Food with grunt likely to satisfy

4 03 2010

As a Queensland icon celebrating 20 years, it’s surprising that dining out at the Hog’s Breath Cafe has not previously occurred.  But better late than never, right?  Well, as it turns out, yes.

It was a quiet mid-week evening when we decided to ditch a home-cooked meal for one prepared by someone else, and eat out at this cafe/restaurant, and it was clear from the beginning our dining experience would be unique.  The appearance, atmosphere and style of the restaurant could be likened to that of a Hard Rock Cafe, except that there was no apparent theme to the unusual paraphernalia and memorabilia that decorated the walls, and this in itself provided much conversation.  The casual approach to the setting was not observed by the restaurant’s staff though, as they were attentive, friendly and efficient, allowing us to relax and get comfortable.

We started by ordering a mini loaf, which came to the table steaming, and made for some comic relief as we tried to slice and the butter the piping hot bread, scorching fingers along the way.  The appetisers and snacks also included soup, Boss Hog Mushies (mushrooms in salt and pepper crumbs served with tartare sauce), and garlic prawns.  But these are a meal themselves, and as much room as possible was being left for the main course.

Hog’s Breath Cafe has built its reputation on prime rib steak, so it made sense to order one of their slow-cooked signature dishes.  From the extensive selection, I chose the lite cut of garlic mushroom prime rib, while my partner ordered his with avocado.  Both meals came with seasonal vegetables and those renowned Hog Tail curly fries.  The fragrant garlic butter mixed with thinly chopped mushrooms provided a delicious enhancement to my succulent rib steak.  The flavours melded in my mouth, making this a delightful meal.  However, the same praise faltered on the avocado prime rib.  Whilst the steak was cooked with precision, tenderness was lacking, but don’t let this be a deterrent; the bearnaise sauce  teamed with a half of avocado did lift the meal and the serving size alone ensured satisfaction.  Hog’s Breath Cafe not only caters to the carnivore, with a selection of vegetarian-friendly dishes on offer and a menu that features some fine fish and seafood alternatives.  But the restaurant, and its food, is really about the beef, and they do it quite well.

If you have any room left after your main, and I’m afraid we did not, by all means check out the dessert menu.  In 2009, the restaurant introduced a fresh strawberry and chocolate fondue to the list of sweets (which includes Banoffi Pie, Sticky Date Pudding, and Hoggies Rocky Road Sundae), making for a great way to end the evening by sharing the sugar indulgence.

Hog’s Breath Cafe is usually at its busiest towards the end of the week, and particularly over the weekend, so booking ahead is encouraged.  As a franchise, there are around 75 restaurants throughout Australia, and this will no doubt affect the individual service and quality.  But, if it’s a no-fuss experience that caters to all ages, Hog’s Breath Cafe is definitely one way to go.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

Hog’s Breath Cafe details:
 Address – 104 Coonan Street, Indooroopilly, QLD 
 Food – Australian, specialising in Prime Rib Steak
 Drink – Licensed 
 Prices – Entrees start at $5.75, Mains range from $12.75 to $35.00, and Desserts start at $8.50.

Hog’s Breath Cafe is open for Lunch from 11.30am – 2.30pm and for Dinner 5.00pm  – 9.00pm 7 days a week.

For other locations visit the Hog’s Breath Cafe website, www.hogsbreath.com.au.

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