We almost didn’t get the pleasure of eating in one of Perth’s finest dining rooms. The one hundred and twenty two year old Palace Hotel, which sits of the corner of St Georges Terrace and William Street, was set for demolition in 1972. Thankfully, after decades of serving as a bank, the grand old lady has been beautifully restored to its former glory and is now home to The Meat and Wine Co.
The high-end chain restaurant, hailing from South Africa, has a choice of two dining spots.
The bar area overlooking bustling William Street, is heaving with city workers on business lunches.
Chef and I are seated in the opulent “heritage dining room”, where the contemporary and traditional mingle beautifully, with its grand high ceiling, whisky bar and funky furniture.
The booths are covered with chunky knotted ropes that give a private, cosy feel to each table.
We’re handed menus with striking images of lions, leopards and rhinos – just a few subtle nods to the fact that we’re sitting in an African steakhouse. There’s no naff theming here.
As for the epic wine list, there’s not as many South African labels as I would have expected, with most of the wine list made up from local West Australian as well as South Australian drops. Rare, vintage and a very special selection of Penfolds wines are also on offer at a hefty price. I enjoy a fresh and fruity glass of Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.
The service is attentive, though still green, a few weeks into the venue opening its doors. Many menu components are double checked with the kitchen, as well a drink forgotten, but quickly rectified.
The menu is not in-your-face African. It includes boerewors and a spicy African chilli sauce, other than that, it’s all red-meat and sides with a few chicken and fish dishes added for good measure. We devour the tasting plate ($54), brimming with mildly spiced Szechuan calamari, halloumi, succulent pork belly and a bruschetta overflowing with fresh tomato.
A colossal 500g cut of Wagyu rump ($49), lives up to its marbling score of 6+. The deliciously tender piece of meat is basted, grilled medium rare and full of flavour – melting in the mouth like butter. Served with crunchy chips and a choice of sauces – Chef liberally pours a nicely reduced red wine jus over the steak.
I choose skewered Portuguese chicken ($32) which rains meaty juices onto a bowl of crunchy chips below. The incredibly tender peri peri spiced chicken thigh easily slides off the skewer and is nicely charred.
As with all upmarket steakhouses, at The Meat & Wine Co, side dishes are a must. This can turn lunch into an expensive meal for two. We share a posh mac and cheese ($12). Rigatoni and charred cauliflower is covered in a creamy two cheese sauce (American Monterey Jack and parmesan) and finished with a little truffle and panko crumb.
Our onion rings ($7) are more like crisp onion slices, with not a circle in sight, but delicious all the same. I also order a token healthy side of sautéed greens ($13), so our lunch isn’t solely a meat, wine and carb fest.
Squeezing in dessert, we enjoy a perfect crème brûlée ($13), topped with a patisserie chocolate meringue biscuit and moreish, crisp dehydrated mandarin.
The pretty pavlova ($13) with caramelised pineapple, sweet berries, chantilly cream, passionfruit coulis and baked meringue is a swoon-worthy dessert.
The Meat and Wine Co has hit the ground running with a stunning fit-out, attentive service and the well-cooked proteins are packed with punch. If you are mad about meat, you won’t be disappointed.
At a glance
■ The Meat & Wine Co
108 St Georges Terrace
Phone 6163 8880
■ Opening times
Sunday to Thursday 12pm -10pm
Friday to Saturday 12pm – Late
value for money 3
■ style – Steakhouse
■ wine – an extensive list. Many WA,
Interstate and International wines.
■ Chef – Nicole Finlay
■ Owner – Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group
■ feel – Warm, classy heritage interior
■ wheelchair access – yes
Entree – $9 – $54
Mains – $25 – $79
Dessert – $13 – $49
■ all in all – Meat & Wine Co delivers
exactly what it says on the tin,
mouth-watering meats and fine wines –
all done exceedingly well. One for the carnivores!