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31 35 Dixon Street
Date of Visit: July 2006
Reviewed by: Sky Heighway, CaptainCowEater, Wellington, New Zealand
OVERALL EXPERIENCE (5 is Best)
It is important to note that Hope Bros is a nightclub first and foremost, so we werenít expecting a first-class experience. There were 5 of us: Nick, Nick, Rhys, Kumarin, and myself (Sky). Booking in advance, they let us pre-order, which is important for us as we were going during our lunch break and didnít want to rush the meal. So I called ahead and pre-ordered five Grilled Sirloin Steaks: one medium, three medium rare, and one rare.
We headed down the road to Hope Bros with mouths watering and bellies rumbling. We where greeted by a very enthusiastic young woman who appeared very happy to see us, like sheíd been waiting all day for our arrival! I thought it was very entertaining, though some of the guys found her a little over the top, but not too off putting. My first impression was (no, not the bubbly bouncy happy young lady!) but the atmosphere. For a nightclub it was very much like a restaurant, so much so that I wouldnít have guessed that it was also a nightclub. We where taken up stairs and given a window seat. Almost every wall had a LCD screen in it with what could only be call "ambient movies", showing beaches, mountains, forests, horses, sunsets, and other similar movies. I imagine this may not be a good place to take a lady during a game. Otherwise, the place was very fancy.
Sadly, our meals were not as prompt as we where expecting. I suspect they didnít have much call for steak at lunch (we were also the only people there for lunch) and with five orders, the chef may have said, "I ainít cooking 'til theyíre here!", to be sure it wasnít a ruse by some idiotic student on a dare. This has happened before and usually pre-ordering works better the second time when they remember your name, and not many people forget my name! Still, we filled the time with the kind of conversations that only men could have (!) and soon enough we had our meals. Being a work day, we kept the drinking to a minimum. The standard spread of red and white wine, a couple of beers, and a coke, all standard pricing of around $6nz ($3.70us) a beer and $9nz ($5.60us) a glass of wine.
Being steak lovers, the meal was not as "hearty" as we would have preferred, but still very good. To quote the menu: "Grilled Sirloin Steak, To your liking with 2 fried eggs and mushroom sauce, served with chunky fries, and salad". Mmmmmm, they make it sound like Iím in a truck stop. The low brow conversation and truck stop menu still couldnít drag down the high quality service and atmosphere.
The steak was a standard 200gm (7-ounce) sirloin of Dead Cow and the entire meal was $19.50nz. We donít really do "sides" in NZ, and generally the meal comes as a whole meal. In this case, the price was about $12.10us. I donít normally like mushrooms and passed them on, but the sauce was great. I did ask for garlic butter which I was told they didnít have but the request would be pasted on to the kitchen and should it be possible it would be provided. Alas it did not appear. This would be my biggest complaint about most orders of Dead Cow. Some people like mushrooms, some like pepper sauce; I like garlic butter. No, I love garlic butter! Yet I always have such trouble getting it on my steak. Is garlic butter not a standard food group in any restaurant? Maybe my standards are too high, or too low. I digress. Though the steak was smaller than expected, it was beautiful. Soft, juicy, cooked to perfection (medium rear) and seared on the outside for that lovely burnt meat flavour. It was all well presented on large portions of salad and chips and was well worth the price. In fact it would be a great place to take a lady friend if you were on a budget. Well priced and elegant meals, leaving you more for drinks. As the night rolls along the dancing begins and we all know what happens when you mix women, dancing, and alcohol. Afterwards you walk her home and...there goes that male conversation again.
In conclusion, great service, great food, great price, and great atmosphere. The steak options where not great, but it wasnít a steak restaurant, so I couldnít mark them too harshly for that.
ALL RATINGS FOR HOPE BROS, WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND