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Medium Steak with Mushroom Sauce ($15)

Review: Shorty’s, City

Last week Jarrod and I went out for drinks (happy hour at Marble & Grain. $5 spirits!) and then off to dinner at Shorty’s. I’d classify Shorty’s as a Gastropub based on their offerings and pricing. On the night we went they had a $15 steak and drink (called Steak and Shake for some reason, even though there are no shakes involved) deal that also includes chips and salad.

Choc Flake ($7.50) & Golden Gaytime ($8.50) shakes
Choc Flake ($7.50) & Golden Gaytime ($8.50) shakes

We noticed they did have shakes on the menu though so decided to order a couple, even though we also had drinks included in the steak deal. These were good milkshakes but they were far too expensive. There was nothing overly special about them (that I could determine) and their combined cost of $16 (more than 1 of our meals!) made them even less so. Given the state of shakes at the moment, for $8.50 you would expect it to at least be a thick shake and maybe have something a little fancy on the top. Ideally, these should have been around the $6 mark. Fortunately, they were well flavoured and were good for what they were just a bit pricey.

Medium Steak with Mushroom Sauce ($15)
Medium Steak with Mushroom Sauce ($15)

Generally speaking, I will never order a steak from anywhere if there is something else I like on the menu. This was, in fact, the first time I have ordered a steak in my life as I’m not too keen on the texture. Over the last few years I have been exposed to some really lovely steaks though and, given I was recently diagnosed with an iron deficiency, I decided to get over my issues with steak and ordered one.

We both ordered our steaks medium (about as pink as I can take a steak being) and they came out fairly quickly. The mushroom sauce was quite good and I was surprised to see actual mushrooms in the mix. The steak was about what I expected for a $15 steak. It didn’t change my mind on steak and I wondered if getting such a cheap meal for my first ever steak order might have been a mistake however, I was a bit scared to buy something more expensive and also find it average. It was cooked to what I’d consider to be medium and was relatively soft but no where near as good as the ones I’ve had previously, given the price difference though this isn’t overly surprising.

If you’re looking for a nice, quiet place to go for dinner so you can easily be heard by your table mates, Shorty’s is probably not the place for you. The music was very loud and, although I had booked a table, we were at a high table that appeared to just be shoved in a corner to get the most out of the room they had. It was such a tight fit that I had to jump down from my chair and move it so the people at the table behind us could get out.

I could see this being a fun place to go for drinks (apparently the beer choices are good!) but, even though I’m keen to try their burgers and schnitzel nights, I’m not sure it’s somewhere I’ll be back to any time soon.

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Shorty's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Scotch fillet - grass fed 300g, served with Paris mash, roquette, bone marrow & red wine jus ($38)

Review: Marble & Grain, Braddon

For Jarrod’s birthday he decided he wanted to have steak involved in his birthday dinner. As someone that rarely eats steak I didn’t really know what was around. Our first choice was going to be Wood & Coal in the city but they temporarily closed in July and their Facebook says they’ll re-open in August, their website says September (although it’s still possible to book a table online..) and there is a sign on the door that says Mid October… as of Oct 31st, I still have no idea whether they’re open or not.

Marble & Grain Restaurant
Marble & Grain Restaurant

So, instead, we decided on going to Marble & Grain, the other place (with the exception of Hog’s Breath and Outback Jack’s, whose reviews are less than stellar) that I knew specialised in steak. Marble & Grain is quite huge and has both a bar and restaurant area and is also the restaurant for The Avenue hotel. I got the feeling that Jarrod and I were the only people actually there that weren’t from the hotel. This might be because we went fairly early on a Sunday afternoon.

Sourdough Bread - dukkah, local olive oil, balsamic vinegar, butter ($4)
Sourdough Bread – dukkah, local olive oil, balsamic vinegar, butter ($4)

Initially for starters I wanted to try the mysteries of the Chorizo Corndogs that they had on the menu but Jarrod didn’t seem too keen on those so we went with bread. We didn’t get the balsamic with the bread and the butter tasted unusual, I wasn’t able to determine what was in it but we both agreed we would have preferred if it had just been straight up butter as the menu suggests. Normally we would have devoured the butter on the delicious Sourdough but because of the taste we ended up leaving most of it and went for the olive oil and dukkah instead.. or just ate the bread plain.

Confit Duck - duck proscuitto, citrus salad, chilli caramel dressing ($36)
Confit Duck – duck proscuitto, citrus salad, chilli caramel dressing ($36)

As someone that doesn’t eat steak (I considered giving it a try but at the $40 mark I didn’t want to take one bite and realise I’d wasted my money) there wasn’t a huge amount of other selection. I checked the menu online and decided to try the chicken they had on offer. Unfortunately, when we were shown the menus when we were seated they were different to what was online (and also on the window outside) and the chicken option was no longer there. Although I don’t eat duck often I decided to give it a try.

It doesn’t look like much other than a mountain of salad in the photo but it was quite good. I surprised myself by quite enjoying the citrus salad and chili caramel dressing too. I will admit that most of the time if a meal includes salad I usually just push it to the side and leave it behind. I also enjoyed the proscuitto on top (and wished there had been more) and the duck was tender and juicy and delicious. Duck still isn’t my meat of choice but I might give it a second glance more often on menus now.

Scotch fillet - grass fed 300g, served with Paris mash, roquette, bone marrow & red wine jus ($38)
Scotch fillet – grass fed 300g, served with Paris mash, roquette, bone marrow & red wine jus ($38)

And the meal we had gone there for, the steak. I didn’t try any so I can’t say how it tasted but Jarrod really enjoyed it and was glad he’d had the opportunity to have a ‘proper’ steak for his birthday dinner. Although it was 300g of meat he wished there had been even more because it was really well cooked and the mash was also perfect. He left the bone marrow behind though.

Overall the service was good (potentially too attentive for our liking but probably of a high level for other people) and the food was well made. The price was somewhat higher than we normally spend and it wouldn’t be somewhere we’d return to on a regular basis, however for occasional outings or when Jarrod has a steak hankering I’d be happy to return.

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Marble & Grain Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato