Moo Moo the Wine Bar + Grill
The Port Office, Stamford Plaza, cnr Margaret and Edward streets, Brisbane (07) 3236 4500
Settle into the plush surrounds of the Port Office Hotel and prepare yourself for a difficult decision. There's an astonishing selection of Australian beef regions and cuts: grass-fed, grain-fed, organic, dry-aged, or if you dare, the signature spice-rubbed one-kilogram Angus rump. It takes about an hour to prepare but is well worth the wait.
181 Mary Street, Brisbane (07) 3229 3686
Steak at Urbane's more relaxed little sister brasserie is a beautifully rustic treat. Dry-aged Wagyu sirloin is served on a wooden board with a whole head of roasted garlic and a bunch of fresh parsley.
224 Given Terrace, Paddington (07) 3367 0030
There is no better place in Brisbane than Montrachet to sample the classic French favourite steak frites. Perhaps it's the romanticism of the chic Parisian interior or the influence of that glass of pre-dinner bubbles but eye fillet with chips and green salad never tasted so good.
Savoir Faire, 20 Park Road, Milton (07) 3876 6948
It's only natural that cows should eat grass, right? Embers believe grass-fed animals result in tasty, tender steak, and only serve MSA-graded grass-fed beef. A light basting of spices during the chargrill process also gives steaks a unique edge.
Cha Cha Char Wine Bar and Grill
Plaza Level, Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane (07) 3211 9944
It's all about attention to detail - the menu is one of the most comprehensive you'll find, listing not only the age and diet of the cattle but the exact location your steak has come from. The view of the river through the curved floor-to-ceiling glass wall is a bonus.
Vintaged Bar & Grill
Hilton Hotel, 190 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane (07) 3234 2000
Meat forms the core of the menu, with eight steaks (grass-fed, grain-fed and Wagyu) at its heart. They are serious pieces of meat, starting at a 200 gram 'minute-style' fillet with Café de Paris butter and ending with a 400-day grain-fed scotch fillet of Wagyu with a 7+ marble score. They come expertly grilled with a cheek of lemon, a wee bouquet of micro-herbs and a choice of condiments.
Esq at Esquire
145 Eagle Street, Brisbane (07) 3220 2123
The sensational scent of meat cooking over charcoal will draw you in and in all probability keep you longer than you expected. Esq's menu changes daily with plenty of seafood options but if you ever needed proof that small is beautiful, try Esq's petite piece of Kobe rib-eye: rich and as tender as butter, served with freshly hand-grated wasabi root.
Black Angus Bar and Grill
46E The Promenade, Sanctuary Cove (07) 5577 9712
Not unexpectedly, Black Angus specialise in certified Black Angus. Choose from five cuts and weights of meat as well as organic Wagyu sirloin with varying marble scores and a choice of buttery mash, hand-cut fries, greens and well-crafted sauces. There's even black Angus butter (churned with beef jus).
Waterfront at Aurora, 4-8 Duporth Avenue, Maroochydore (07) 5479 0022
Organic, free-range, MSA-graded beef is always perfectly cooked to order and comes to suit a wide range of appetites, from a petite Tasmanian eye fillet to a 500 gram rib on the bone to a 7-score Wagyu rump (the only non-free-range offering) . Meat is served with a choice of salad and chips or baked potato.
The Long Apron
68 Balmoral Road, Montville (07) 5452 1111
Part of the degustation at this lovely country restaurant is high-pedigree Casino sirloin which arrives dramatically at the table on a still-smoking chunk of cedar wood, with accompaniments of enoki mushrooms and piquillo peppers battered in squid ink tempura. Served medium rare, it's full-flavoured, juicy and perfectly seasoned.
The brisbanetimes.com.au Queensland Good Food Guide 2012 is now on sale at bookstores, newsagents and online at The Age Shop. Recommended retail price is $24.95. The guide is also available as an app through the iTunes store for $8.99. An online version is available for $8.99.