Regatta Boatshed – 543 Coronation Drive, Regatta Hotel, Toowong, Queensland
My favourite SAT question: Worshippers are to temple as carnivores are to… STEAKHOUSE! There is something about a gorgeously browned-on-the-outside, rosy-on-the-inside hunk of cow, positively oozing with juice and flavour that pleases on such a fundamental level.
In the suburb where I currently am, the Boatshed Restaurant at the Regatta Hotel is the place to beat when it comes to steak. Dinner for 7 with dessert and a good bottle of wine amounted to just $363.70.
You know you’re in for a good steak when the cuts of meat are on display for all to see. I contemplated skipping the menu and picking my cut right from the display.
We started off with a Corn and Seomlina Cob Loaf ($8) with three dips. The chewy, sweet bread was wonderfully neutral and absorbent, a great vector for the three tantalizing accompaniments. I enjoyed the subtle Indian influences on the tomato dip flavoured with coriander while the smooth, vividly-hued beetroot puree was punchy, sweet and tangy. I didn’t get to try much of the olive oil and dukkah for the mixture of crushed nuts and seeds including cumin, bay and crushed garlic vanished almost immediately, it was that good.
The gorgeous Balsamic Glaze Brochette Bread ($9) did not last long either. Soft and pillowy, it was a veritable sponge for the olive oil and balsamico it was drizzled with. The juicy tomatoes were wonderful though more basil would’ve made them pop.
There were steaks all round and I only resisted the urge to shed all social decorum and run around snapping pictures of everybody else’s because the aroma wafting from my 300g Eye Fillet Steak – Medium Rare ($30.90) had me in its seductive embrace. The first thing that struck me as I sliced through my gorgeously tender steak was how thick it was – about 2 full inches – and how it managed to be cooked just right despite that. A beautiful sear left it with just the right amount of sharp smokiness while the rosy hue within meant a bite that resisted just a little before parting to your teeth, absolute perfection.
The sides I chose were not to be trifled with either, commanding attention all by themselves. My Double Cream Truffle Mash was every bit as decadent as it sounds. Luxuriously smooth without being gummy, generously laced with truffle flavour, rich and creamy, it did not even need the fantastic Veal Jus perfumed with bay, rosemary and thyme that I compulsively tipped over it. I went so far as to separate it into two mounds, with and without the jus, to be savoured independently. To ensure there was some green to my meal, I chose Poached Pear and Parmesan Snow Pea Tendrils as my second side; I never expected it to prove so crisp, so sweet and such an exquisite pleasure to eat.
The Lemon Curd Pie with Blood Orange Sorbet ($9.50) was the most popular dessert at our table, and for good reason. The sweet, crumbly, buttery shortcrust was the perfect foil to the lemon curd which was tart, thick and not too sweet. The only thing one could possibly split hairs about was the sorbet which was so delicately acidic that I initially mistook it for strawberry.
White Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ($9.50) came in a close second with its extremely thick, almost fully solid custard and thick burnt sugar crust. With a generous speckling of vanilla bean, this usually fussy and over-refined dessert actually managed to be rustic and satisfying.