Harry’s Steak Bistro & Bar, with its motto ‘beef, booze & banter’, is a clear tribute to good times – a steak house where you’re invited to meet with friends and enjoy yourself.
Harry’s is situated on the quietest corner of one of the busiest blocks in Burleigh overlooking a small park and its resident Moreton Bay fig tree. A large timber pergola out the front brings together a relaxed Burleigh vibe with the feel of a Mediterranean garden party.
Far more than your average steakhouse, there’s a fresh modern makeover to the former TAB, which tells us to also expect a fresh take on steak. It’s not until you enter the restaurant, however, that the owner’s purpose becomes clear.
Harry’s Steak Bistro and Bar, from Justin Lane Establishment’s Adam Haralampou, (co-owned with Peter Taylor), is a tribute to Adam’s grandfather Harry, a cotton farmer who migrated to Queensland from Greece in 1939.
A great meat lover who would prepare the meat for extended family gatherings, Harry would have loved this ‘beefcentric’ venue, meat cleavers hanging from the doors as handles, butchers’ knives used as beer tap handles, and a frighteningly real life size Black Angus bull presiding over the well-stocked bar.
While the classy bar commands attention, there’s clever separation between the bar and dining area denoting that family dining is also welcome. Paying forward Adam’s Greek heritage and family values, this is the mid-range steakhouse which is classy, affordable and inviting for the whole family, the venue tells us.
Perfect, too, for a ladies’ lunch, with room to spread out and lots of smaller lighter dishes to complement the steak.
Surrounded by recycled bricks from Flinders Street Station, we note a meat ageing cabinet near the kitchen beside aprons hanging patiently in a row, a line drawing of grandfather Harry on a bicycle (he also graces our placemats), and a cathedral-like domed faux window adding its still life tableau of cheese, salumi, sausages, olive oil and retsina to the narrative.
We are in a place of worship; a place paying homage to chefs and cooks, farmers and providores who have brought us this food.
Rounded out by menu wings entitled Small share plates, Cheeses and Desserts, the menu is a showcase for one dish alone: Parisian-style ‘steak frites’ (steak and French fries to us Aussies). Continuing Adam’s mantra of ‘simple dishes done well’, there’s a choice of four cuts (which vary with supply): Angus grain-fed rump (entry level at a very affordable $19.95), grass-fed Scotch fillet, Grasslands grass fed free range eye fillet and AACO wagyu sirloin Mb 2 – 4 when we visited, all cooked to order and served with French batard baked in house, house-churned butter, a well-dressed green salad and bottomless ‘pommes frites’.
We order small (or not) plates to share: an excellent version of a classic Steak tartare accompanied by crispy toast (for me, a perfect meal in itself), succulent char-grilled Mooloolaba prawns simply dressed with lemon butter and parsley, and Beef Rolls – deep-fried pastry cigars filled with rich wagyu, a snack that would go down well with a beer.
‘The Farmer’ moves on to main course: a medium-rare Silver Fern Scotch fillet fed on the rich pastures of New Zealand’s South Island. Cooked to order, it’s perfectly seasoned by Chef Luke Reeves (ex-Moo Moo and Brisbane’s Cha Cha). For me the eye fillet – the most perfect piece of steak I’ve had in some time!
No need, really, for the gorgeous Athena steak knives. The steak’s a tender, tasty delight! Sure, you can order chicken, fish or vegetarian, but with steak the centrepiece of the menu, why would you?
If you’re feeling like a celebration, the ‘main event’ is ‘What Harry’s eating this week’ – a whopping Cape Byron Black Angus Tomahawk that at 1.2 or 1.4kg surely would demand sharing!
Add that to some top shelf ‘What Harry’s drinking’ from a hand-picked organic sustainable Australasian wine list and you could have yourselves a real party…which is what a couple of groups around us are actually doing!
Harry’s ticks the box for such a wide cross-section of diners: a quality experience, in a meaningful venue, attention to detail with knowledgeable staff and great service for a reasonable price.
This is the Gold Coast’s latest take on the much-loved Aussie steakhouse!
1744 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads Ph: 07 5535 2699
Open: Wed – Thurs 5pm – late; Fri – Sun 12 noon – late
Note: Good Food Gold Coast dined as Harry’s guests.
This review has also been published in Blank GC.