainly occupied by the ACT Government offices, the Meat & Wine Co is an interesting new addition to the Canberra dining scene, with its usual chic decroation and luxurious-alike lounge dining area.
With the opening of the Canberra restaurant, the joint now has 11 venues across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth. The restaurant offers a number of menu options including their A La Carte menu, aged steak and express lunch. Dishes on the menu are South-African influenced, or using their own terminology, South-African centric, focusing on everything meat.
With a good range one wines and beer, the venues offer some rare-to-find South African wines (although the price-tag is high). For me, I decided to go with my all-time-favourite Cab Sauv from Coonawara, South Australia, the nation’s premium wine region for Cab Sauv. The drinks we had on the night include: 2019 Jim Barry ‘Single Vineyard’ Coonawarra, SA ($16) and the Furphy Refreshing Ale ($10) from Geelong.
Baked Scallop, $25 – Anchovy, caper butter, herb crumb, pea salsa and crispy pancetta
This is Tina’s entree for the night. Juicy scallops were baked to perfection with water still enriching the inside. With the salty flavour of anchovy, each bite of the scallop was a good taste. The pancetta adds good crispyness to the dish. Whether this is an African dish, I am not too sure but it is a good start of the night.
AGED Wagyu Tartare, $19 – Wagyu Girello & dry-aged Rib-Eye, confit egg yolk, condiments, bone marrow & Parmesan miche crostini
My entree on the night. AGED is an initiative/product of the joint to provide customer experience of dry aged beef at a reasonable price. This dish uses wagyu rib-eye that are dry aged with common tartare method of preparation. The addition of the bone marrow is a highlight. The meat melt in the mouth and has a much stronger herbal taste than Australian beef tartares.
Monte Grain Fed 120D Rib-Eye 300g, $55
According to the joint, Monte is the premium line of beef exclusively sourced for The Meat & Wine Co. The steak was grilled to my liking (medium rare) and was tender and juicy. The most surprising part of this steak was actually its basting. The steak had a strong African spiciness with a sweet hint. Talking to our waiters later on, I found out this was due to their special African style basting added when grilling the beef.
To be honest, the steak price-tag at the joint is not quite high. This dish was not my initial preference as I wanted to try their AGED steak but because the AGED cuts were all 800-900 g and Tine did not want steak that night, there was no way I can finish 900g dry aged steak alone (Probably I could if I stretched my limit :D). Hence a surprising find of the basting made up the loss.
Boerewors, $29 – South African beef sausages with coriander & cumin, chakalaka sauce, fresh coriander, maize pap & corn croquettes
This main was the most surprising find of the night. When Tina decided to order an entree into a main size, I was unsure how it would pan out but it was immediately proved to me how good the choice was. The dish was absolutely delicious! The beef sausage was salty, spicy and has plenty of African flavours. The taste was very distinctively nice but combining with the croquettes took it to the next level. The crunchiness and fragrance absolutely enriched the experience. Highly recommended.
Crème Brûlée, $14 – Ginger snap biscuit, whipped mascarpone and lemon balm
At this stage, I could not fit anything more in but Tina grabbed a Crème Brûlée for dessert. Typical Crème Brûlée flavour but I felt quite warmed that the waitress added a candle to it, noting Tina’s birthday.
Onto the service on the night, it was very attentive and welcoming. Lots of chit chats on the night and all the requests were accommodated.
The only thing I found was when one of the waiters tried to go through their specials, he went super fast, feeling like just residing some pre-written scripts. The other thing was the promotional language this waiter uses ‘you get 300 grams worth of meat’ ‘you get 500 grams allocation of steak’ – thank you but I can read that – as if I have not had premium steaks previously.
Overall, I would recommend to give this place a go. Good dish options and fabulous South African influenced flavours are the highlights of this joint.
Until next post, have a great time eating and drinking.
Constitution Pl, Ground Lvl, 1 Constitution Ave
Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: (02) 5134 5988