I am passionate about food, cooking and ingredients. Currently in London, just back from eating my way around the world in one tasty adventure.Visit www.Mange-Two.blogspot.com for updates and inspiration.
So it's a Saturday, my girlfriend and I both have the day off together for the first time in a long time as we work different shifts most days. But it's raining.
Not just spitting, drizzle or any of those nice rains, I mean serious rain. And it's trying to dampen our spirits in the most literal way possible.
The rain aside we had a great day together and wanted to overcome the wet weather and follow through with our original plan for that evening and go out for a meal together.
I often talk about the pros of a vegetarian diet and the importance of frugality, but once in a while, when it's cold and wet and when you're trying to lift the morale of the whole team - only a steak dinner will suffice.
I don't mean one of those chain restaurants where they incinerate the cow and douse it in cheap, sweet, sickly sauces. I mean somewhere with properly raised beast on the menu and a careful attention to detail when it comes to preparing the dishes. This is exactly what we found in Stone Restaurant. Located under the Mantra hotel on Grey Street, South Bank, the first impressions were that of a hotel lobby, fairly clinical and clean, not as cosy as we had hoped for. As we were led to our table however we soon forgot about the rest of the hotel surroundings and we had our own corner spot with flickering faux-candle light and an attentive and friendly waitress. Her lack of experience not bothering us one bit with the menu simple and easy to navigate.
Stone is at the higher end of what we would usually pay for eating out, but we felt that the weather outside and the food inside warranted spending that little bit extra to make the day extra special.
The menu at Stone is split into tapas style starters or entrées, a few main dishes and then the steaks. The steaks included two sides and a sauce in the price, which we found it to be good value compared to other restaurants of a similar ilk in the city. The menu describes how the beef was fed and how long it has been aged before preparation for your plate.
To start we shared the bread and a tapas plate with a glass of sparkling wine each. We then both had a steak accompanied by a bottle of red.
Starters - Olive and rosemary cob with dips $13.00, Salt and Pepper Calamari $8.00
Mains - Eye Fillet (200g) with Paris Mash, Cherry Tomato, Basil and Feta with Red Wine Sauce $36.00,
Rib Eye (250g) with Paris Mash, Grilled Mushrooms and Pepper Sauce $33.00
Wine - Glass of Thomas Mitchell Pinot Noir Chardonnay (2) $8.00, Bottle of Thomas Mitchell Cabernet Merlot $29.00
Total: $135.00, or $67.50 a head.
I felt like this was one of the best steak dinners of my life, a pretty big proposal and not one made lightly. We both felt thoroughly satisfied with our magnificent meals. We came away happy and fulfilled, not caring whether it was pouring down or not.