Hippo Creek Meat & Wine | Subiaco
R & I were looking for a good quality steak menu at a fraction of the cost of Rockpool Bar & Grill. Despite Hippo Creek Meat & Wine being a well-established South African steakhouse in Perth for many years, my first time dining experience at the relatively new Subiaco outpost was just a month or two ago. After a few attempts at nabbing a spare table in the busy restaurant without a booking (impossible), we made a proper dinner reservation for the following week.
An hour or so later & thoroughly well-fed, we wondered why it had taken us so long to try Hippo Creek. The steaks were brilliant. Perfectly cooked to order with a decent range of accompanying side dishes & sauces. Due to quality & range of meat options, we placed less emphasis on some of the seemingly unprofessional wait staff & lack of service polish. There is a fine line between being friendly with a table of diners & general over share of personal information, such as talking far too long about your busy day at university, your exam timetable, your car breaking down or details of your beauty procedures done at the salon. I also found it very unusual that, during service, a few of the prominent bar tables were dedicated to the folding of large piles of linen napkins. It appeared that, during quieter service interludes, several staff would take up napkin-folding duty & give them a chance to have a good chat amongst themselves. However this made it difficult to get their attention to order an extra drink or serving of sauce. Shouldn’t napkin folding be a task to be completed out of service hours? Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier we were satisfied with our dishes, & equally important, more pleased with the resulting bill at the end of the evening.
So following this generally pleasant experience, we returned several weeks later with a few other people for a weekend dinner. Thankfully we had made an early evening booking, as our entrée & main dishes were delivered promptly & we managed to beat the influx of other diners rapidly filling up the restaurant. A sample of the dishes on our table that evening:
Garlic & chilli prawns
Slightly crunchy, well seasoned, fresh large prawns. Even better, they were de-veined, unlike the famous sizzling garlic prawns down the road. I have a personal pet-hate of restaurants who don’t take the simple extra step of removing the prawns’ intestinal tract.
Pork spare ribs & fries
What a generous serve! Two people on our table ordered this dish without realising how big it would actually be. We could have easily shared 1 dish between two or three people. There is something thoroughly satisfying about holding a large curved meaty spare rib in your hands, nibbling off the tender pork & trying not to smear the delicious marinade all over your face from ear to ear. Served with an equally generous bowl of perfectly crispy golden fries & peri-peri aioli dipping sauce. You can tell which was my dish, can’t you?
Grain fed Wagyu 300g sirloin with Chimichurri sauce
Chilli chocolate tart with raspberry sorbet & honeycomb
What a disappointment. The tart base was soft, the chilli chocolate didn’t rate as a flavour sensation & the honeycomb was basically a petrified puddle of sugar. A steak knife couldn’t even break through that solid mass.
Steamed brown ale pudding with butterscotch sauce & hazelnut ice cream
This was ordered as an experiment, as we had no idea what brown ale pudding really tasted like. Good idea. The warm fluffy sponge-like pudding itself was almost savoury in taste, but combined with the sweet butterscotch sauce, the resulting flavour was extremely appetising. Slightly similar to sticky toffee pudding, but with a slight bitterness from the ale.
Food The food itself was well-delivered. The 2 separate menus were slightly confusing. A bound ‘meat menu’ book plus a separate laminated paper page for the other food menu, with repeated sections on both menus. It would have been simpler & better branding to combine the two into one well-formatted menu.
Service More training of some of the inexperienced staff would lift this place to an even higher level.
Design With the interior design by Bremick Group, the restaurant is a contemporary, detailed & warm textural space with extensive use of wood, stone, recycled materials & feature lighting.
Highlight Meat, glorious meat.
Lowlight Napkin folding?
Rating 3 meaty spare ribs out of a rack of 5
Will we be back Yes.
So, where is your favourite steak joint in town?