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Best of Canberra Taste Off: Best Steak

By 7 August 2014 11

For this week’s Taste Off, steak was on the menu. It may not be the friend of vegetarians, but for meat lovers world wide, sometimes there is nothing better than a good steak.

Your votes pointed us in two directions, both polar opposites in the steak race. The first was the Charcoal Grill, who have been serving steak to hungry Canberrans for 52 years. The second was the Kingston Hotel, also known fondly as the Kingo – who serve up a steak for you to grill yourself.

First stop was the Charcoal Grill. I’m locally born and bred but have never been before. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that. The décor doesn’t look like it has changed in their 52 years of trade and the restaurant felt like a bit of an old boys club (I think I was the only woman other than the waitress), but we weren’t there for the décor, we were there for the meat.

chargrill-steak-bestof

We ordered a 250g sirloin, although they go to far bigger and more expensive cuts. The steak is served up with a side of chips and some steamed vegies. For $29. Salads, sauces and onions can all be ordered separately.

I like my steak medium rare and this is exactly how it came. The knife went through the steak like butter and it melted in the mouth with that lovely soft meatiness encased in a charcoaled coat. It was pretty d*mn good and there is no wonder these guys are still in business after so many storms have wiped restaurants off the Canberra scene.

The next day called for lunch at the Kingo. I took my husband along, who I suspect may have moved to Canberra for the Kingo as much as his love for me. I mean, cooking your own steak, watching the footy and drinking a beer? For him, life doesn’t get much better. We ordered our steaks – I had an Angus scotch fillet, which was bigger than I expected and for $24 comes with a salad plate and a bread roll. We popped them on the grill and grabbed some drinks. Now I am no steak chef but hubbie is alright. The steak came off medium rare (although not quite as rare as the Charcoal Grill) and went down well with the salad.

kingo-steak-bestof

In all honesty, these are two different joints for different occasions. And the culinary experience of cooking your own meat versus having it cooked for you is going to depend heavily on your own steak-cooking prowess.

For me, if we’re talking purely about the end product of the cooked steak on the plate, the Charcoal wins hands down. Particularly for a special occasion with a steak lover, work lunch or step back in time to the 60s.

But, if you’re after a pretty good steak in a relaxed and social atmosphere – maybe with a group of slightly rowdy mates – head to the Kingo.

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11 Responses to
Best of Canberra Taste Off: Best Steak
Genie 1:19 pm
07 Aug 14
#1

You can’t compare who has the best steak when you’re cooking one of them yourself.

XO_VSOP 3:11 pm
07 Aug 14
#2

Genie said :

You can’t compare who has the best steak when you’re cooking one of them yourself.

I think you can, a 16 year old could be cooking your steak at ohhh lala courgette, its not rocket science . Its all in the steak’s taste, it’s origin, its cut, grain-fed grass-fed.

Kim F 5:09 pm
07 Aug 14
#3

XO_VSOP said :

Genie said :

You can’t compare who has the best steak when you’re cooking one of them yourself.

I think you can, a 16 year old could be cooking your steak at ohhh lala courgette, its not rocket science . Its all in the steak’s taste, it’s origin, its cut, grain-fed grass-fed.

Which reminded me of this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THNPmhBl-8I&feature=share

karmatraveller 8:47 pm
07 Aug 14
#4

You’re comparing a steakhouse cooked sirloin, to a self-cooked Angus scotch fillet, under the banner of “best of Canberra taste off.”

Was the sirloin grain or grass fed, how many days if grain? Was the scotch fillet MSA certified, or were they upselling you black angus?

You strike me as someone who learnt to cook off Masterchef..

dungfungus 7:51 am
08 Aug 14
#5

The cook your own steaks at the Kingo are good – always have been. There is an industrial size hot English mustard squeeze bottle to boot also.
What lets the meal down is the absence of chips – all they have is a boring salad. I would happily pay an extra $5 for a bowl of crisp steak fries.

RobB 8:05 pm
08 Aug 14
#6

I am yet to get a decent steak in Canberra. Charcoal Grill is OK, Kingsleys was very average and I fail to see the sense in cooking your own steak. Is there anywhere on a par with the Norman Hotel or Char Char Char in Brisbane?

Brianna 7:16 pm
09 Aug 14
#7

I had dinner last night at L’Arista in Belconnen. http://www.nutmegfood.com.au/our-venues/lartista-pizza-pasta-grill.aspx

The steak was exceptional.

Casiola 10:26 am
10 Aug 14
#8

Brianna said :

I had dinner last night at L’Arista in Belconnen.

http://www.nutmegfood.com.au/our-venues/lartista-pizza-pasta-grill.aspx

The steak was exceptional.

They are owned by the same group who run the kiosks at EPIC. It’s good to know they can cook steak because they certainly don’t do pizza well.

rosscoact 7:26 pm
10 Aug 14
#9

karmatraveller said :

You’re comparing a steakhouse cooked sirloin, to a self-cooked Angus scotch fillet, under the banner of “best of Canberra taste off.”

Was the sirloin grain or grass fed, how many days if grain? Was the scotch fillet MSA certified, or were they upselling you black angus?

You strike me as someone who learnt to cook off Masterchef..

That’s a bit rough. Any reason for attacking the OP instead of every other person on the planet who writes about food without a detailed history of the produce?

mentalasben 5:11 am
11 Aug 14
#10

Page Tavern does the best steak in Canberra for sure. 350g or 700g challenge. Beautifully tender Diamantina beef is to die for.

JSomers 1:33 pm
27 Aug 14
#11

The Kingo hands down. If you don’t want to cook your own cow they have a restaurant next foor which my family loves. Here’s the menu: http://kingstonhotel.com.au/pdf/Maddies@kingston-menu.pdf

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