*Please note: All missing apostrophe's in the name's of the dishes and the restaurant are intentional, and as per the website and menu. Grrrrrr.
Happy 19th Birthday to my brother Jacob!
Ever since Lonestar at Warwick Farm closed down (a tragedy, I'm sure), I've been wondering what would replace it, and hoping fervently for something much better. My brother's birthday last week gave us a good opportunity to check it out - what more does a man want on his birthday than copious amounts of red meat?
We made a booking for a Saturday night at 7pm, and the place was full of families. There was a massive model crocodile hanging from the ceiling, and an open-plan kitchen on the way to our seats. There was a kids play room that we were seated near for the convenience of my sister, who immediately ran away to play the Playstation.
Our waitress told us that she would take care of our drinks and entrees, but that when we were ready for our mains we had to go over to the kitchen and order them - something that struck us as odd. We went ahead and ordered our entrees,
The garlic bread was golden, crispy, and saturated with butter. The Drovers Cob Loaf was a lovely bit of bread, but it was just that: a small loaf of bread. I'm not quite sure why it was $7.95, when it wasn't even particularly large.
We tried this platter pretty much because there was crocodile and kangaroo on it, and we never let an opportunity like this pass us by. The presentation was a bit messy, but we thought we'd let the food speak for itself. The kangaroo meatballs were very soft and tender, but were so full of chilli that I wasn't able to eat it. The beef sausage was quite good, and the bush pepper coated squid was delicately firey. The crocodile came in very small portions, and was gobbled up before everyone had a chance to try it.
This entree seemed to be a tribute to the Lonestar that was there before, because it was almost exactly the same as the Amarillo fries that they used to serve, an amalgamation of seasoned steak fries, cheese and bacon.
Stephen chose the Wagyu Burger, a slab of ground wagyu beef on a garlic infused roll with cheese, salad and bush chutney. The plate that came out was enormous, and took up two place settings. Stephen really struggled to finish the entire burger (but he did!), let alone the chips and onion rings. The salad was scanty on the burger, and the thickness of the bread and meat made it hard to get his mouth around it. The meat itself didn't seem like wagyu, or, if it was wagyu, it wasn't a very high marble score. It was juicy, yes, but not very tender, and I thought it was more like a good quality regular beef, which indicates a lack of skill in handling this calibre of meat.
My brother and dad ordered this dubiously-named dish just for the sake of saying "I want Big Jack's Rack" at the counter. The dish featured a full bone rack of pork ribs, which were slow cooked for 8 hours and basted in your choice of sauce. Jacob chose BBQ, and it was a delicious combination of sweet sauce and melt-in-the-mouth pork rib. My dad, however, first got the wrong sauce (it was chilli, and he can't eat it) and then the wrong salad, and when he asked for the meal to be replaced with the correct specifications, the waitress replied "Mr. Picky, aren't you?". How about "Mr. Paying-For-This-Meal"? Gosh.
My step-mum ordered the ocean trio, which consisted of the calamari and crocodile that featured on the Boss' Finger Food Taster but with prawns. It was served with rice, salad, and aoli, and Ini was very pleased with it. Of particular note were the prawns, which seemed to have been pan-fried and were juicy and plump.
This was my dish. I asked what the game of the day was, and I was told either crocodile or camel. Because I had already sampled the crocodile, I wanted to try the camel, and it was brought out exactly as you see it - slopped onto the plate. After assembling my burger so that I could at least eat it, I discovered that if this is what camel is like everywhere, then I don't like it. It was tough and chewy, and the meat patty had the consistency of those hamburger patties you can buy frozen at the supermarket with the little pieces of wax-paper on the sides.
This steak house was a bit of a hit-and-miss, with some of the food and a lot of the service really sub-par. I'd really like to think that it's just the fact that the place is so new that's letting it down, and I hope to see some improvement, because a steak house that serves native Australian meat is scarce around these parts, so I think it has the opportunity to be great.
Shop 32, 1 Sappho Road
Warwick Farm, NSW
Phone: 02 9601 7788