Tonight is a special night; it’s the night Chris lost his rib-ginity. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that a man of 20 years has never had ribs before: luscious, fatty ribs with juices that drip down between the fingers, the flavours soaked in so as to make you want to gnaw on the bones after the meat’s long gone. And where do you get ribs? At a steakhouse of course; namely, Squire’s Loft Steakhouse.
If there’s one thing Melbourne likes, it’s guilty-pleasure food masquerading as fine dining (hot dogs, burgers, baos – just to name a few), so it’s no surprise that Squire’s Loft was all completely booked out on a Friday night.
I was disappointed that Squire’s Loft didn’t have a loft. Until we were led up into the loft. Whilst the downstairs dining area had to share itself with the cash register and semi-open kitchen, the upstairs was a dining hall for nothing but feasting. It’s truly a man’s domain up here – nothing but brick, wood, and makeshift chandeliers hanging from the exposed rafters.
There’s nothing better than bread, except free bread – that’s what I always say anyway. This bread was pretty good, Chris and I agreed. The edges were crusty and the center was warm and springy. Then we came to a crossroad of opinions; Chris on the one hand loved the way the butter melted into the bread, whereas I thought the entire doughy confection was ruined by the watery, subpar Western Star butter.
|Porterhouse Steak (200g, $25) and Garden Salad ($4 surcharge)
You can’t go to a steakhouse without ordering steak, so aside from the ribs, we got the Porterhouse Steak (200g, $25). It came with a side of potato chips/mashed/baked, which I decided to swap to a Garden Salad for a $4 surcharge.
Plenty of people, especially my mum, would cringe in horror at this, but I like my steak to bleed when I cut into it. Keeping that in mind, I ordered my steak medium-rare, expecting a bright red center. This was definitely not medium-rare; it was medium, leaning towards medium-well on one side. Add that to the fact that the steak is hardly wagyu, and you have yourself a tough, flavourless hunk of protein.
|Pork Spare Ribs (500g. $32.5)
Thankfully the Pork Spare Ribs (500g, $32.5) we came here for were significantly better. The meat was literally fall-off-the-bone tender, and whilst their signature steakmate baste didn’t really stand out, the addition of some good cracked pepper in the marinade was all that was needed to flavour the succulent ribs. If only the 500g didn’t include the bones.
Squire’s Loft Steakhouse was definitely a miss for me. The ribs were very tasty, but the steak was frankly atrocious, especially considering that steak is what this establishment specialised in. Coupled with the fact that, for the price of the better cuts and sauce to go with (it’s charged separately), you could get an amazing piece of wagyu at Rockpool Bar and Grill that is cooked to a juicy medium rare. And bottomless bread and butter. And 7 different condiments. And service that isn’t sparse and dismissive.
Rating: 11.5/20 – boot-leather steak.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. And the number of times I blew my nose during the meal.