Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gold Coast: Moo Moo The Wine Bar + Grill

Moo Moo The Wine Bar + Grill

I went to the Gold Coast without much idea of where I wanted to eat. This is rare for me. I'm normally the preplanned type who schedules every meal multiple weeks before the actual event. Nonetheless, Moo Moos quickly made it onto my list of 'must go' places. If I'm honest, it was the only restaurant I was intent on visiting. I read a lot of positive reviews online and the online menu supports its reputation as a specialist steak restaurant. These guys really seem to know what they're talking about.

Charlie and I weren't able to book much in advance so we got a table at 9pm. I stupidly thought we'd be the last customers in the restaurant. So wrong. We rocked up at 8:50pm and the place was packed to the rafters. Like, really really busy. Please, book in advance if you want to go. They're not kidding around when they say 'bookings essential'.

Moo Moos is a steak restaurant. When you look at the menu, there's a steak section and it gets technical with all the breeds, years, what the steaks are fed etc etc. I like my steak but I know very little about all these specifications. I mean... I know wagyu and that's about it.

Complimentary taste of wagyu with carrot puree to start with

Our waiter introduced himself to us and looked after our table consistently throughout the night. I really like this style of service - it gives a feeling of personal attention. He was wonderful: enthusiastic, speedy and really knowledgeable about the steaks (I know this because I asked a lot of questions). I ended up choosing a rib fillet and Charlie chose a wagyu. We ordered the Moo Moo house bread to start with and some shoe string fries to share during the main meal.

As we were waiting for the food, I started examining the surroundings. I like the decor and the expansiveness of the restaurant. The bar is busy. The dining area is busy. It's a popular spot. The overall lighting effect is dim but somehow, our table was well-lit. Great for me because we all know I have to take photos. Positives = there is free underground parking. Negatives = the parking is hard to find (or maybe we're just incompetent) and also, the toilet is located outside the restaurant and involves a lot of weaving around to get to.

Waitress carving the 1kg rump for the table adjacent to ours

Moo Moos has a 'signature dish': their 1kg wagyu rump. Mmm... we seriously contemplated getting that. Amazingly, it wasn't the size that put us off but rather, the waiting time (minimum 55min). We aren't that patient! The waiting times that night were a bit stretched out but nothing too unbearable. I expected it because the restaurant was just so busy.

House bread

Moo Moo jus, tomato salsa and butter

Bread came out first and boy, was it a cute set up. Little snail buns - one for each of us + a cow-shaped gravy jug (containing Moo Moo Jus), butter and salsa. It was a really generous supply of butter. The Moo Moo Jus is described as a red wine reduction. I've never eaten bread like this before, just dipped in sauce/gravy. It was great. We managed to make the bread last a while just by chatting, slathering and dipping.

250g Cape Grim tenderloin (eye fillet) with wild mushroom sauce

Cross-section of my steak: cooked to perfection

When the steaks arrived, my first impression of my steak was 'what a small serving'. I was of course, totally deluded and mislead by the fact that the cut of meat was TALL. VERY TALL. It was perfectly cooked. I asked for medium well and it was opaque pink on the inside and just brown on the outside - so perfect that it looked photoshoped.Just an overall great piece of steak. I ordered a wild mushroom sauce to accompany it and the combination worked well. The steak turned out to be more than I could eat - don't let 250g fool you. I was being all macho and thinking 500g is easy enough to chow down but I couldn't even handle half of that.

F1 wagyu rump with dipping sauce and vodka blue cheese sauce

Charlie's wagyu was much bigger than mine but he didn't have the same trouble with finishing it off. The wagyu was nice but tasted similar to my steak. We both agreed that it disappointingly didn't have a distinct 'wagyu flavor'. I'm talking about that oozing fat/melt-in-the-mouth marbling with the special smell and aftertaste. Moo Moos claims their wagyu has a marbling grade of 6-9 but the texture of Charlie's steak didn't really match our expectation of this grading. Still a nice steak but not what we expected. It was nice with the special sauce that came with the steak but Charlie also ordered this vodka blue cheese sauce. Odd combination...

Truffled Parmesan shoe string fries

HOWEVER, the vodka blue cheese sauce worked smashingly well with the truffled Parmesan shoe string fries we ordered. Now, let me talk about these fries. They are INSANELY AWESOME. How can humans achieve this with potato?!? HOW? They are SO CRISP and the flavors? Wow. Strong and addictive. I was obviously full because I couldn't finish my steak but did that stop me munching handful after handful of the fries? No way. In fact, I developed a mental conflict about whether I should eat slowly and thereby make the fries last longer or eat FASTER to make sure I get my share before Charlie polished them off.

Go to Moo Moos and order their fries if nothing else. I loved them with the mushroom dip as well. So, so good.

We had no room for dessert so that ends our meal. Our waiter sympathetically agreed. It was a lot of food. But well-received, which is the all-important bottom line. Moo Moos was fun. I'd like to go there again some time.

Moo Moo The Wine Bar + Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. Wow we've been to Moo Moos a few times and have never ordered the fries - will have to next time! You definitely should ring up and order the signature steak in advance next is the best we've had there (although we haven't yet tried the Master Kobe :-)).

  2. Love Moo Moo the place is great and our fav restaurant.