Rightio folks, here’s the second installment of my entries focusing on the cheap and cheerful side of Perth. As promised, this one contains juicy steaks. So here goes…
I’m a firm believer that a dining experience is about so much more that what’s served to you on your plate. It’s about the building, the ambiance, the other patrons and just the whole vibe in general. Tapas is best served in rowdy, smoke-filled Spanish bars, Bratwurst hotdogs are best eaten outdoors on a chilly December day in Germany and meat pies are best consumed at the footy between mouthfuls of abuse hurled at the umpire. The whole experience is more than the sum of its parts. Similarly, cheap, no-frills steaks should come in a similarly rough-and-ready environment, and that’s just what you’ll get at the Mighty Quinn on a Wednesday night.
Having received a tipoff about it from a fellow food blogger, the promise of a low cost steak dinner out on the town was too much to resist and thus last week I rounded up a few friends and went down to check it out. Even though the Mighty Quinn is just around the corner from my house I’d never actually been in there, so was pleasantly surprised to find a huge, cavernous beer hall type place absolutely heaving with people. Splashed here and there with references to its Irish name, it has a warm, homely vibe despite its hefty interior. Whilst far from what you’d consider to be a traditional Irish pub, the hurling sticks and Guinness ads on the wall along with the fireplace and warm lighting nevertheless manage to lend a certain Gaelic charm to what would otherwise be a pretty bog standard blue collar drinking hole.
Although my informant told me that the steak special was $12.50, the fact that it turned out to be $13.90 was still totally acceptable. They were also perfectly happy to substitute my chips for mash potatoes at no extra cost, and this put me in such a good mood that I splashed out and paid and extra $2.75 to get veges instead of salad. Arriving at the table in a surprisingly short amount of time considering the masses of people they were serving, it was exactly what I was hoping for. Sat atop a large mound of mash and steamed veg, the generous slab of sirloin was smothered in a thick mushroom and seeded mustard gravy. I’d asked for medium rare, and despite the fact that it was a little rarer than it perhaps should have been, I wasn’t complaining as a) I tend to like my steak that way anyhow and b)I’d much rather it come underdone than overcooked.
Now, getting back to what I was saying about the food matching the setting, this meal was a perfect example. Had I been served the exact same thing in fancier establishment (with matching fancy price tag) then, chances are, that I would have been pretty pissed and felt ripped off. Similarly, if the chefs at the Mighty Quinn had tried to go all gourmet and served the steak with roast baby potatoes, a cranberry port just and dusted it with microherbs then it just wouldn’t have felt right, and they probably would have cocked it up anyway. As it was, the generous portions had just the right level of slap dashedness to match the t-shirt wearing staff serving them. Nothing in the slightest bit poncey there at all, just meat, sauce, potatoes and veg. I didn’t end up paying that much, it was tasty enough and I left full and satisfied. In short, it was everything a cheap steak meal in a pub should be. The drinks were also pretty well priced too, with pints of Erdinger only $8. The old Mighty Quinn does get fairly heaving with people clamouring for budget priced beef, so if you want to guarantee yourself a table I’d highly recommend booking ahead. Oh, they also do a quiz on a Wednesday night too, which is the icing on a prefect pub grub cake as far as I’m concerned. So, what’s everyone up to next Wednesday night then?