Perth-based film, literature and script writing student.
Published November 7th 2011
Steel Tree at The Foreshore, Rockingham is one of two restaurants under the Steel Tree name, with the other located in Settlers Hill. This review is focused on the one located at The Foreshore, Rockingham. Information on both restaurants is available on their website, which takes you to a separate page for each location.
Recently being stuck for a choice of where to have dinner in Rockingham with a group of friends, it was suggested we go to Steel Tree. I had never been before, and was surprised I hadn't actually heard of it, but after a quick look of their menu I was easily convinced. We had booked a table for the group of us, but being a weeknight it wasn't too busy, so if you are after a table for two you could probably dine there without a booking. Weekend nights would most likely need to be booked, as I can picture this little restaurant being quite popular.
The atmosphere when we arrived was relaxed and friendly, and the waitress promptly took our drink orders, being polite and patient while we were choosing our drinks. We decided to have cocktails, and my Apple Martini was delicious. I suspect that the cocktails and drinks that followed made our group a little louder than we might normally be, but the staff members were good-natured and we were never made to feel as if we were disturbing the peace, which tends to happen at some restaurants. When one of our drinks was accidentally spilled, they provided extra napkins and didn't make a fuss. Our food arrived quickly and there was not one person at my table unhappy with the quality.
I had the chicken mignon, with sweet potato mash, asparagus and béarnaise sauce, and it melted in the mouth. The portion didn't look overly generous on the plate but the two juicy pieces of chicken and sweet potato left me struggling to finish, although I wanted to. My friend was the same, making the mistake of enjoying her sides too much and being unable to finish her salmon. My advice would be to make sure you are nice and hungry when you go.
Despite being very full from our mains, after leaving some time to allow our food to go down, I decided to share a dessert with my friend. We had a slice of the rocky road cheesecake, and I have no regrets as far as eating too much- it was worth it. On my next visit (I will certainly be going back) I want to try the chocolate pudding mudslide; as tasty as my cheesecake was, I'm a sucker for chocolate sauce and was envious of the friend who had that dessert.
The meals were reasonably priced, my chicken dish being $31.99, and the portions are deceivingly generous. The full menu is available online, and has vegetarian and kids options as well. The service was warm and friendly, without being too pushy- when it was clear we didn't need assistance we were left alone to talk, which is something I appreciate. The setting and interior is classy and versatile, without being too fancy; it has the feel of a place where you could eat lunch in your bathers, or take a date for dinner.
The location of the restaurant is another advantage; being right by the beautiful Rockingham beach, you can stroll along the Foreshore before your meal and watch the sun go down, or have a walk down the jetty after dinner (or lunch, or breakfast- the restaurant is open for all three). Steel Tree is now my favourite restaurant by the beach, and if you happen to be down that way, I suggest you give it a try, it did not disappoint.