Steer Bar and Grill

9/01/2010 09:44:00 PM

Steer Bar and Grill
The Olsen
637-641 Chapel St
South Yarra 3141
Ph: (03) 9040-1188

We just got back from the launch party of Steer, a new Brazilian restaurant in The Olsen hotel on Chapel St. I do like Brazilian food, although it is quite under-represented here. In fact, the only Brazilian restaurant in Melbourne that I do know is Rio's on Church St, which I think focuses more on the party aspect than good quality food. What I do know of Brazilian food I picked up from my lovely friend Clarice (who you may remember from Eurotrip '06!). She introduced me to such delicious homey treats as brigadeiro, goiabada, farofa and hearty bean soups.

Steer, on the other hand, is definitely not homey.


Brazilian cuisine, whilst varying from region to region, is based strongly on beef. Steer's slick interior is dominated by the beef theme, with a 4-meter high sculpture of a bull near the front door, and a slightly abstract mural on one wall.

Australian wines were free-flowing, as were Peronis and Coronas. However, I must say I was hoping that some Brazilian beers, cachaça or caipirinhas would be on offer! The restaurant was packed with people, and for the first part of the night a great band was playing chillaxed tunes. I love good live bands. Later in the evening they were replaced by recorded music that kept skipping. Not the same!

Ooh... pretty carafes behind the drummer.

There were separate food stations set up in different corners of the restaurant, which developed long queues very quickly!

"Oyster Station"

"Fresh from the Sea"

This station was set up with a kingfish ceviche - raw cubes of kingfish lightly cured in a citrus dressing. I was polite and only took one, but could have easily had more. The fish was incredibly fresh, and the dressing was sharp without being overly acidic. I also found the confetti of different colours very appealing and pretty.

The chef only made small amounts at a time from the above ingredients. He explained to me that the fish gets too soft if it spends too long in the acidic marinade.

A-hah! There was cachaça! It was just in the ceviche, not in the drinks!

"Brazilian Street"

There were deep-fried and baked pastry goods at this station. The chef very patiently explained what each of the items were, although unfortunately I couldn't remember the Portuguese names - oops! In fact, all the chefs and waiters were incredibly nice, very knowledgable about their food and wines, and happy to talk about them. Love!

Most of these crunchy morsels were filled with slow-cooked tender meat. Delicious!

**EDIT** My friend Clarice emailed me with the proper Brazilian-Portuguese names - yay!! The little pastry things are generically called 'salgadinhos', which means "salty goods" in Portuguese. Top left and bottom right are 'esfihas', little triangular mincemeat parcels which are actually Lebanese and were brought over to Brazil by the large wave of Syrian/Lebanese immigrants in the early 20th century.

Top right are '
coxinhas', made with shredded chicken meat and shaped to look like a little chicken thigh ('coxinha' means 'little thigh'). And bottom left are 'pastéis', which are kind of flat little pies that look like ravioli.

Clockwise from top left: Beef, Confit chicken croquettes, lamb, beef

I found the lamb one slightly dry, but really enjoyed the beef and chicken ones. They were accompanied by an addictively bright and sprightly chilli sauce. It reminded me of the chilli sauce you get with Hainan chicken rice. Must find a recipe for the Brazilian one!

"Taste of Brazil"

And this is where we find the meat.


Mmm... carnivorous.

The beef here was served with a citrus chilli sauce, and farofa (toasted manioc flour) studded with apple pieces, confit garlic and chunks of bacon. The chef wielding the knife warned me that the chilli sauce was lethal, but, um... I found it quite mild. I do like my chilli super-hot though.

According to its website, Steer Bar and Grill officially opens tomorrow. Although we only tried a small selection of dishes, I liked everything we tried, and was especially impressed by the service. (There isn't a menu on the website yet, but I'll be interested to see it once it's up!) I know opening nights can be incredibly difficult and hectic, but everything ran very smoothly this evening. The chefs and waiters were very friendly and efficient, which I think bodes well for the restaurant when normal service starts.

Steer Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Sarah and Sandra attended the launch party of Steer Bar & Grill as guests.

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  1. You are the queen of super fast postings! I would have just come home and gone to bed! Good to see a Brazilian restaurant opening - hope it's good! It's a cuisine that is lacking in Melbourne!

  2. I hope the food is good too. The beef tasted good, hopefully the rest do too.

    That was indeed super fast. I got home and just chilled on the couch.

  3. I've walked past this place before when it was still under works - good to see it's open now! You're right, it's difficult to find Brazilian food in Melbourne. I'm involved in a small section of the Brazilian community here (though I'm not from Brazil) and we've never gone out for Brazilian food, though we do occasionally go to bars that serve caipirinhas. I might check this place out sometime.

  4. Can't believe you were so restrained - only one kingfish ceviche?! :)

    Sounds like it could be worth checking out!

  5. Anonymous11:54 PM

    Glad you had a great night Sarah! :) it was most enjoyable! They were serving cachaça drinks upstairs in the bar.


  6. April, Thanh, Leaf and Agnes - the food we had there was indeed nice. Unfortunately they still don't have a menu online so I don't know how expensive it is, or what they are serving. Must have a look next time I go past.

    Thanks Anon! D'oh!!! I saw the bar upstairs but I didn't realise they were serving cachaca!!! :)

    xox Sarah

  7. I want to go, Cuz! Would you recommend it?



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.