Australians really have an unhealthy obsession with the true blue pub or RSL feed. It is deeply ingrained in our culture that this premium cuisine because while it may not be a ten out of ten experience, it does the traditional home cooked meals (eg. Meat and vegetables) but cooked better than you can at home. It seems to be a core memory especially for the older generation that lacked the decency to season food, so the family would go out for the meals they couldn’t be bothered to cook at home.
For a while now I have been deeply disappointed with the local club chain Wests, with it been our weekly hang spot for raffles and of course the good old-fashioned club feed. This establishment line prides itself on its food options by having restaurants with more range than the traditional pub or club. However, for raffle night, I do admit that I cave to the “lets do a steak while I’m out because I can’t be stuffed cooking one at home” trap. The weeks I look at their roast of the day, or newer menu items, I can find myself with a pretty decent meal. However, when I cave and grab the scotch steak, chips and potato mash with mushroom sauce order I have as my regular oh boy does it change quality each week.
It is that drastically shape shifting quality which has led me to consistently in my burnout of video game coverage to say “screw games, I’m going to start me a food blog” every week. However, I was waiting for one which would be the one, the steak which says “this establishment is never going to change, it is going to be bad more times than good, so 0/10 steak”. The other week I finally found this steak.
Something which I have been struggling on ordering has been getting the steak at a medium rare. For a while we came up with the idea to order them as rare, which would result in a medium rare steak. Then after a bit of reassurance that we would get the steak we want we switched to ordering as medium rare again. For a while this was okay, however the last few months this has slowly been getting worse again. This time my medium rare steak was medium verging on well done in some places. Another disappointment comes from the obvious issues with mass production of food in a club, while a popular menu item, it is often textualized with freezer burn. This time as it was more over cooked it had a distinct burnt taste mixed in with the over char of the grill patterning.
Another really amazing thing I discovered about the steak is they have recently redone their menus (and for some reason decided not to laminate them to try and be hip- resulting in them already been stained). Under the options for all their steaks they have this lovely little message that says the steak is at least a level 2 marbling. Now I fancy me a steak lover, but I also know I don’t know everything about the cow and what meat is what and the marbling etc. So excuse me for having to do some quick Googling to discover that this basically means it is at minimum the marbling of basically a Coles supermarket steak. So, they want the appearance of looking fancy, while really, they could be getting their meat from anywhere.
So, the steak was obviously bad, however another disappointment came from the chips. The chips and mash selection I go for comes from not wanting frozen vegetables wacked on a plate after heating them up ever so slightly and giving me chips because I’m still 5 at heart and haven’t realized I’m dying from eating to much chips yet and wanting the mash because if you can’t do a mash what else can’t you do.
As I mentioned, the scotch steak is my order from the West Leagues Club all the time, especially with the same sides. So, when I tell you these chips are on average their output, and then say they are horrible you know I have done my homework. Consistently you are not going to get crunchy chips, or for some reason the kids order of Fish and Chips comes with way more than the adult menus do. So, while these are acceptably seasoned, they will be soggy even if it hasn’t been touching the mash or steak and not even a few chips in this time I was like “eh”. The worst feedback for anything food related.
Then the mash, oh the mash. With the gritty overcooked steak sitting mainly on the mash, what normally would be soaked in delicious fats and oils was instead coated in disappointment. Additionally, the mash had a high concentration of potato and butter with an annoying starch taste to the end product.
Also, this time, don’t get me even started on the mushroom sauce. There was just something off about the flavor and texture of it. So, it stayed in the pot.
Overall, the worst steak I have had at this establishment, and the worst steak I have had outside of the business awards night dinner steak. The breaking point for me to start my hand at food critic, and a negative rule which fits my golden rule of “if it has play equipment, it is 99.9% a bad establishment”. Speaking of which, as we sit outside, we got to enjoy the older kids who are way to big for the play equipment running amok.