Heron Island: think Great Barrier Reef, turtles, sharks, birds – paradise. Didn’t think I could find a steak on this island? Wrong. After capitalising on one of those weekend newspaper “bargain” deals, my better half and I ventured out to Heron Island for a 7-night getaway. Overall, the food wasn’t great (think camp food) but seeing as we were on a nature island during the peak of turtle egg-laying season we knew we actually came to enliven the little part of David Attenborough that (I think) exists in each and every one of us.
Despite this, one couldn’t help but be distracted by the constant wafts of bird poo that circulated throughout the restaurant. Nor could one refrain from critiquing the tacky blue walls and décor which made the restaurant seem like a staff kitchen in a dated aquarium.
On a more positive point, a noteworthy dish I had on the island was the mouth-watering Cape Byron Rib Eye.
Set at the price of $37AUD, the steak was a long-awaited palette cleanser and star of the show for the Shearwater Restaurant (think Chris Martin to Coldplay). Cooked at medium rare, the meat was lean but buttery and juicy – you could tell the big fella had been well looked after.
And if the meat has got you Wikipedia’ing the location from which it originated (Cape Byron is the easternmost point of Australia FYI) then you know it’s a quality cut. Served with baby carrots, red wine jus and Paris mash the combination was rich and made you fill all warm inside – almost like a good feed at a pub. The kitchen could have done a better job with the presentation but all in all it was a very satisfying dish.
Cape Byron Rib Eye
How well it was cooked – 8.5
Flavour – 8.5
Tenderness – 8.5
Overall – 8.5