Saturday, 27 February 2010

Pacific Grill

4 Staunton St, Soho
Visited 26th February 2010

I met a couple of friends for dinner Friday night and decided to try the Pacific Grill. Having got distracted by the delights of happy hour, we arrived late without a booking, but the friendly manager found us a small table at the restaurant’s open front. The restaurant is small, almost crowded, but is rather pleasant tucked away on the high side of Staunton St. It’s owned by the same crowd who run Al Dente and Sahara.
Pacific Grill offers a couple of salads and pastas, but the focus is obviously on steaks and seafood. I'm guessing someone here is Australian with a 'Melbourne' Greek salad and egg, beetroot and pineapple topping the burger. We decided to start by sharing an octopus and squid salad. This dish consisted of mini squid and octopus smothered in a sticky red sauce and served atop a few lettuce leaves. While my mate enjoyed it I thought it was pretty average; the sticky sauce took any freshness away from the dish, while the simple lettuce leaves were boring. For mains it was all about big chunks of meat; my friends went with a 200g rib-eye and "mega" 300g sirloin, while I couldn't resist going a little retro with surf ‘n’ turf. My 200g fillet mignon was topped with a single prawn; though it was char-grilled and tasty, one prawn really isn't much and I felt a bit ripped off. Accompanying this lonely crustacean was a totally flavourless steak along with mash and a few chunks of vegetable (the identical, boring sides that concerned me at Al Dente long ago). For a restaurant that specialises in steaks, what was on my plate was a really disappointing, poor quality meat. My friend offered me a taste of her rib-eye and it was better, being tenderer and actually tasting like beef. To drink a bottle of red would have been good, but my friends are both white drinkers, so we ended up with a bottle of Peter Lehmann 'Stump Jump' White, an interesting Riesling based blend with Chardonnay and Marsanne added to the mix. It was a nice drop though the mark-up on the $265 they charged was ridicules.

I was uninspired by the Pacific Grill. The octopus salad and my steak were both average, though the mouthful of my friend’s rib-eye was better. The friendly guy who initially seated us was really switched on – he let me try the couple of wines they had by the glass to see which we wanted a bottle of - however the lady who was waitressing was unfriendly and created a bit of a negative vibe. Soho is never going to be cheap and the rib-eye was $165, while my mate’s sirloin and my ‘tough turf n a little surf’ were both $195. While probably what you expect to pay in this part of the world it wasn’t particularly good value as the quality just wasn’t there. The Pacific Grill did absolutely nothing to inspire me and I can’t imagine I’ll bother coming back.

Visit restaurant website.

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