Squires Loft Albert Park

I’ve had many recommendations from a variety of people over a reasonable amount of time saying “Go to Squires Loft, it’s the best steak ever” and the impression that I generally got was that it was probably considered the best steak ever by people who hadn’t really been to that many steakhouses, and didn’t know any better.

Yes and no.

Now this isn’t really fair because I’m very spoilt and in my opinion, you can’t really top steakhouses Steer or Charcoal Grill on the Hill (depending on the kind of mood you want to set over dinner). However I have to say that (although I have heard it varies slightly between the various Squires Loft’s) I was actually pleasantly surprised by the steak. It was really quite good.

We started with Boerewors to share (sliced up) which was really just a teaser and frankly, although it was good, I’m not sure about paying $15 for a single sausage. The sweet chilli sauce on the side kind of cheapens it a bit too. A different kind of house made chilli or relish might give it a more upmarket feel.

For steak, I ordered a 200g eye fillet, rare. Menu does not state the type of beef. Both my companions on my advice ordered the 400g rib eye. If in doubt, always rib eye. This was cooked well, with a good flavour (but not so strong that it overshadows the steak) in the house baste, and generally a tender and flavourful piece of meat. $34 for an eye fillet is ok, although there were a few parts of it that were a bit tougher than I would expect for an eye fillet.

Now this isn’t something I’ve had at Steer, as their eye fillet offerings are:

  • Sher F1 Wagyu 400+ days Grain Fed Marble 7+, 225g $72; or
  • O’Conner Black Angus/Hereford Pasture Fed Marble 5, 250g $65

And while I’m sure they are delicious, $60-70+ for a single portion of steak is just a little off the charts for me, and the whole point of Steer is really the joy of social eating so I would always choose the larger cuts anyway. But, at Grill on the Hill you can get

  • Grain fed mid range marble Wagyu, 200g $39 or 300g $48

And as previously mentioned the steak here is perfection.

I’d probably also consider sticking to medium or maybe medium-rare (depending on the venue) for eye fillet from here on, as I find that with very tender and fatty cuts of meat, sometimes having it rarer and therefore softer can actually make it a little slippery and hard to chew (whereas I would always, ALWAYS order rare for a porterhouse//New York Strip).

Of these three offerings for eye fillet, I’d recommend Grill on the Hill hands down, however for atmosphere Squires loft is a bit more relaxed, reminding me of something of a cross between a hotel bistro, local pub, TGI Friday’s, and The Keg (I miss The Keg) – except without the decorative interest or character of the last three.

But I have to say the service was really friendly and although the ambience of the restaurant itself was standard to negligible, this went a fair way to lifting it. One of my companions was particularly hungry and repeated requests for more bread and butter were not only  met with a smile but served promptly and with good humor, I’m pretty sure they also cooked a fresh loaf for us at one point. Thanks, cheerful funny waitress!

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