Squires Loft (Melbourne CBD)

12 Goldie Pl
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9670 7317

Our good friend Martin was down in Melbourne for some wedding that he had to attend so Adam and I decided to catch up with him today when he was not busy with wedding preparations. After spending the afternoon wandering around the CBD (a disproportionate part of which was spent at the Chanel boutique eying THE bag which will be MINE MINE MINE once I file my tax return, heeh!), we ended up at a shady-looking laneway between Lonsdale and Lt Bourke Street for dinner. The destination was Squires Loftwhich, to many people, serve THE best steaks in Melbourne. Martin had been pestering me to go to Squires Loft for about two years now but I’ve been putting it off. He lives in Queensland and makes the trip down south several times a year, and every. single. time. he would ALWAYS go to Squires Loft without fail. I’ve also heard good things about this place from other people – funnily enough, all of them are Asian. On the other hand, I’ve never seen it reviewed in any media publication nor have I seen it mentioned in the Good Food Guide. Secondly, I found it odd that if Squires Loft was truly THE best steakhouse in Melbourne, why isn’t it up there with Rockpool and Vlados? Hmmm, only one way to find out…

Okay, so we rocked up on time for our 6pm booking and we were promptly led to a ridiculously tiny table in the middle of the dark but down-to-earth space. Three small slices of sourdough with accompanying Western Star butter pats were already placed for us to nibble  on, which were spankin’ fresh from the oven – though thumbs down for not being offering any more bread. While most of the menu items came from the cow (duh), there were a few chicken items and something like, one vegetarian dish though why anyone would take a vegetarian to a steakhouse is beyond me… (though I’d probably do it just for the lulz)

Only moments after placing our order, our entree arrived. A sizzling plate of 500g pork spare ribs ($27) was apparently a must for anyone wishing to dine here and indeed, they were damn good. They were marinated in the “special Squires Loft sauce” which they also use on their steaks (kinda like a spicy BBQ sauce) and so tender they were that the meat just fell off the bone and melted in my mouth. I think the only thing I would like to comment here though is that they probably would have been better if they were cooked a littler longer (Martin also agreed that they were “undercooked”) but apart from that, they were fantastic. Haha, we talked about asking our waitress to wrap the bones in a doggy bag for my dogs to enjoy at home – Vega would have been in doggy heaven – but in the end, we wussed out which was probably for the best anyway…

Okay, all three of us had a 200g eye fillet steak ($32.50) so there really isn’t any point taking multiple photos (some of you breathe a sigh of relief). The only difference between our mains were that I ordered mine med-rare while the boys chose rare and I had a baked potato with my steak while the boys had chips (you get an option of having chips or a baked potato with your steak). Oh, the three of us also chose to have a sauce with our steaks ($4.50 per sauce), each of us choosing different ones so that we could try a variety of them; I chose the mushroom sauce. While my steak might not look particularly filling, a 200g portion is definitely enough to keep you full (though who wouldn’t be full after devouring a bunch of ribs beforehand?). Taste-wise, I thought it was pretty good – my steak was textbook excellent in that it was juicy, tender and very tasty – but to be honest, I was expecting a mind-blowing, out of body experience and I was somewhat disappointed when it did not arrive. It was definitely a good steak and certainly miles better than what a lot of so-called “steakhouses” can make but I think the fact that Martin talked it up so much made me set my expectations a bit too high.

We also had some sides with our steaks. Fried onions ($8.50) which were just onions tossed in flour and then fried (no crumbs) and a garden salad ($10).

Here is a nice table shot from Martin’s side of the table. As you can see, he gets straight to the point and doesn’t waste time with trying to be “artistic” with food shots, hahaha. The sauce you can see in the photo is his creamy garlic sauce which wasn’t as awesome as my mushroom sauce but was nevertheless pleasant. In fact, it tasted a lot like a pasta sauce that I sometimes like to make when I’m feeling peckish in the middle of the night that involves a clove of garlic and lots and lots of butter, heeeeh! Adam’s mustard sauce, meanwhile, was way too strong for my liking and almost made me hurl (though I give it credit for clearing my nose!).

Okay, so I asked for my steak to be cooked med-rare. I think that it erred on the side of “rare” to be honest. Not that it bothered me a great deal but still…

The bill was just a tipple below $170 for the three of us, including drinks which isn’t really TOO bad but I did expect a bit more bang for my buck. Both guys also agreed with me in that the dinner wasn’t that spectacular apart from perhaps the ribs. Martin did say that the South Yarra restaurant, the original site, is the best one out of the four or so restaurants they have in Melbourne and so we should go there next time. So yes, it was good and definitely beats many other steakhouses’ offerings but from that visit alone, I cannot concur that Squires Loft serves the best steak that Melbourne has to offer. I am interested in reading what Dave has to say about Rockpool when he goes there later this month…

I eat too much.

6 Comments

  1. icesabre
    July 4, 2009

    Mmmmm steak… except I been a good boy and haven’t touched a steak in two weeks.Seafood Marinara Penne pasta =( That’s all I’ve been eating the last couple times I’ve come out.I looked at Rockpool’s menu again today. Hrmm, sort of having doubts. But I’m definitely there… What I am really looking forward to is like I saw in my post Bistro Guillaume… someone who’s trained with and worked under a world renowned Chef.

    Reply
  2. chaoness
    July 4, 2009

    Which bag are you eyeing?

    Reply
  3. SNSAZN
    July 6, 2009

    @chaoness – The black medium 2.55, silver hardware. I can’t decide between lambskin and caviar leather!

    Reply
  4. funky_ass
    July 6, 2009

    personally i think squires loft is pretty decent for a steak house.its hard to compare to a place like rockpool, considering they have different types of beef thats carved up etc etc.but rockpool is expensive and a pain to get a reservation at times, in saying that, sometimes squires loft can be like that if u go in big numbers.I prefer squires loft because it’s not so in my face and so stuck up. it bothers me going to places like rockpool because i always feel to some degree out of place.and that bistro guillame place… i went there for an anniversary. all i can say is that i will never ever go back, the food there lacks…. i cant even think of the word to describe it. although the decor is maginificent..

    Reply
  5. […] the corner from my office – and it was pretty much identical to the one that I enjoyed at Squires Loft with Martin and Adam a year ago. Same licensor, almost identical menu items, just a different name (read JLCS Pty Ltd v Squires […]

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  6. […] we’ve only written like a million reviews on the place already. Well, okay, we’ve written about three. But with the cosy, rustic décor that’s never tacky or the warm friendly service and the food […]

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