Monday, July 9, 2012

Mad Cow (CLOSED)

Sydney is going through a long and cold winter this year, but thanks to winter specials popping up in bars and restaurants around town, it meant braving the cold could lead to a great meal that won't break the bank. So with a friend in tow we checked out Merivale's Mad Cow last Friday night.

The deco inside is nothing like what you'd expect for a steakhouse; with its white, yellow and gold colours, oversized lampshades and leafy green foliage, it oozed elegance and left me feeling a tad underdressed. The leather booth seating might not look very comfortable, that is until you sit down and hours later still want to stay seated.

Located on the same floor as the ivy bar, Mad Cow is currently running their Holy Cow promotion, where $40 will get you 2 courses and a drink. Pretty good deal if you ask me, especially when the mains you get to choose from are around $30-$40 themselves.

I opted for entrée and main for my 2 courses while my friend went for the main and dessert combo. Feeling quite hungry we added a few Sides from the full menu as extras to share. Half way through dinner we realised that we probably could have done without the Hand cut thick chips with murray river pink salt, not because they weren't good, in fact, they were excellent, crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, but after the complimentary soy and linseed and sourdough bread that came with some seriously creamy and soft butter, plus the not-so-small bowl of shoestring fries served with my main, we ended up with too much food on the table.

Hand cut thick chips and Broccolini
What caught my eyes during the meal was the Broccolini, lemon, chilli side dish, its vibrant green colour lured me to try it as soon as it arrived at the table. Crisp-tender, it tasted as good as it looked!

The Sydney rock oysters, mignonette sauce, lemon I had as entrée were fresh but nothing to get excited about; the Minute steak, 200g with café de paris butter served with shoestring fries and green salad had a warm and mostly pink-red centre that was tender and juicy. In other words, it was cooked to a perfect medium-rare, just the way I like it. I finally had my steak craving satisfied after a very disappointing experience at a steakhouse two weeks ago, where a prime piece of Scotch fillet was ruined with too much salt.

Given the generous servings, a plateful of Risotto of mushrooms, peas, sage, parmigiano reggiano had my friend seeking my help when it came to dessert time. The Pavlova, pineapple, passion fruit was simple and delicious, the sweetness from the crisp crust and soft, fluffy centre was well balanced by the acidity from the fruits.

Espresso Martini and Bramble
With another friend joining us towards the end of the meal we decided to stay for a few drinks before heading over to Pool Club. Instead of the usual coffee or tea our waitress suggested Espresso Martini (Belvedere Vodka, Kahlua, dash of sugar and fresh espresso) as a little after dinner pick-me-up and they came with some delectable buttery shortbread and gooey brownie petits fours. Staying away from the late night caffeine hit, I ordered myself a sour but refreshing Bramble (Plymouth Gin and lemon juice stirred with crushed ice, crowned with Crème De Mure).

Considering the top notch service, mouthwatering steak and great cocktails, it was no wonder our meal ended up being over 3 hours long. Good thing we went for an early dinner.

Mad Cow: Level 1, ivy, 330 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000  Mad Cow on Urbanspoon

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