Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Village Bar, Subiaco - 88%

It was so hot on Saturday, that the BBQ we had planned for a friend’s birthday could have been done with nothing but a frypan and the raw power of the sun. Instead, as the temperature rose towards 44*C, we dined in the air-conditioned comfort of The Village Bar in Subiaco. The restaurant was fairly empty for a Saturday lunch and we had an entire portion of the restaurant to ourselves. It might have been the heat, but The Village Bar is at a quieter end of the Subiaco strip so I suspect they don’t get a lot of drop-in traffic from nearby shopping. It’s a shame, as it’s a bright, classy sort of atmosphere and a perfect place to celebrate a friend’s birthday lunch.

The steak sanga was by far the most popular choice at the table. Approximately 50% of the table ordered it, which might be a testament to the appeal of the simplicity offered by: Steak Sandwich—200g Sirloin w Onion & Pepper Jam, Swiss Cheese, Romas, Chips & Aioli. I was chuffed to be able to order the steak rare to my specifications, but was the only one to take the option. Everyone else went the Trust-the-Chef route.
Steak Sanga and friends

The steak sanga came out on a plank with a generous serving of chips, and aioli. Two toasted slices of bread encased a tower of lettuce, tomato, cheese, a sizable chunk of steak, and onion jam on the top layer. It was very well constructed with the ingredients well distributed and nothing falling out over the course of the meal.

Close up of steak sanga

The steak was a generous slab of sirloin cooked to my specifications. Most bites came away cleanly, though some were a bit tougher and required some gnawing. I enjoyed that the steak wasn’t heavily seasoned which allowed the delicious flavour of the beef to come through. The bread was evenly toasted so that the crusts bit off as cleanly as the rest of the bread and were gentle on the soft palate. It was sturdy enough to hold the contents together until the very last bite. The salad was simple, but of good quality. There was enough tomato and lettuce in each bite to ensure that I didn’t feel like a complete carnivore, even while I gnawed the next bite of steak free. Nor was there so much that the integrity of the steak sanga was compromised. Understated, but much appreciated. The condiments were another high point of the steak sanga. Both the cheese and onion jam were spread over the entire steak sanga so there was a bit in every bite. I was especially impressed with the onion jam, which was just sweet enough to balance the richness of the steak and cheese. The chips and aioli were also excellent. The chips were large, generous, and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Together with the garlicky aioli they were very moresome and I was disappointed that there wasn’t enough space in my belly at the end for all of them.

Everyone else at the table seemed well pleased with their sangas, and other assorted meals. I would love to come back to sample more of their drinks list (in particular the iced cocktails-on-a-stick which would have been a good choice that day!), and their meals—the steak in particular calls to me. It was a lovely place to while away an afternoon, though I hope for their sake that it gets busier at other times. Overall I really enjoyed this steak sanga. I have since found out that it won the prestigious “Steak Sandwich Award” in the Australian Hotels Association Awards for Excellence in 2011. Well deserved.

Steak: 4.5 / 5
Bread: 4 / 5
Salad: 4.5 / 5
Condiments: 5 / 5
Surroundings: 4 / 5

Steak Sanga Score: 88%

Price: $23.00

The Village Bar on Urbanspoon

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