Sun – Sat 11am – till late
Note: Apologies for the picture quality. Mobiles were used in the making of this blog.
#HappyFriday – celebratory greetings at the end of the working week.
“Fridays. There is always a buzz in the air. The thrilling excitement that the working week is ending and the weekend is fast approaching. There is an unexplained increase in happiness (even my senior partners are grinning) and puts a spring in people’s strides. It’s the day we ask ‘what’s on for the weekend?’ and for me, the word ‘brunch’ is guaranteed to be spoken. Most of my work friends know about my extracurricular activity, however, it came as a shock when I mentioned “steaks for brunch”. There was no egg in sight, but I have heard good things of Station Hotel. With a carnivorous frame of mind, it was time to eat some meat.
On both the outside and the inside, Station Hotel has retained a lot of its historic pub vibe. From the retention of classic furniture, right down to the stale wooden smell from the bar benches, it’s as if I’m visiting a pub that my Pop would have dropped in at for a sneaky cold one. This isn’t to say Station Hotel is dilapidated. The dinning area has calm and modern decor with plenty of natural lighting bouncing from the white feature wall. The staff are kind and informed as to menu selection, allowing enough space to enjoy the dining experience.
With a steak in mind, the decision was down to the type of cut. The selection of cuts were extensive enough to keep a meat enthusiast interested, but not overly confronting for the causal diner. Decisions had to made and, with a personal preference for a little fat to enhance the taste, 300g Kilcoy (QLD) 120 day grain fed Black Angus scotch fillet [$38] was my pick of the crop. Served with salad, chips and a well-matched Mountain Goat Steam Ale [$7], I was a very happy man.
The beer went down effortlessly – not as crisp as a Pilsner – with a pleasant smokiness on the forefront of my palate. Whilst red meat is typically matched with a darker beer, I thoroughly enjoyed the lighter flavours with my dish.
The presentation of the meal was very inviting and equally delicious. The sides complemented the meat well, but it was the customisation of the condiments that gave it a personal touch. They were all of high quality, but the dijon mustard was a winner. Spread on the scotch fillet it provided a lovely smooth texture with pockets of heat dancing on my tongue. The fillet itself had a beautiful, consistent texture throughout with a slight melt-in-the-mouth moment. The fat line provided just the right amount of additional juiciness. The super crispy chips and the green salad balanced perfectly with the meat. Whilst steak dishes are often seen as ‘simplistic’, in this case the detail of the flavours and the quality of the meat was noticeable – making for an incredible dish.
The steak was very filling, however there is an old saying in hospitality that we all have a second stomach for dessert. While I don’t necessary agree with this anatomical discovery, Miss SL and Carly are true believers. With a little persuasion and perusal of the desert menu, my choice was an easy one – Chocolate Souffle and vanilla bean ice cream [$14]. It was a half an hour wait, but very much worth it.
The Chocolate Souffle was sitting above the ramekin and appeared very eager to be eaten up. It was exceptionally soft with a chocolate sauce at the base. It was the perfect send off for the day. While we did a share taste around the table, this was my favourite – an outstanding classic.
From an old pub to a high quality restaurant located in Footscray – at first this evolution can be hard to comprehend. However, the pictures don’t lie. A lot of effort and detail has gone into the menu of Station Hotel and it’s worth giving your usual brunch spots a rest for an impressive steak.”
“Here at Brunch Addict Headquarters, we try to maintain our physiques. Yes, we eat a lot like all food bloggers, scraping our plates clean as to taste every morsel.We try to balance our luxurious eating habits with a bit of exercise and a balanced diet throughout the week. It’s hard work. When our good friend Carly suggested we go to the Station Hotel, to have what we have long heard is ‘one of the best steaks around’, we could only say yes. After all, who’s to say no to a protein-packed meal?
I arrived unusually early for our Saturday lunch. With 20 minutes to spare I decided to take some photos of the empty venue – only to realise that I hadn’t put the batteries back in my camera – do’h! So Unfortunately you’ll have to live with our smartphone pictures.. sorry guys! When Carly and Mr LB arrived we didn’t waste any time at all to order our meals. While I was up for a steak, I wasn’t ridiculously hungry, ordering the 200g John Dee, Warwick (QLD) 100 day grain fed Black Angus flat iron [$28], with extra salad and no chips. Unbelievable that I skipped on the chips, I know.
As the venue started filling up, I noticed that the crowd was very different to what I was used to for a brunch/lunch experience. With a family-oriented audience there were babies, parents and the elderly milling about and catching up on life events. It was the kind of place my mother (also a big foodie, but a total lover of pub-food) would love.
It took about 30 minutes for the meals to come out, which was a bit faster than I was expecting for steak. My eyes immediately landed on Carly’s plate, jealous of the big, beautiful, crispy hand-cut chips. So. Tempting. With her permission I took a couple for myself to enjoy – despite my best efforts to be behaved. They were perfectly golden and crisp on the outside, filled with beautifully cooked potato inside. They were delightfully addictive.
My steak was served medium-rare and was cooked perfectly – a little bit pink but without blood. It was easy to cut and appeared to be incredibly lean with no fat to be found. It was juicy and full of flavour.
Also served with the steak was some béarnaise and pepper sauce, along with a choice of dijon mustard, hot English mustard and whole grain mustard to choose from. I had some hot English mustard and also some peppercorn sauce to go with my steak. The hot English mustard was HOT, even for someone who’s quite pro-chili, like myself. The peppercorn sauce was a little runny but packed with flavour and a perfect, classic accompaniment with the steak.
For dessert, we decided to share between the three of us. Mr LB decided on the special – Chocolate souffle with vanilla bean ice cream [$14], Carly chose the Creme caramel with poached rhubarb and almond dentelle [$14] and I went for the Creme brulee [$14].
The chocolate souffle was served very hot – bursting with rich, creamy chocolate inside. It was really beautiful and the souffle itself was light, holding its shape well. My creme brulee immediately took me back to my experience at the The Post Office Hotel. It was seriously a carbon copy. The orange blossom-like flavours came shooting through with very visible vanilla bean inside. The toffee was delightfully made and cracked perfectly underneath my spoon. The only problem with this dessert was that after a heavy meal of steak, it was a bit too dense for me.
My favourite dessert of the lot was Carly’s creme caramel, and we ended up swapping plates. It was light and creamy with the rhubarb perfectly poached.
Station Hotel is a a lovely, down-to-earth kind of venue with a focus on delivering premium beef sourced from Australia and New Zealand. The staff are friendly and attentive, whilst the venue is relaxed and welcoming. I very much enjoyed the experience there and wouldn’t hesitate taking my family back for a gourmet lunch.”
Final thought: “Well-worth the visit for an incredible steak”
Check out our attempt at Station Hotel’s famous Penne, spicy bolognaise, peas & fresh ricotta at The Modern Connoisseur