Tucked away in a hidden graffitied laneway with a name that is intriguing in itself is A HEREFORD BEEFSTOUW in Duckboard Place, which is home to a fresh, Nordic inspired steakhouse. mylifestylenews writes.
Exploring laneways in Melbourne is like finding a hidden treasure - you don’t know exactly what you will discover until you dive into the unknown! These laneways have a plethora of experiences, ranging from unique shopping, to hip bars and word of mouth eateries, to name but a few of such delights. What we love the most though, are the culinary rich experiences, as going off the grid is what creates that wow gourmand moment.
Being a Danish steakhouse, A HEREFORD BEEFSTOUW exudes a chic dining concept created by a Dane that really wanted to create something special. Nestled amidst cobblestones and street art is an entrance that is distinguished by a hanging sign of a cow that looks old European in its execution.
Tim Burvill and his Denmark based partner Lars Damgaard have completely reinvented a tired inner city former office space. Many of the A HEREFORD BEEFSTOUW family of designers and artisans were in Melbourne for the build, which includes everything from lighting and cabinetry to tables, plates and cutlery. Tim and Lars already owned one A HEREFORD BEEFSTOUW restaurant together in Adelaide which has built a stellar reputation over the past six years for serving high quality steak. Lars also owns another 14 A HEREFORD BEEFSTOUW restaurants across Denmark and Scandinavia, with the first established 45 years ago on a family property at Lund, near Herning in Denmark.
Tim has been producing dry aged beef (as A Hereford Beef) since 2014, primarily for A HEREFORD BEEFSTOUW Adelaide and also for a select few chefs and a small number of specialty butchers in Adelaide. A Hereford Beef has been recognized nationally for its quality as a finalist in the Delicious Produce Awards (2014 & 2015) and by the Melbourne Fine Food Awards (Bronze 2014). In 2015, Tim built a state of the art dry ageing facility in the Adelaide Hills to meet the growing demand for dry aged beef at his Adelaide restaurant and in preparation for A HEREFORD BEEFSTOUW opening in Melbourne. Needless to say, this establishment in Melbourne is a mecca for carnivores.
Now before we get into the details of every morsel we ate and the fabulous wines that were served, one of the drawcards of A HEREFORD BEEFSTOUW is the dry-aged beef. Tim is an industry innovator and he is spreading the good news of the virtues of Dry Ageing, embracing production methods of old to achieve optimum flavour and texture results from the finest cuts of meat. In Dry Ageing, the meat is hung in a cool room until the outer surface hardens, protecting the valuable meat underneath, while the flavour intensifies and natural enzymes begin to change and tenderise it. The result is a much more tender, naturally ‘beefier’ tasting beef. Tim uses only grass raised beef for dry ageing delivering health benefits of a leaner cut than grain fed alternatives.
Looks can be deceiving and the grungy laneway entrance opens up to a world of chic, with an open kitchen, a sense of space, exposed brick work and a vibe that is perfect for that catch-up or business lunch. Separated by a thin corridor hallway from the overwhelmingly blonde wood dining room that looks out over Flinders St foliage, there is a taste of magic and an exciting wine list to explore and this is definitely the go to place for meat aficionados in Melbourne, especially premium quality of steaks.
The restaurant design and fit out has some unconventional yet quirky table shapes for larger numbers and a trail of lights that might be referencing the Nordic lights. The furniture design is very distinctive with at least four chair designs that are what you could term Nordic chic. All is showcased on a base of simple wooden floors, with striking art works that add a pop of colour to the sleek designs. There is a fish sculpture and a hand sculpture that really adds an eye-catching element, plus wines racked on walls down the hallways.
On perusing the menu, while primarily attracting diners for its specialization in the finest steaks, it offers more than this, including saltbush mutton, cured lamb shoulder, chicken, oysters and some fish options, house Armagnac and more. Given that we were spoilt for choice, it took us some time to decide what to choose, as one visit quite clearly was not going to allow us to try everything we wanted to try, but best we don’t overdo it, as some of the steaks are well over the usual 220 gram weight. Additionally, there is a great wine list that showcases Australian wines, but also focuses on New Zealand, France and beyond and range from the ridiculously affordable to the very special wines that have a great bottle age.
After some deliberations, we went with the octopus and calamari dish, a chicken liver pate, chicken wings, followed by the main attractions: 150 day grain fed eye fillet, a 45 day dry-aged rump and a 100 day dry-aged cote de boeuf. We may have bitten off more than we could chew, but this was all about sampling a variety of great meat and we were determined to enjoy at least three different styles of beef.
Wine pairing is a big plus here and Daniel Hemmengsen – the Danish restaurant manager - not only guided us through the menus but also proposed some stunning wines to pair with those superb meats. We started off with two Reislings – a 2010 German Reisling and a 2010 Theo Minges Spatlese Trocken Reisling, both were classic styles with gorgeous bottle age. These were followed by a 2010 Premier Cru Pinot Noir from Domaine Hubert Chany Pommard and a 2010 Cote de Beaune 1er Crus les Chanlins. These two contrasting wines with such an intense and different in character had so much pedigree and are absolute divine to delight your palate.
<Octopus with Calamari>
Delicious, light in taste with deep fried shallots, the combination makes it a very harmonious dish.
<Chicken Liver Pate>
Quite dense in texture and packed with flavor without being too rich in taste, plus the house brioche and raisin sourdough with apple chutney was the perfect accompaniment.
<Spicy Chicken Wings>
Absolutely divine with incredibly tender meat along with the spicy chipotle sauce - they sous vide the meat and take off some of the unnecessary bits to leave the most juicy bits that were perfectly deep fried without any oily taste on the palate. Highly recommended!
<150 Day Grain Fed Eye Fillet>
Amazingly tender and one can easily slice through the meat with a flavor that could not be beaten. A Must order!
<45 Day Dry-aged Rump>
A bit more complicated in flavor, with the meat being so different from the eye fillet and yet, this was like stepping into another level of gourmandizing.
<100 Day Dry-aged Beef Cote de Boeuf - Ribeye on The Bone>
We loved this Cote de Boeuf so much as the meat is with great chewy texture and more meaty character. All of our meats were beautifully presented on the trolley from which they cut and served the meats and came with the choice of your preferred sauce - garlic butter, herb butter, bernaise, mushroom and pepper. This may seem like they are harking back to the days of gueridon service, but it was done with a modern touch. Beer battered chips, potato gratin and rocket salad made the perfect choice for our side order to compliment those premium cuts.
For the steaks wine pairing, Daniel suggested the 2016 Yara Yerring Dry Red, an Australian Cab/Sav blend, a 2016 Jasper Hill Georginas Paddock Heathcote Shiraz and to top it off, a 2013 M.Chapoutier ‘La Pleidel’. We felt privileged that we were able to enjoy the premium selection of different wines, which also complimented our meats so well and gave us much cause for debate as to which wine went best with which meat. We probably over-extended ourselves, but we really didn’t mind and of course, dessert just had to be tried, as we wanted to see how well rounded the kitchen was and they didn’t disappoint.
<Dark Chocolate Mousse with Cherries & Pistachio Ice Cream>
This stunning chocolate mousse was incredibly dense in texture and without being too sweet, thanks to the fabulous combinations of the chocolate and the contrasting savoury flavour of the ice cream. A must try!
For the dessert wine pairing, Daniel recommended a 2018 Tasmanian Iced Riesling from Frogmore Creek and this delicately sweet wine was manna from heaven to not over compensate for the flavours of the dessert.
For those that wish to be more adventurous after dinner, they have an Armangnac wall, with vintages from 1959-1995. This is one element that demonstrates Beefstouw’s desire to stand out from the crowd and offer something a little more unique and tailored to diners that wish to have new and exciting experiences. Of course, all good restaurants have steak on their menu, but we would defy anyone to show us a more passionate purveyor of superb cuts of beef in so many different presentations and ageing processes and to have a kitchen brigade that renders each dish with perfection.
We were blown away with every element, including superb floor staff showing their passion for this product and putting each diner at ease with a warmth that is not always easy to find. For a sublime taste to remember on an epic steak night out, A Hereford Beefstouw will definitely make your night worth while.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
In House Dried-Age Meat
Premium Wine Selection
22 Duckboard Pl,
Tel: +61 3 9654 8297
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.