Having a friend visit me lately, I thought I would impress them by taking them somewhere nice, classy and iconic in Brisbane. After much deliberation, I decided to take them to Kingsley's Crab and Steakhouse, because what better represents Australian Cuisine than a good steak overlooking the Story Bridge.
Having booked beforehand, we were promptly seated and provided with menus.
The views available were certainly captivating, but the real question was whether the meal would live up to expectations.
Complementary bread was provided to us shortly, and was served on a quaint little wooden chopping board for aesthetic purposes. Being quite the chilly day, bread was definitely very much appreciated. Unfortunately though, we found the butter rock hard and basically unspreadable. The bread also was rather cold, which didnt help the situation very much, as you can see from the picture on the left.
After a not insignificant wait, our mains came. My companion ordered a T-Bone, medium well done. Whilst I can't say that I am an expert in steak, I can say that medium well done, for most people usually means that the centre of the steak should still contain tinges of pink. As you can see from the photo, my friend's steak was quite charred, toasted and overcooked. He said that the meat was very tough and very bitter from the toasted bits on the edge. I found it quite a shame that the steak was overdone, especially because my friend from overseas was so keen to try out Australian tenderloin, needless to say he was very disappointed.
I ordered the rib eye, as usual, cooked rare. I found the steak to be rather bland. Whilst the steaks were served with red wine jus, we ordered a pepper sauce on the side (which came out with the chips), I do find it a bit disappointing that when one is paying for quite an expensive steak, that steak sauce isn't provided on the side by default. In terms of execution, I would much rather have paid an extra $3 on the price of the steak rather than have to pay an additional $3 to get sauce, because it severely detracts from the experience. Aside from this, I also took issue with the service offered on the day. Normally, I opt not to be vocal about my opinions on the food whilst I am at a restaurant, because I hold the opinion that even if cooked poorly, one should always be gracious and appreciative of the chef. The only time when I would venture out and give my opinion on the matter is when asked sincerely about what I thought of the meal. In this instance, after several waiters asked me how I was finding my steak, and after a lot of prompting, I told them that I found the steak not as rare as I would have liked it. From my understanding, a rare steak should be red in the middle and not merely pink (blue is when it is cold in the middle, if anyone is wondering).
To this comment, they decided to take my steak into the kitchen so that they could offer a replacement. After waiting around fifteen minutes though, I was told by the waiter that "that's the way it should be, and that rib fillet is not the type of steak that ought to be cooked rare". If this were indeed the case, then it was poor form not to give me this caution when I was actually ordering my steak. After this, they also informed me that as there was nothing wrong with my steak, after much investigation in the kitchen, they would reheat and reserve me the same steak, which is the photo you see on the left. In all honesty I found it very difficult to finish the steak after all this had occurred. It goes without saying that this was perhaps one of the worst experiences I've had in a steakhouse.
The saving grace for the meal was definitely the side serving of beer batter chips. Whilst not particularly well seasoned, they were very crispy and fluffy on the inside. It was a very definite improvement on what happened to be a very disappointing meal.
Price Range: $40 - $60 per person
Taste: 3/10 (the chips are the only reason why I didnt give it 1/10)
Environment: 7/10 (could have better temperature control)