When Gav Sandhu joined forces with Chef Abii Sharma to open their first restaurant in 2020, they had one product in mind: meat. Their specific goal soon became clear: to create a South African-styled bar and grill that focuses on quality steaks and tender, succulent ribs.
Pitching their target audience towards both locals and tourists, the boys founded Smokehouse Meat & Co Grill & Bar on Surf Parade Broadbeach, a location that’s central to the Gold Coast’s dining scene.
Gav and Abii have set their venue up as a modern grill with a huge mural of ‘El Toro’ on the wall, clearly marked with which cut is which, cowhide banquettes and svelte black and gold dining tables which are chic, comfortable and inviting.
After cooking in steakhouses for most of his career, Abii knows his cuts and has clear ideas about the direction he wants his meat to take. Marinated and basted in Abii’s secret sauce and cooked on the flame grill, their ribs (beef, lamb or pork) and steaks form the menu’s core.
Steak lovers can enjoy a selection of premium cuts, such as Black Onyx, Jack’s Creek or Japanese Wagyu; there’s also a huge 1kg Cape Grim tomahawk! As for the sides, all steaks come with chips and coleslaw, or garlic rosemary baked potatoes and sauce.
Celebrating an extra-special occasion? At the pinnacle of the meat selection are two exceptional steaks: a 24carat gold-encrusted Wagyu ribeye, and the Japanese Meat Expo-winning 200g A5 grade Kyushu Wagyu Cherry Blossom MB12+, its extensive marbling making it one of the best steaks in the world.
Of course, steak and ribs are the backbone of the menu. Seafood and grilled starters, such as garlic prawns, wings and boerewors could provide a lead-in with your drinks. The menu holds seafood and salad choices for non-carnivores, as well as gourmet burgers, one vegetarian, for those who prefer.
More likely than not, though, you will find difficulty deciding on just one dish! In that case, the guys have you covered, with several ‘feast’ options to eat solo or to share.
We dined on the King’s Feast, a half rack of ribs smothered in Abii’s own homemade BBQ sauce, a smoky 200g Cape Grim steak accompanied by two BBQ chicken skewers, garlic bread, slaw and perfectly crispy chips. Besides the BBQ sauce, the mushroom and chimichurri sauces are highly recommended, the latter carrying a kick of chilli in the coriander, leaving Peri-Peri for the diehard chilli fans. A choice of several desserts could give a sweet finish also.
There are enticing reasons to dine at lunchtime as well. Besides the full à la carte menu, a choice of five lunch specials will suit those on a tight budget or timeline. Ranging from $15 to $25 including a glass of local tap beer, prosecco, or soft drink, you can choose from tender salt & pepper calamari, mini sliders, a range of gourmet burgers with hot crispy chips, BBQ chicken breast with rice and salad or a Philly steak sandwich. It’s Happy Hour as well from noon until 3 pm with $5 prosecco or beer on tap.
Talking drinks, there are a few interesting South African wines to try, such as Old Road Wine Company’s FatMan Pinotage and Zonnebloem Cabernet Sauvignon. Make your choice between wine, beer or Gav’s great range of cocktails, all a treat to wash down your meal.
One thing’s for sure, we may be a long way from where this grill house originated, but Smokehouse has a lot of strong points to bring us back: tender and tasty BBQ ribs, top-grade steaks, delectable sauces complemented by perfectly paired drinks, all without leaving town.
Smokehouse Meat & Co Grill & Bar, 4/90 Surf Parade, Broadbeach Ph: 07 55269932 Open: Tues – Sun 12noon – late, Mon 5 pm – 10 pm