535 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9602 2228
I’ve decided to be lazy with this one and do a half-arsed job. See this restaurant’s logo? Does it look familiar to you steak lovers?
If you think that it looks a LOT like famed steakhouse Squire’s Loft’s logo, you’re right.
Last Friday, Shirley and I had dinner at City Grill Room which is just around 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 Loft City Steakhouse Pty Ltd if you can be bothered). Because the food we had at both restaurants were similar, I’m just going to describe the differences between Squires Loft (city) and City Grill Room, if any.
Like last time, we received some freshly baked sourdough slices with a wrapped butter pat, this time ‘Tatura’ instead of ‘Western Star.’ I don’t know about you, but I just find it funny that this place was trying to be fancy by presenting the bread on a slab of wood … and planted a wrapped butter pat to accompany the bread. Additionally, a glass of Claymore’s Dark Side of the Moon shiraz ($9) was ordered purely because of the name. Ticks were given to the hints of bold oak and spice but not for the fact that it was served at room temperature. As in, heated-room-with-the-ducted-heating-set-at-22-degrees-Celsius type of room temperature. Effkers!
500g pork spare ribs (also $27.50). The OMFG of all ribs! Just as good as the ones we had last time, but this time cooked a little longer. Perfect. We actually did ask the waitress if we could take the ribs home in a bag for our doggies but we were told that the bones splintered easily and would cause all sorts of havoc to our dogs’ bodies. Oh well.
For some reason, the 200g eye fillet steak is a dollar cheaper here ($31.50) but the quality is not at all compromised. We both ordered chips with our steaks (big mistake, they weren’t crunchy) and shared a lovely mushroom sauce ($4.50). Oh, and that pile of tumbleweeds in the background? They’re our fried onions. A bigger serving than last time (and strangely, cheaper too at $7), but not as nice.
I was glad to see my steak medium-rare as requested (compared to the rare steak I received last time. Not that I mind rare, it’s just that, well, what reason would a steak house have to stuff up my order?!) and indeed, it was a beautiful piece of moo. Delicious.
To balance things out, we shared a side salad ($6). Nothing fancy, we just needed some greens.
Apart from slight variances in prices, food quality and speed of service (Squires Loft was quicker), it is fair to say that both restaurants are virtually identical. Very similar menu offerings, the same masculine decor and atmosphere (timber and BAD LIGHTING and all). If I had to choose between the two of them, I’d probably pick City Grill Room because their food was slightly better and because it’s closer to my work. That’s all.