I am travelling in Launceston for work. I tried to go to this restaurant last night and showed up at 6pm. There were 2 tables occupied in the whole restaurant but was told they were fully booked and there would be nothing til 9pm. On a Monday night! In Launceston! Anyway, I made a booking for tonight and went to the Prickly Cactus across the street (see other review). Whilst I was eating, I watched the waitress turn away other customers so they must have been fully booked tonight as well.
As expected, I was given a table at the back of the restaurant farthest from the door and nearest to the kitchen. This is a standard restaurant move for "lone" diners. What WAS different was that there were three magazines thoughtfully laid out for me. That was an impressive touch.
I skipped entrees and ordered the rump steak ($30) for dinner. I also ordered the peppercorn sauce ($3.50) and vegetables ($7). The steak came with a galette of bintje potatoes. I ordered it medium well. When it arrived, I was very impressed with the galette of potatoes. The slices were wafer thin and if they were hand cut, I am astonished. The steak however was undercooked. When I cut into it, it was still running red. True to form (my form that is) I was not going to complain but the waiter came over and asked me if it was cooked to my liking. I told him no and asked for it to be cooked further. I was asked if I wanted a fresh piece of steak cooked for me or just the current piece cooked further. I was happy with the latter option.
It took a while for my steak to return but when it did, my peppercorn sauce had been replaced with a fresh bottle and I had a new galette of potatoes. I was also served another serve of vegetables. All of that made me very happy. The steak was cooked perfectly the second time but unfortunately had shrunk.
Was it the best steak I have ever eaten? Unfortunately no but it was a close race to the finish. The best steak was eaten at Locanda Steakhouse (outlets in Canberra and Melbourne). This was much cheaper though.
If the Black Cow Bistro tightened up on the way the steaks are cooked, they would deserve 5 stars. I was happy enough with the meal and with the service to leave a tip. I had planned to have dessert but was sufficiently full at the end to skip this. I'll be back next time I'm in town.
Word of warning to vegetarians or lovers of any other meat but beef (and one dish with fish) - you'll struggle to find a main course to have.
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