On my first ever visit to Australia, I ended up rendezvousing with my friends in Gold Coast. It was probably one of the worst of cities in Australia to visit in winter, because being a surf-town, Gold Coast is quite dead during the cold seasons. Nonetheless, I had hoped the lack of beach activities would be made up for in dining.
This post is part of a series of casual travel reviews of my trip to Australia in 2016.
Finding a good restaurant is difficult when one is new to a city. One of the questions I kept asking myself was where and what to eat in Gold Coast. Meals are especially precious on a vacation, because there are only so few days, hence we want to make the most out of them. Hopefully, my findings will help you to choose or avoid these restaurants in Australia.
One of the things I had looked forward to eating in Australia, was Australian beef. Mind you, not just any Australian beef, but the highly marbled ones from specialty farms. Although it was my first time visiting Australia, I had eaten so many types of Australian beef throughout my years as a foodie. From the run-of-the-mill angus, to wagyu from speciality farms like Jack’s Creek, Mayura Station, just to name a few.
Outside of Australia, these speciality beef cost a lot more due to import fees, I was sure they would be more affordable within the land down under, if not, fresher.
The problem with finding a good restaurant in a foreign land, is finding a good restaurant in a foreign land. While there were the usual dining guide apps and websites like Trip Advisor, I often found the recommendations and reviews to be unreliable. These days, I google for food blogs in the city where I am visiting, and try to find some good opinionated recommendations on them.
I ended up taking a bet, and chose a hip-looking steak house: The Glenelg Public House. I picked it because I saw some speciality beef on the menu, which I previewed on the Zomato app. Throughout my journey in Australia, I would rely a lot on the Zomato app, largely because most of the listings on the app had the restaurant’s menu for preview.
The Glenelg Public House is a very cool-looking stand-alone restaurant whose exterior was black throughout, with a row of white benches, and their restaurant name in huge bold typography on the wall.
The interior was comfortably lit, featuring a long open bar, rustic wooden furniture against cool, grey brick walls. It had class, and felt welcoming at the same time.
The menu at The Glenelg Public House is simple — the way I like menus to be. A small selection of starters, with a whole section of types of beef, and a selection of sides. It was the very specialised beef selection that attracted me to this restaurant.
I went for the Shiro Kin Wagyu Rump cap from Darling Downs, which had a marble rating of 9+ and had been grain-fed for over 500 days. This was their most expensive cut.
For a rump cap, this was actually very expensive, because rump cap is in fact a cheaper cut of beef. What we pay for, in this case, is the quality and care that had been put into nurturing this cow, such that even it’s cheaper cut would topple many good rib eyes.
Like most speciality steak houses, the steak at The Glenelg Public House was served as it is, with no dressing nor sides, save for a unnecessary piece of lemon.
The steak was sufficiently charred, with a pleasant smokey aroma. Slicing into the beef revealed beautiful pink flesh, generously intertwined with semi-translucent fat marbling. The meat was done perfectly medium as requested.
Biting into the meat revealed that the exterior was slightly crisp. A slight bitterness from the char, followed by saltiness from the seasoning lingered for only a second, before being dissolved by the fats literally bursting in the mouth, together with the sweet flavours of the beef.
It was unbelievably delicious. Having any sauce or side with the meat would have been a polluted insult to the beef.
It was a combination of top-notch ingredient and masterful cooking that made the lovely explosions in the mouth possible.
It was worth noting that 250g of this steak was enough. Firstly, because of its fat content, it was sufficiently filling. Secondly, after the fourth or fifth bite, laws of diminishing returns started kicking in. As the tastebuds started to adapt to the exceptional flavours, they started to adapt to the flavours, and the bites starting to lose their initial impact. Too much of a good thing, isn’t that great of a thing.
Sadly, the pan-roasted ocean trout was a little one-dimensional. Even though it was cooked expertly with a scored crispy skin, the filet on it’s own wasn’t enough to be presented as a dish, and felt somewhat incomplete.
All that said, the steak was easily the best piece of beef I’ve had, all things considered, even against the Mayura Station tomahawk I had in Capo.
The Glenelg Public House is definitely a must-visit for me, if I am ever back in Gold Coast Australia.