Pineapple Hotel Steakhouse Review
One of the big trends in the hotel industry in Brisbane has been to spruce up a pub by adding on a steak restaurant. The reason is obvious; to attract a wider range of patrons and generate some extra revenue. It’s easy to see how this would work from the pub’s perspective as many people will happily spend $30 on a main but would never order 5 pints of beer ($30~) in the course of an evening.
It’s a model that has been proved and now everyone wants in. There’s the Breakfast Creek Hotel, The Regatta Hotel, The Norman Hotel, The Caxton Hotel and there’s The Pineapple Hotel’s Steakhouse which is where I spent a recent Thursday evening.
The curious thing about these restaurants is that each claim to be “THE BEST” in something, whether it is Brisbane or Queensland or just straight out world famous (Brekky Creek Hotel). The Pineapple Hotel is no different and has won 6 awards for its Steakhouse dining, all of which are proudly displayed in the restaurant.
The reason I bring all this up is that this market has become so saturated that there are at least a dozen options for a decent steak in Brisbane and you’re almost guaranteed to be eating something that has won an award at some point. From the diner’s perspective this is definitely a good thing as it breeds competition and should help to ensure quality as it’s no hassle to pick a different restaurant next time. A restaurant has to be always on top of what they’re doing if they are to keep customers when their product is easily substituted.
Unfortunately for the Pineapple Hotel’s Steakhouse, this is exactly what I’ll be doing next time I’m after a steak with my friends. It’s not that any one thing was particularly bad but they must have been doing something different in the past to be classified as award winning.
Aesthetically, the Steakhouse is separated from the other areas of the hotel and looks to seat about 150 people at capacity. It’s a large open room with TVs placed strategically showing a variety of sports incase your dining company isn’t holding your attention.
Our party of six strolled in a little after 8pm and we were immediately seated without a booking. There were half a dozen other groups of diners with a definite trend towards the 40+ age group.
I was the only one at our table not to order steak and settled on chicken breast pocketed with brie, spinach and toasted pinenuts ($25). We also had several MSA Eye Fillets (200g $29 / 300g $36), an Angus Rump (400g $30) and a couple of 1824 Rib Fillets (200g $25 / 350g $32) all being served with a choice of sauce, baked Idaho potato and vegetables or chips and salad. For those that haven’t dined at this style of restaurant before, one of the key components of the experience is the ‘meat display case’ from which you can view your cut of steak prior to ordering. If steak and chicken aren’t what you’re looking for the Steakhouse also has a couple of seafood dishes as well as a rack of lamb ($28) to tempt your fancy.
We also enjoyed a bottle of 2005 Grant Burge Hillcott Merlot ($33) from the Barossa which was the selection of one of my fellow diners and a wine that I have not tried before. The wine does give me an opportunity to commend the Steakhouse on one aspect of their service; my friend who chose the wine asked for the bar staff to assist her and they allowed her to sample several different varieties from the menu to help her make a decision prior to purchasing a bottle. I certainly did not expect them to be so helpful and it was great to see the staff go out of their way to make her purchase a good one. On the wine itself, it’s quite a fruity, medium bodied red that I think would go well with antipasto but I probably wouldn’t order it again for myself.
Once we’d got the drinks sorted our meals were served quite quickly but perhaps the chef should have taken a little more time…
My chicken breast was covered in a thick tomato based relish which was not mentioned on the menu and meant that it was impossible to taste the brie or spinach which was the main reason I’d ordered it. The chicken itself was evenly cooked and pretty good once I’d scraped off the relish but unfortunately the tomato flavour stayed. Additionally, my Idaho baked potato was not cooked all the way through, which when you consider how easy it is to cook a potato and how many of them the kitchen must turn out was very disappointing.
If my chicken had been the only thing that wasn’t up to scratch then perhaps I would be more willing to give the Steakhouse a second chance but a number of the steaks were not cooked consistently either. We were served a medium-well rib fillet that was quite rare in places, which an award winning restaurant should not be doing. I sampled some of my partner’s eye fillet and we agreed that while it was tasty, it just didn’t seem as ‘fresh’ or as juicy as we’ve had in recent times which is important when you’re paying $30 for a steak.
The food wasn’t the only aspect of the Steakhouse restaurant that let me down. The kitchen closed at about 9pm and from then on the staff were carrying bags of rubbish out from the kitchen, through the restaurant area to outside. Something I believe should be done only once every patron has left if you don’t have a back door.
At the end of the meal we were all certainly well fed but I was dissatisfied by the restaurant. The bottom line is the food is ok, the service and presentation has room for improvement and it wouldn’t win any award I was giving out and with so many options for a steak in Brisbane I’ll be going elsewhere.
The Pineapple Hotel Steakhouse
Brisbane’s premier Steak restaurant
706 Main Street
Kangaroo Point map
07 3393 1111