Hogs Breath Café
I’m not sure what’s worse. The fact that at one point in my life I actually wanted to visit this place, or that I was actually expecting a decent meal from a chain restaurant.
Hogs Breath Cafes are everywhere, and in my misguided youth I had an ill-founded image of a grand dining experience – which is why when one opened up near me I was excited. I had never been and wasn’t sure what to expect.
But hey, if you boast something like “Australia’s best steak is right here” it should be a good product regardless of how busy or new the place is – so my expectations were somewhat high.
It was a Friday night and the place was packed with walk-ins being turned away. We even had to wait about 5 minutes for seating as they’d mixed up our booking.
This gave me time to scout the menu and figure out what I was going to order, being around 9pm I was starving and my eyes spied this.
If there is one thing I love as much as steak, its ribs – so what could be better than a half and half meal?
We got seated amongst an out back style décor filled with varnished wood, corrugated iron panels, number plates and everything else you would expect.
I placed the order of prime rib and pork rib duo. I was informed their signature “Prime Rib” (which is basically a Scotch Fillet) is slow cooked for 18 hours which meant I could not order it rare – so I settled for the next best thing, medium rare. I also had the option of vegetables or salad with chips, mash or a baked potato; I went with the standard chips and salad.
About 35 minutes went by, I waited patiently reminding myself it was a Friday and it was busy.
Finally it arrived.
My heart sank.
Where were my grill marks on the steak? Where was my salad? The ribs looked like they literally just poured sauce on them after steaming them.
I cut into the steak; it was tender where there was fat, where there wasn’t it was borderline leather.
The Char was present for about 2 bites close to the thinnest edge with the beef having lost most of its flavour, I felt like I was eating a piece of roast beef.
The inside was not medium rare, not even medium, it was medium well with no sign of seasoning.
The ribs were no better, they were cooked well but other than that it was like eating flavourless pork, thank god they lathered it in BBQ sauce, even if it was horribly sweet and generic. It was better than the vegetables, water logged and bland.
It was definitely not worth the $40.
If you’re planning on dining at Hog’s Breath – I suggest you burn your tongue first, it might taste better.
How well it’s cooked (ordered medium rare, arrived medium well) – 2.5
Flavour (unseasoned roast beef) – 2
Tenderness (Slow cooking hell) – 4
Overall – 2.8