641 Chapel Street
South Yarra 3141, VIC
Website: Steer Bar and Grill
Brazilian food, that's not something you hear too much about in Melbourne. So when I got an invite to attend the Steer Bar and Grill launch, I was excited to try some Brazilian food. The only other place that I've been to that does Brazilian food was Blue Fire, and I think that was mainly focused on grilled meats and a bit more commercialised. I'm not sure how representative that food was of Brazil, and to be honest, I'm not really sure what Brazilian food consists of.
Steer Bar and Grill is located in the Olsen Hotel on the quieter end of trendy Chapel Street. It is very striking from outside and equally striking inside. The room is divided into two levels, with various definitive spaces. The top level consists of a large bar, casual dining tables with bench seating and standing room that overlooks the downstairs area. I think it would be a nice area to come by for some light snacks and drinks after work. I'm not sure what the intent of that area is, but that would be my guess. The downstairs area would be the more formal dining area where tables would usually be if it hadn't been cleared to accommodate all the guests is my assumption. The smaller bar downstairs with the coffee machine and wine glasses would hint that it would be used more to serve drinks and coffee for seated dining guests.
Above: Upstairs bar
Below from left: Downstairs area, upstairs tables
On the night, there was a variety of food being served, although I'm not sure all of those are actually on the menu. I caught a glimpse (and quick photo) of a menu before a chef quickly took it away. As there is nothing on their website yet, I can only assume that the official looking menu I saw is indeed what diners will be offered. On the night, we sampled freshly shucked oysters with a tangy vinegar type sauce. I bumped into Penny and Henry and we made sure we got our oyster fix. The oysters were not really Brazilian and don't seem to feature on the menu I saw.
The other canapes being served were pastries, which is where I bumped into Sarah and Sandra. On Sarah's blog, you can see the proper names of each type, but basically they were pastries containing different fillings of chicken, beef and lamb. These items also don't appear on the menu, which I guess is a good thing. I didn't particularly enjoy any of the pastries, finding that in each case, the filling was ruined by the extremely dry pastry.
The Kingfish Ceviche (which Dennis, my substitute photographer for the night didn't get a photo of) was very good, tangy but still retaining the flavour of the fish. This item does seem to be on the menu, along with the BBQ beef. The beef was very nice, and I loved the chilli sauce that was served with it. The toasted flour-y accompaniment also gave a really nice flavour and texture.
From the menu, there seems to be a lot of interesting dishes that I would love to try. For appetisers, there is a pea and smoked ham consomme and kingfish ceviche. Entrees has some interesting items like Acaraje (scallops, prawns and shrimp sauce), Casquinha de Siri (crab salad with palm heart and lime), Churrasco Quail (bbq quil with cottled quail egg and black-eyed bean salsa), Wagyu Carpaccio (with fried white anchovies, hazelnut, tarragon vinegrette) and Risotto of Quinoa and Faro.
Mains looks to consist of Spanish Mackerel (in a coconut and chorizo broth), Organic Spring Chicken (roasted and confit), Suckling Pig (served in a variety of ways), Spring Lamb (roasted with vegetables) and of course the Beef (bbq). Desserts sound really interesting too, with tropical fruits used with churros, brulees and sorbets.
I must go back to Steer and try out the food soon, as the menu really has me interested. I don't think the food served that night was representative of the normal served items. Hopefully the website has a menu soon and I confirm whether the menu I saw was indeed the real menu.
Thanks to Caryn Ng from Media Moguls for inviting myself and Dennis to the launch.