Steak Dinners

 After a hard days Utility Consulting what does every Utility Consultant need - a steak dinner !!! Listed below are my picks for good steak dinners (and breakfasts ... and lunches .... and morning smoko's). The scope of "steak dinners" has been widened to include steak sandwiches and .... after some debate and mental anguish.... jumbo-sized hamburger patties. My overall best picks would have to be...

- The thick, juicy rumps with roast potatoes at Newton's Restaurant in Johannesburg, South Africa.

- The slow cooked prime rib with garlic mushrooms at the Hogsbreath Cafe in Glenelg, South Australia.

- The Rump Special with mushroom sauce at Portobello's in Westport, New Zealand.

- The Scotch Fillet cooked Medium at the Ball & Chain Grill in Hobart, Tasmania.



(CBD east)
the STAG
Corner Rundle St & East Tce
Ph (08) 8223-2934

These guys motto is "serious about meat", and they pride themselves on being Adelaide's worst vegetarian restaurant. I had a 300g Porterhouse done to perfection, with chunky fries and ginger ale, but just ask them to go easy on the salt. A good way to unwind over the AFR ... service was really exceptional. And if you get sick of steak night after night, wander across Rundle St to the Taj Tandoor for an Indian (very nice)...

(CBD north)
129 North Tce
Ph (08) 8238-2900


A bit of an old fashioned pub & cafe opposite the Railway Station (near King William St). The decor is a bit tired (1970's minus the nicotine stains), but the tucker was alright. The baked potato with sour cream was good, the salad was really good (yeah ... finally Phil admits salad was good) ... the steak was a bit burnt at the bottom, so just be careful how you order.

Hogsbreath Cafe
32 Jetty Rd
Ph (08) 8376-3600


The good old Hogsbreath ... just a very pleasant 35 minute tram ride from the CBD. I had the slow cooked (18 hours !!) prime rib with garlic mushrooms, curly fries and a salad with honey mustard dressing. Quite simply this was the tenderest steak I've ever had ... barely even needed to chew it !!! A quiet summer evening on the upstairs balcony was just great.


Alexandra Stadium Tavern
143 Centennial Ave
Ph (03) 448-7006
So called because it backs on to the local stadium, this is a wide, open pub setting featuring Central Otago stone columns. The rump cooked medium with beatiful golden-brown fries and salad was really good, although the meat was just a bit chewy.
Ashburton Kelly's Cafe & Bar
234 East St
Ph (03) 308-8811


A neat little cafe in the main street (for the avoidance of doubt, this is the town of Ashburton in New Zealand, not the suburb of Ashburton in Melbourne)... great small-town hospitality. The steak lunch from the blackboard menu was just great.


(CBD central)
Mercure Hotel
8 Customs St
Ph (09) 377-8920
The "M Burger" with the Wagyu and Angus beef pattie, gouda cheese and shoe string fries was pretty amazing. It is a fairly good sized portion, so best skip the entree.

(CBD lower)


Angus Steak House
35 Albert St
Ph (09) 379-7815


The steaks here are magnificent - pick your own from the cold cabinet - rump, fillet, T-bone, scotch. My pick is the 1,000g rump but would recommend not filling up on salads beforehand. However the decor is very tired and uninviting.


(CBD upper)


Rendezvous Hotel
Cnr Mayoral Drive & Vincent St
Ph (09) 366-6000


The alpine pepper infused sirloin on potato mash with green beens and red wine jus was really good. The service was also excellent (real 5 star stuff). If you're there for a few nights, the Roo and Croc makes a nice alternative to Cow.




Nuffield St Cafe
11a Nuffield St
Ph (09) 520-2240


Nuffield St Cafe is a bit of trendy place, just opposite the Remuera Rd corner. It has a distinct Italian "pasta and pizza" feel, with some rather cool jazz. Anyway, the Rib Eye cooked medium with salad and fries was just brilliant - well worth a visit.




Buller River Holiday Park & Cafe
1205 Lower Buller Gorge Rd
Inangahua Junction
Ph (03) 789-0295


Berlins is a "widening" of the road (couldn't really call it a "place") about 35km from Westport on the lower reaches of the Buller River. A fantastic place to watch the river meander along against the back drop of endless beech forests. The half-size Rib-eye with kumara chips and a real trendy salad was just great, although the Hollandaise sauce was very salty. The only downside was the sand-flies, and although they have complimentary insect repellant at the counter, I would suggest long trousers, shoes and long sleeves.




Steak Shed
7 Charles St
Ph (03) 578-1124


A la carte steaks - definitely worth a visit. Decor is beef/Tex sort of theme. Service was exquisite the night I was there (a freezing cold winter's night, but it was just so warm and inviting). I think these guys have moved (or is that moooo-ved) since I was last there, so best check the phone book, and can't vouch that the service is still great.




The Lily Pad Cafe
1242 Kaipaki Rd
Ph (07) 823-9143


The Liy Pad is a quaint little cafe cum gallery cum plant nursery on the outskirts of Cambridge, on the back road to Te Awamutu ... a great place to take a lady.They also play a good blend of ABBA, Van Halen and Cat Stevens but at a volume you can conversate over. I had the steak sandwich which comprised a 200g Scotch fillet on a sourdough bun with melted blue cheese, salad greens , sliced tomatoes and a beuatiful chutney and accompanied by a handful of fries. The quality of the tucker and service was excellent, but it is definitely what I'd call a "light meal". Best phone first as these guys are a day-time only cafe and are closed on Mondays.


Plains Bar & Grill
Level 1
Terminal building
Ph (03) 358-5029
A very pleasant interlude to the boredom of airports, gazing out towards the Southern Alps and debating whether hamburger patties really count as steak. Anyway, the Jumbo Burger with chunky fries and salad was really excellent.

(CBD north)


The Vic & Whale
774 Columbo St
Ph (03) 366-6355



A la carte menu at a modern sports cafe complete with big screen. I would recommend the 400g steak with fries & salad. Note that the Vic & Whale is now within the earthquake cordon, and off limits.


Pavilions Hotel
42 Papanui Rd
Ph (03) 355-5633
The dining room has a very pioneering theme, along with real grapes dangling from the ceiling. The Rib Eye On The Bone cooked medium with seasoned mashed potatoes was just amazing !!! Also had a feed of pork the following night which was pretty good.



1 Riccarton Rd
Ph (03) 348-1490



A real modern cafe & sports bar on the former Nancy's site at the corner of Riccarton Rd and Deans Ave. The 300g eye fillet with roast potatoes and green salad was just divine, topped off by exceptionally friendly and prompt service.




Post Office Cafe & Bar
2 Blyth St
Ph (03) 449-2488


This is the old stone Post Office, with a beutiful cozy fire. The 225g Porterhouse cooked medium with fries and salad was wonderful. Definitely worth a visit if you're in Central Otago.


Dannevirke The Barrel House
10 Ward St
Ph (06) 374-9151

A converted wines & beer warehouse (hence the name) just off State Highway 2 in the heart of Dannevirke. The waitresses, atmosphere and meals were just exquisite ... a real must. I tried the Scotch fillet with mushroom sauce and the usual salad and a huge bowl of fries ... easy to see how these guys won an award.

(CBD North)
Angus Steakhouse
7 St Andrew St
Ph (03) 479-2018
The Angus is a semi-intimate restaurant a couple of blocks north of Moray Place (and appears to completely unrelated to the Angus in downtown Auckland). The 225g Angus fillet done medium-well was just superb. The sides were buttery mashed potatoes (really amazing taste), accompanied by a sweet corn and mushroom salsa with a green salad and Hollandaise sauce. The service was warm, prompt and very friendly. The restaurant area was filling rapidly even for a cold wet Tuesday, so might be an idea to book first.

(CBD South)



Lone Star
417 Princes St
Ph (03) 474-1955


This place was so warm and friendly and really rockin' on a chilly damp Monday evening. I had the black Angus sirloin marinated in garlic and cracked pepper with sauteed onions, buffalo fries, coleslaw and a Jack Daniels & Cracked Pepper sauce. The service was really great (even had the Otago Daily Times bought to the table), so certainly worth a visit.


The Customhouse
Corner Wharf & Fryatt Sts
Ph (03) 477-1950
As the name says, this is the old customhouse that has been converted to an exquisite restaurant looking across to Andy Bay. The lunchtime 250g steak with glazed whole potatoes and a rather fancy salad was very good.




Woody's Faulty Tower
3 Campbell St
Ph (03) 431-2850


This used to be the Duntroon Hotel, but it has changed names. It is pretty basic but is still a good place for a feed and a yarn with the locals. The steak was good, and came with onions, chunky chips and coleslaw. Worth a stop if your're passing by.


Prick - Lee - Pear Cafe
70 Main St
Ph (03) 685-6070


A cute little small-town cafe in the South Canterbury heart land. I stopped for a Mocha and noticed that they had an all-day cooked breakfast on the menu with 4 kinds of dead animals .... yep, 4 kinds !!! .... steak, sossies, bacon and a meat pattie. However it was only 10am so I decided that I didn't really need a feed but it sure was tempting !!!




The Kingfisher Bar
35 Gladstone Rd
Ph (06) 868-8787


Formerly Scotty's Bar & Grill, Kingfisher is a re-vamped sports bar & restaurant. The 300g rump with chunky chips, salad greens and aeoli was fantastic. The steak was cooked to perfection, and the salad included diced strawberry's. Definitely worth a visit.




Gordon Gecko
No1 Wharf Shed
60 The Esplanade
Ph (06) 868-3257

Very exquisite, perhaps more of an intimate style of restaurant (a bit like Shed 5 in Wellington). The Angus fillet on kumara mash topped with scallops is just divine !!!


Greymouth West Of The Border
21 Mackay St
Ph (03) 768-5272
A quaint little cowboy diner where they play both kinds of music ... country AND western. The steak dinner is certainly worth it though ... a sort of cowboy re-write of steak, egg & chips that comes with a side order of re-fired beans.
(CBD south)
Lone Star
185 Victoria St
Ph (07) 839-3005


A really casual place but with a dark, semi-initimate feel about it. Steak, fries and salad is really great ... also a good place to take the family.


(CBD central)
Em Bar Go
Garden Place
Ph (07) 834-1353


These guys tout themselves as one of Hamilton's premier restaurants, and it is not hard to see why. I had a steak sandwich, which included a 150g steak, caramelised onions, chunky fires and some assorted green stuff. A very pleasant way to watch the world go by over lunch.


(CBD north)


Speights Ale House
30 Liverpool St
Ph (07) 834-3442


The Speights Ale House is a newcomer to the north end of the CBD, with plenty of parking space and a cool, darkwood interior decorated with plenty of photo's of the original Speights brewery in Dunedin. The steak sammie with cranberry jam, chunky chips and salad was really excellent.



Queenwood Shops
Cnr Herbert Rd & Queenwood Ave
Ph (07) 855-0511

The black Angus scotch fillet with shoestring fries and ... green stuff (whatever, but it did have onions it) with Hollandaise was just great. The steak is a 250g, which actually leaves you comfortably full for a lunch time. Great place to beat the car parking hassles !!!
The Cook
7 Cook St
Ph (07) 856-6088


The steak, fries and salad here are really good. The building is a pit-sawn Kauri hall that has been used for pretty much everything before it was a cafe. Friday lunchtime is fairly busy ... fight your way thru' the real estate agents and regional council staff, but well worth it.


Boston Bar & Cafe
Hillcrest Shops
276 Cambridge Rd
Ph (07) 856-3996

Not bad for a suburban sort of sports bar & cafe. The 250g rump with garlic butter, beer-batter fries and salad was really good ... just right for a Friday lunch time snack. The service was reasonably snappy ... probably the only cautionary note is that car parking is very limited.


(Mystery Creek)


25 Angus Rd
Mystery Creek
Ph (07) 823-6411


A very fancy function lounge just past the famous Mystery Creek Events Center. I had the wood oven roasted Hereford prime eye fillet, with a confit garlic & braised beet croquette and smoked potato puree. The helpings were pretty small and rather pricey, but as my mate said "you're paying for the experience".




Corner Grandview Rd & Hyde Ave
Ph (07) 846-4696


Yardhouse is an old-stlye suburban cafe (and a TAB ... and a sports bar ... and a pokie bar) in the Grandview Mall. Tasteful decor is accompanied by rugby memorabilia and a cool music vid's channel. The steak sammie was just wonderful, and came with chunky fries dusted with paprika. Check out these guys on FaceBook as well.

Horsham Heights Shopping Center
Cnr Thomas & Horsham Downs Rds
Ph (07) 852-5925


A new cafe & restaurant with an intimate yet light, breezy feeling to it. I'd really recommend the 500g Scotch fillet with beer batter fries and garlic butter. A really good place to take a bit time out and enjoy a great feed !!!


(North West)


11/43 The Boulevard
Te Rapa
Ph (07) 847-5666


Zee is a trendy lunch bar in the industrial estate near Harvey Norman's. The staff are warm, friendly and inviting. I had a steak sammie (well done) that came with onion jam, chips and some shrubbery. A really good feed for about $16.


62 Church Rd
Pukete Industrial Estate
Ph (07) 850-9339
A new cafe over-looking the ... er ... well ... the Pukete Industrial Estate, but the view beyond to the hills and the bush is fantastic. This is a new place with huge picture windows, and clean as. I had a diced sticky pork sandwich from the lunch menu (a departure from my usual beef) which was just magnificent. This really is the place to go for lunch (and heard from friends that dinner is pretty amazing).
(Rural north)


934 Gordonton Rd
Ph (07) 824-3691



A quaint little rural function lounge about 7 minutes drive noth-east of Hamilton (on the back road to Auckland). A great place for Friday lunch looking over the lawn, the pond and beyond to the cows grazing. The steak was small (we were warned) but really great ... the chunky fries were a wonderful complement.


(CBD east)
Breakers Cafe & Bar
131 Heretaunga St
Ph (06) 878-6701
Good old breakers ... was about the only the place open on a hot Monday night, but always good for a feed. The 200g Sirloin well-done with fries and salad was really good. I had a garlic and parsley sauce which was okay, but probably wouldn't have it again.




Mussel Pot Cafe
73 Main Rd
Ph (03) 574-2824


For starters I had the mussel chowder, which was nice enough but did seem rather average for a cafe that prides itself on mussels. After saying I was really hungry, the waitress suggested steak, egg & chips which seemed a rather odd suggestion for a cafe that prides itself on mussels. Anyway, the steak, egg and chips was nice enough.

Havelock North


Happy Tav Icons Restaurant
Corner Poter Drive & Te Aute Rd
Ph (06) 877-5025

The scotch fillet with mushroom and red wine jus, mashed potatoes, baby carrots and green beans was nice enough. The steak was a bit tough, but in all fairness I did ask for it well done.

(CBD central)


Barries Restaurant & Sports Bar
76 - 80 Princes St
Ph (06) 278-4998


Not a bad feed for a Monday night in Hawera !!! The fillet mignon with fries and salad was surprisingly good.


(Battery Point)


Ball & Chain Grill
87 Salamanca Place
Ph (03) 6223-2655


Set in an old gaol (hence the name), the Ball & Chain proved to be a very popular night spot and the 20 minute wait for a table was well worth it. I had the 170g Scotch Fillet cooked Medium with a Forestielle Sauce (mushrooms, bacon and red wine). The meat was just falling apart under the knife, cooked to perfection !!!


(Salamanca West)
Irish Murphy's
21 Salamanca Place
Ph (03) 6223-1119
Irish Murphy's is a quaint Irish pub in the heart of Hobart's historic waterfront. The steak burger came with a 300g steak folded in half, dried tomatoes, chunky fries and aoeli. Definitely a good bet after a long day.

Waxy O'Sheas' Irish Pub
90 Dee St
Ph (03) 214-0313


A quaint Irish pub in the Invercargill CBD that includes a roaring log fire with leather couches. Three steak dinners were on the menu, but my pick was the Dublin T-Bone - a 350g t-bone with fries, mashed potatoes, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes. The plate must have been 20" across (no kidding !!), so definitely not for the faint-hearted.




Ziff's Cafe
143 Dunn's Rd
Ph (03) 213-0501


On a freezing cold Southland night this place is just the spot. Situated in the beach-side suburb of Otatara, this used to be the dairy where we got icecreams on the way to Oreti Beach as kids (but enough reminisicing). The steak dinners were really fantastic, but perhaps just a little pricey.




Oasis Luxury Guest House
29 Homestead Rd,
Ph (011) 807-4351


This place really is an Oasis, a great place to spend a few weeks (working of course). The meals were really good, and Anita (the lady of the house) does a really awesome steak sandwich. Grayham (the man of the house) does a really mean steak on the brai (which is Afrikaans slang for a good old BBQ).




Newton's Restaurant
Megawatt Park
Maxwell Drive
Ph (011) 800-3027


Well you wouldn't believe it ... probably the best restaurant I've ever been to. This is the formal dining room which is part of the conference center at Eskom's Megawatt Park offices. The steaks are just so thick and juicy (and they usually have a choice of 3 hot dead animals every day).


Karapiro Power House Cafe & Bar
401 Ariki Ave
Karapiro Village
Ph (07) 827-8787
An amazing restaurant set near the lake at Karapiro (just the place for a utility consultant), about 10 minutes drive from Cambridge. Plenty of old construction photo's from the 1940's grace the walls. Anyway, the sirloin steak done medium-well, fried eggs & chuncky chips with salad was really great .... probably one of the tenderest steaks I've had in a long time.
Levin Cobb & Co
Corner Durham & Oxford Sts
Ph (06) 368-9157


Well, eh .... Levin on a cold Tuesday night ... not the place a hungary bloke should be !!! The Cobb was about the only place that looked like it did steaks, but I was pleasantly surprised. The 400g T-Bone with salad & fries was pretty good albeit slightly under-cooked.






Hard Drive Cafe
State Highway 2
Ph (06) 862-4823


A quaint little road-side diner halfway between Gisborne and Opotiki at the south end of the Waioeka Gorge convinently located close to the Gents. The steak, chips & salad was surprisingly good ... the salad was just like Mum used to make with greated cheese, sliced tomatoes and shreded lettuce.



P J O'Briens
Level 1
Terminal 3
Ph (03) 9330-0946


Very similar to PJ's at Southbank, this is an exquisite little place that makes a real welcome change to the boredom of an airport. They do have a Porterhouse on the menu, but at 4:30pm I figured that would be a bit piggy (especially seeing as Qantas feed you like a king), so settled for a bowl of seasoned wedges with sour cream and chilli sauce.




Lygon Charcoal Grill & Steakhouse,
120 Lygon St,
Ph (03) 9663-1756


A small boutique kind of place amongst the Indian and Thai restaurants at the city end of Lygon St, this place turned out to be really great. We ordered the Kangaroo steaks, which was served as medallions with cranbury sauce, buttery mashed potatoes and steamed brocolli heads. Although these guys are pricey (typically A$38 to A$40 for a main), it was worth it.


(CBD central)


Novotel on Collins
270 Collins St
Ph (03) 9667-5800


A posh hotel in the Melbourne CBD offering exquisite dining. The 400g black angus rump on a potato rosti with battered onion rings and tomato hollandaise is just superb.


(CBD West)


Max Bar & Cafe
52 Hardware Lane
Ph (03) 9600-1697


Max is a trendy place in Hardware Lane, and was warm, friendly and rockin' even on a freezing cold Monday night. I had the grain-fed T-Bone with chips and sald, which was just fantastic.


(Glen Waverley)
297 Spring Vale Rd
Ph (03) 9518-7111
The Scotch Fillet with chunky fries and green salad was a generously sized meal, served quickly and hot. Not a bad way to end a hard day's work. They also have Tender Loin on the menu (which was also pretty good).





Village Green Hotel
Corner Ferntree Gully and Springvale Roads
Ph (03) 9560-8400



The 250g Rump, fries lightly dusted with paprika, salad with red onions, and onion rings was really good for what looked like it would be an average feed at a suburban pokie bar. The best bit was a Scicilian topping on the steak consisting of black olives, salami, onions, capsicums and tomato relish.


(Notting Hill)


The Nott
250 Ferntree Gully Rd
Ph (03) 9544-3031


Well ... what does one say ?? The scarfie pub for Monash. Decor was pretty sad, but there was a log fire. I had the Scotch Fillet with mushroom gravy and chips with a potato salad on the side. This place was okay, but wouldn't stick in my mind as a place to go back to.


Mt View Hotel
70 Bridge Rd
Ph (03) 9428-3973
A warm, friendly sports bar in the heart of Richmond, just a 5 minute tram ride from Flinders St - pretty good as far as suburban venues go. I had the Angus fillet with red wine jus, chunky chips and onion rings. Like I said, pretty good as far as pub grub goes.




P J O'Briens
Shop 14-16
Southbank Retail Center
Ph (03) 9686-5011


A fantastic Irish cafe in the Southbank retail center (just below the IBM Tower). The dark wood, soft lights, gentle Dire Straits and the beautiful Irish accents of the waitresses made this place really awesome. I had the 300g Cape Grim grass-fed Porterhouse, mushroom gravy, beer-batter fries and a delicate little salad thing that looked like finely sliced onions and lettuce.



Muddy Waters Irish Pub
Riverbank Rd
Ph (09) 233-6663


A small country log-cabin pub on the banks of the Waikato River between Auckland and Hamilton. The steaks are great, but don't hold high expectations for the charm and discretion of the waitresses.




Whitebait Inn
State Highway 3
Ph (06) 752-9713


The Whitebait Inn is a little country cafe at Mokau (about an hour's drive north of New Plymouth) on the West Coast of the North Island. Pretty simple place, clean tidy and really prompt service with a decent sized steak, really beaut fries and a salad.


(CBD east)


Council Cafe & Bar
50 Canada St
Ph (07) 889-6748


The Council is set in the old art-deco Morrinsville Borough Council building which has been beautifully re-modelled. I had the steak sammie with caramelised onions and aeoli which was just beaut. It didn't come with fries, so it was just about the right size for lunch. Definitely worth another visit.


Mount Beauty


Settlers' Tavern
232 Kiewa Valley Highway
Ph (03) 5754-4888


Nestled in the mountains of north-eastern Victoria, the Settlers' is a quaint old-style tavern. The 350g Black Angus Rump cooked medium with the salad, fries and mushroom sauce was very good.





Rivers Cafe
51 Fairfax St
Ph (03) 523-9009



Rivers is a rustic sort of cafe with sculpted wood furniture just off Highway 6 about an hour's drive from Nelson. The steak sandwich with fries and salad was really good, however the blonde waitress with the tattooed ankle bracelet was definitely a no-smile zone ... certainly didn't make me feel welcome. Also, just watch that the blackboard meals that seem really cheap are exclusive of extras like salads and chips. So an overall assessment is that the tucker was good but the service was poor.


24a Hastings St
Ph (06) 834-4085
A quiet sports bar one street back from the waterfront. The 250g Scotch Fillet cooked well done with mushroom sauce was fasntastic, and really tender. Napier CBD cafes appear pretty pricey, certainly along the waterfront a steak dinner was between $30 and $34, so Kazba was even better.


(CBD East)


204 Hardy St
Ph (03) 545-8555


Named after the famous Italian motor-scooter, Lambretta's is a themed medium-sized cafe and bar close to the Nelson CBD in the old New Zealand Insurance building. After browsing the cabinet food (most of which had green stuff in it), I settled for the steak sandwich and a flat white. The steak was really tender and arrived really promptly amidst the busy lunch-time crowds. If you've got some time to spare, wander along the street to the Eclectic antique gallery for a browse.

New Plymouth


Steak Out
36 Leach St
Ph (06) 759-9949



Specialises in a la carte steak dinners cooked to perfection. The 400g rump is certainly worth tackling. They also have a 900g but I suggest going light on the salads if you do this. Bookings are recommended. Apparently it is under new management and has changed its name to the Divine Steak House and it according to the reviews it has improved.


(CBD central)


Fat Sally's
84 Thames St
Ph (03) 434-8368


This place just rocks - set in the heart of Oamaru's limestone CBD the a la carte meals here are just yummy and huge. Unless you've got a super-size appetite I'd suggest foregoing the entree and getting a half-size main ... seriously !!!


2 Waterfront Rd (off Tyne St)
Ph (03) 434-3400
The rib-eye with mushroom gravy came with salad, and heaps of chunky fries (would suggest not getting an entree) and most importantly it came quickly. The service was really prompt and friendly. The Portside also has 2 interesting non-culinary features ... the waves smashing over the breakwater, and the baby penguins crossing the street.




The Diner
77a Bridge St
Ph (07) 315-5805


The steak & egg burger is well worth trying (even at 11am) ... a really good feed. They also do a good range of coffees.



Sonny's Takeaways
76 Maniapoto St
Ph (07) 873-8284


The steak & mushroom burger on a freezing cold Friday evening was a welcome interlude to a long drive home. For less than $5 this was a really good feed - a big slab of steak, bustingly full of mushrooms and overflowing with lettuce. It is literally finger lickin' good, so be careful if you've got your best suit on !!!

Owen River


Owen River Tavern
SH6 (Nelson - Murchison)
Ph (03) 523-9273


This is alone country pub between Nelson and Murchison. Ring the bell on the counter and yell, because Kim is probably way out the back in the early evening. The scotch fillet, fries, and lettuce salad was really great, and the steak was just so tender.




DeRail Cafe & Bar
32 Sandy St
Ph (03) 465-1138


Not to be confused with Palmerston North, this is the original Palmerston between Dunedin and Oamaru. Set in the old railway station DeRail offers small town simplicity and good tucker. The ribeye was a bit chewy, so be careful how you order (maybe ask for well done). The salad was surprisingly yummy as salads go, and it came with a mountain of fries and a great mushroom sauce.


Palmerston North


Steak Out
231 Broadway Ave
Ph (06) 354-7832


Based on the original franchise this is pretty much identical to New Plymouth, and the steaks are just as awesome !!!




Rumba Cafe & Bar
32 High St
Ph (03) 573-7040


Just a short walk from the beautiful water front, Rumba is a quaint cafe. The seafood chowder was just superb ... big chunks of kaimoana with beautiful fresh, crusty bread. The steak, salad & fries was also fantastic (and at $20 would have to be one of the cheapest steak dinners around). For those that are a bit nostalgic about old-time NZ there are still a few formica tables.


Queenstown (CBD)


Surreal Bar & Restaurant
7 Rees St
Ph (03) 441-8492


A funky little dark-wood cafe in the Queenstown CBD one street back from the water-front. The lunch-time 150g rump (cooked medium) with fries, gravy and coleslaw was fantastic. And excellent value at only $15.


Ranfurly Ranfurly Lion Hotel
10 Charlemont St
Ph (03) 444-9140
The Lion is essentially the local watering hole in the heart of the Maniototo, so modify your expectations accordingly. The Ribeye cooked medium with fries and salad was realy yummy, but a bit pricey at $34.50.





257 High St
Ph (03) 313-9161



Set in a splendid old wooden building with a theme of prohibition-era Chicago the vension steak is certainly worth it.


Renwick The Cork & Keg
33 Inkerman St
Ph (03) 572-9328
A quaint little tavern about 10 minutes drive west of Blenheim on Highway 6, it was well worth the journey. The ribeye cooked medium well, chips and coleslaw was great, as was the prompt friendly service and the roaring log fire.
Rotorua Pig & Whistle
Cnr Haupapa & Tutanekai Sts
Ph (07) 347-3025


Drawing its name from the buildings original use as the central police station the steaks here are really awesome, and they come with curly fries like piggies tails.


Spring Creek


Junction Hotel
Corner SH1 and Rapaura Rd
Ph (03) 570-5879


The 250g cooked medium with heaps of mushroom sauce was just fantastic. This came with fries and a pile of salad. The steak was just soooo tender, but did take a while. Definitely worth a stop on SH1, but not if you're in a hurry.


Sun City
(South Africa)



Squires Grill
Sun City,
Off Highway R565
Ph (015) 290-5428


After a hard morning's safari (and seeing all those hungry carnivores eating each other), nothing beats a good steak dinner. The grain-fed black Angus with salad and chips was really fantastic, and really cheap at R105 (about NZ$17). Take a while to look around this magnificent complex in the veld north of Rustenburg, especially the really cool wave pool.




Bogong Hotel
169 Kiewa Valley Highway
Ph (03) 5754-4482


Yet another small country pub !!! The 300g Scotch Fillet topped with bacon, a fried egg, and pepper sauce with chips and salad was just great.


The Med
62 Devonport Rd
Ph (07) 577-0487
Went here with a couple of mates on a chilly Saturday morning. The Full Monty cooked breakfast was just great ... 2 types of animals - bacon and Kransky sausage (alas, no steak) with the most amazing creamy mushrooms I've ever had !!
(Mount Maunganui)


Cafe Cabana
1 Marine Parade
Ph (07) 572-1109



A trendy cafe below the first of the Twin Tower apartments. These guys do a magnificant cooked breakfast where you can swap the bacon for a Scotch Fillet, so this probably comes before a hard days Utility Consulting. Also features magnificent views out to sea.


Tauranga Bay


Tauranga Bay,
Cape Foulwind,
Ph (03) 789-7133


Not to be confused with Tauranga in the Bay Of Plenty, this delightful little spot is about 20 minutes drive south of Westport. They do have steak on the evening menu, but I took a break from tradition and indulged my other passion for sea food - seafood chowder for an entree and then fish of the day. A wonderful dining experience watching the sun setting over the Tasman Sea !!!



The Jolly Potter
121 King St
Ph (03) 615-7033


The Jolly Potter is a small, warm, friendly small town cafe and sports bar that brings out the best in small-town New Zealand hospitality, and also has an extensive collection of Temuka pottery (hence the name).The rib-eye cooked medium with a mushroom gravy, chunky fries and salad was excellent. The service was really friendly and prompt


(CBD South)


The Speights Ale House
2 George St
Ph (03) 686-6030


The T-Bone with the creamy mushroom sauce, fries and salad was just great. The building is the old landing shed done out in the theme of Speight's brewery ... a really warm and inviting place on a cold winter's night.


Waikanae Rumours
40 Main Rd
Ph (04) 293-4564

An exquisite dining establishment, just north of Wellington on State Highway 1. These guys have won Beef & Lamb Awards for the last 8 years running. The black angus beef on mashed potato with horse radish gravy topped with mushroom slices was just amazing.




Golden Fleece Hotel
Main Rd
Ph (03) 465-7395


An old fashioned tavern in small town East Otago, complete with stuffed sheep providing a poignant reminder of the district's origins. The 500g rib-eye, chunky chips, fried eggs and salad was really good ... the steak was pretty big, and a real challenge.

Waiouru Aldo's Cafe
State Highway 1
Ph (06) 387-6237


An old fashioned tearooms complete with Formica tables and a spectacular view of Mount Ruapehu. The steak and fries and salad minus the salad plus fried eggs (equals good old steak, egg & chips) was pretty good.



Zinc Cafe & Restaurant
9 Northumberland St
Ph (06) 858-8235

A quaint old wooden villa half a block back from the main street in small town New Zealand. The lunch time steak sammie was a really good feed for NZ$15 ... diced beetroot chutney, mushrooms and fresh ploughman bread. Really hit the spot for lunch.





Steak & Ale
16 Herbert St
Ph (06) 858-5300


A charming old re-modelled wooden villa in a suburban setting on State Highway 2 heading towards Hastings. The 250g Scotch fillet with mushroom sauce, fries and salad was really good. Service was good old fashioned small town service with a smile ... really worth a visit.

(via Kurow)


Lake Waitaki Lodge
Highway 81
Ph (03) 436-0993


The lodge is one of the original hydro construction houses (built in 1928) that has been opened out into a spacious dining area with rimu joinery and large windows providing an amazing view over Lake Waitaki and the upstream face of the power station (which is of course important to a utility consultant). The T-Bone with chunky fires, salad and a couple of fried eggs on top was just fantastic. They do close at 5pm in the winter, so best phone first as this is a bit out of the way (about 50 minutes drive from Oamaru).


(CBD central)


Vivant Cafe
Ibis Hotel
153 Featherston St
Ph (04) 496-1880


A rather formal, yet relaxed dining area. The steak, egg, mushrooms and chips was just fantastic !!


(CBD north)
111 Lambton Quay
Ph (04) 473-2548
An old style, dark wood pub and cafe at the north end of the Lambton Quay. The steak, salad and fries were just fantastic ... no need to go hungry anywhere in the Wellington CBD.
(CBD south)
Hotel Bristol
131 Cuba St
Ph (04) 385-1147


An old style pub in the heart of the bohemian district (just along from the bucket fountain). The T-bone steak with horse radish sauce and fries and a massive salad was just great.


(Courtenay Place)
Kitty O'Shea's Irish Bar
28 Courtenay Place
Ph (04) 384-7392
This is a pretty basic sort of place, warm, friendly with a reasonable selection of Van Morrison playing in the background. The porterhouse steak was done to perfection, thick and juicy with firm fries and a yummy salad. At only NZ$20, this was a great feed in any language !!


(Lower Hutt)



The Angus Inn
Corner Waterloo Rd & Cornwall St
Ph (04) 560-1100



The rump steak stuffed with mushrooms and a red wine jus came with potato puree (that's mashed spuds) and a side-salad that had little fruity bits on top. Not bad for a miserable wet Tuesday night in the Hutt.


(CBD Central)
Denniston Dog
18 Wakefield St
Ph (03) 789-5030
A good old fashioned west coast pub. The rib-eye steak was tender, the chips had a delicate aroma of real fat, and the salad was really great. These guys also do a fantastic seafood chowder and a great fish & chips. However the service is getting a bit sloppy ... the old "would you care to wait at the bar" when there are plenty of empty tables, the slow meals complemented by "would you like another drink" wears a bit thin and might be seen by the cynic as a ploy to increase the bar takings.


(CBD North)


Palmerston St
Ph (03) 789-5570


Portobello's is a really fancy up-market restaurant at the north-end of town ... a dress up fancy sort of place. Anyway, I ordered the $14.50 Rump special with mushroom sauce which was just fantastic, and a price that is impossible to beat.


(CBD South)


Westport Motel Hotel
Cnr Palmerston & Fonblanque Sts
Ph (03) 789-7889

The a la carte restaurant is attached to the hotel - decor is definitely 70's, but the soy and oyster marinated rib-eye was pretty awesome.
Whangarei Settlers Hotel
61 Hatea Drive
Ph (09) 438-2699
The a la carte restaurant is really nice, and they do (or used to do) a really good venison steak. Years ago they had an old bloke playing a steel-string guitar who did Eric Clapton covers but alas no longer.