Angus & Bon, Prahran review: a chart-topper
Melbourne was thunderstruck in 2004 when ACDC Lane opened, and again last week with the unveiling of a new Bon Scott sculpture in the adorned alley. But AC/DC’s presence is also being felt in Prahran with new steakhouse Angus & Bon. Its namesakes are, of course, the iconic band’s guitarist Angus Young and late lead singer Bon Scott, with the group playing one of its first Melbourne gigs in 1975 at the now-closed Station Hotel nearby.
It might have rock’n’roll roots, but this is no Hard Rock Cafe concept bar. There’s a cool New York vibe to the latest occupant of the 1928 Prahran Post Office, which lands between boozer and fine diner, with exec chef Declan Carroll working his own wood-fire grill to great effect after four years at Rockpool Bar & Grill. The menu suits snacking, sharing or feasting. A bar menu executes faves such steak frites and a burger, but head to the restaurant for a long and lovely list of meat, seafood and vego dishes — most turned out on the grill — and stellar sides, such as mac and cheese with speck ($14).
Open with pork scratchings ($5), crunchy, salty savoury puffs to get the party started.
There are beef options aplenty, showing the heft of Aussie producers, seeing different cuts teamed with classic sauce options. The 300g O’Connor’s scotch ($48) was cooked with care and precision over flames, a salted, charred crust good armour for a blushingly beautiful interior, well rested and sliced to serve. With a creamy yet tart béarnaise, it was simple and utterly delicious. The beef rib ($39) was a melting moment. A grain-fed short rib was slow-cooked on the bone and finished on the grill to impart smoke and char and given plenty of sauce with a beef jus and a vibrant chimichurri. Slices of beer-pickled onion added depth. A cracking dish. Desserts aren’t to be missed — glorious creations by pastry chef Aristo, also ex-Rockpool, such as the dense, decadent dark chocolate mousse slice ($16), adorned with caramelised hazelnuts. Desserts are not to be missed at Angus & Bon. A weekend bottomless brunch ($39) gives two hours to knock back Mimosas, Bellini’s, Bloody Marys and Aperol Spritz. There are lots of worthy wines, with premium pours from the Coravin ($13-$25) and local pinot noirs to compliment those steaks. Ditto cocktails, such as a gin Old Fashioned. Milk coffee is from Canberra roaster Ona. Engaging, good-natured and informative service from greeting to goodbye. Service was a proper highlight of dining here. Exposed brick, curved upholstered booths and dark timber give a masculine Manhattan clubby feel. There’s room for 190, well divided between front bar and restaurant at the back. Prahran is full of bars and cafes, but a chic room, perfectly pitched service and fab fire-touched food where provenance matters make Angus & Bon a chart-topper.
Best Steak in Melbourne
The old steak has fallen out of favour in recent years. As the ethical and environmental impact of livestock farming becomes more apparent, chefs and diners are getting cosier with vegetables than ever before.
Despite this, there are still plenty of spots to find a good grilled steak in Melbourne (as opposed to steak tartare or American-style smoked beef). At the top spots, you can usually choose your preferred breed, feed (grain or grass), cut, ageing time, condiments and, of course, how you’d like it cooked (no more than medium, please).
But however you customise your steak, such a simple dish is totally reliant on the quality of the animal. The good news: Australia raises some of the best beef in the world. Victorian farmer David Blackmore brought Wagyu here in 1989 and now counts Thomas Keller (French Laundry, USA), Heston Blumenthal (Fat Duck, UK) and a number of other high-profile international chefs as customers.
Then there’s South Australia’s Mayura Station (another pure-bred Wagyu operation) Tasmania’s Cape Grim, Victoria’s O'Connor Beef and many other world-class cattle farms employing ethical, sustainable practices. And it’s all right on our proverbial doorstep.
Featured: O’Connor grass-fed beef and 9+ score Wagyu from David Blackmore is aged for 30 to 50 days, then wood-fired on the grill.
The Urban List
Where To Get Melbourne's Best Steaks
It’s Prahran’s 1940s New York-style steakhouse and has probs graced your Instagram feed a few hundred times already. Angus & Bon has the steak sandwich you’ve been waiting to fill the void in your life. If that doesn’t work, there’s the dry-aged Wagyu chuck steak, and the O’Connor’s 28-month Sirloin (our personal fave), cooked medium rare and oozing with sauce. Pro tip: go the aerated Béarnaise. It's out of control.
The Urban List
Angus & Bon
“We were going for a Waldorf Astoria, 1940s New York vibe,” says the Manager at Prahran’s new steakhouse, Angus & Bon. "The sort of place Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra might come to hang out.”
If that was the mission, these guys have nailed it. Angus & Bon looks like it’s been time-warped straight out of New York’s golden age. All dark timber, rippling marble, wrought iron and dirty mood lighting. Of course, it helps when you inherit a gorgeous heritage building like the Prahran Post Office. The brick walls in here look like they’ve seen some sh*t—probably a lot of mailing letters and sorting envelopes, but still, it’s pretty badass.
On to the menu, Angus & Bon is divided neatly into a casual bar and An elegantly modern restaurant. With one serving sophisticated yet great value bar grub (i.e. Their $30 Thursday Prime cut steak night is easily one of the best steak nights this side of the river, that'll fill the void in your life), and the Dining room handling the fancy stuff. Dry-aged steaks from Australia’s top producers like David Blackmore Wagyu and O’Connor’s Grass Fed Angus seared on the wood-fired grill. As well as other top producers like Bannockburn free range chicken and Mount Gnomon Wessex saddleback pork. The flavours are balls-to-the-wall. Nothing shy about this menu even the dessert menu one thing we’ll say is doughnuts with lime curd filling... amazing.
Need a tip? We recommend the O’Connor’s 28-month, dry-aged Rib Eye steak, cooked medium rare and served with Café De Paris butter. Possibly the greatest steak we’ve ever put in our mouths.
And if that didn't sound great enough for you, Angus & Bon’s recently added a beautifully curated breakfast menu to its repertoire. Besides your usual morning cult classics highlighting the menu are three dishes influenced by the heritage of each respective chef—and they're all to die for.
The Candian Maple Banana Bread topped with deliciously roasted walnuts and mascarpone is a definite must for anyone with a sweet tooth. Taking a slightly more savoury avenue, a Japanese-inspired miso-torched mackerel perfectly creates flavours which question the traditional characteristics of breakfast in the most perfect way possible. Finally, there's an all-time English classic with an Angus & Bon flair, loaded with smoked bacon, black pudding, wild mushrooms. Can we get a "hell yes"?
Uniquely showcased only on Saturdays and Sundays, Angus & Bon will undoubtedly become a breakfast hub in the months to come. See you there.
The Garb Wire
Essential Eating: Angus & Bon In Greville St, Prahran
Wood smoking in a sophisticated setting is a little underdone in this town. Sure, there are plenty of trashy dude food joints, but Angus & Bon provides a much rarer kind of dining experience. Are you over the meat puns yet? Because frankly, I’ve got plenty more stacked in the deep freeze of my mind. The handsome interior mimics the style of a classic New York eatery, and the name directly references our rock n roll heroes by name. Angus and Bon is an obvious ACDC nod, yet the venue instantly surprises and delights with its slick dark wood interior and olive leather tones. It’s not your average steak house.
This ain’t no pub joint with a dusty juke box in the corner, either. An extensive wine list awaits, ready to be perfectly paired with oysters, tuna, snapper, gazpacho, prawns, swordfish and pork. Anthony especially enjoyed the wood grilled prawns with a glass of Castro Martin Albarino and approximately 57 oysters from Blackmans Bay and Sydney Rock, while I sampled the tuna tartare, washed down with Black Velvet prosecco.
Next was the pork rillette, confit lamb ribs and beef short rib. I was a huge fan of the lamb, and we both enjoyed a glass of Arfion Spring pinot noir while carrying out our exhaustive work. By the time we got to sampling porterhouse with béarnaise, O’Connor’s skirt with chimichurri and Blackmore’s wagyu chuck steak, I was reaching peak food coma. Of course, when we go back, we will order more sensibly, and perhaps add some greens (and maybe not drive).
Dessert was delectable chocolate mousse and doughnuts with lime curd, eaten from serviettes. I would have photographed them, but there simply wasn’t any time before they disappeared forever. I would go to this restaurant again just to have dessert.
As the evening came to a close, Anthony thoroughly enjoyed a whiskey nightcap, served in self-regulating medicine bottles. A highly risky, but perfect touch to an altogether excellent affair.
Conversations with a chef
Declan Carroll - Angus & Bon
Irishman Declan Carroll came to Australia on holiday 18 years ago, fell in love with the place and has been cooking up a storm here ever since. A passionate devotee of wood-fired cooking, Declan was last at Rockpool for four years and has now taken up the wood-fired grill challenge at Angus & Bon, Prahran’s recently opened New York style steak house.
Hi Declan, let’s start with how long you’ve been a chef.
I think it’s 25 years now. I started when I was 17 straight out of school.
So you always wanted to be a chef?
Not necessarily, no. This was the end of the eighties, early nineties and there wasn’t a lot going around. I’m from a small town in Ireland called Celbridge in County Kildare and there are around 12 or 13 pubs and a church and a shop and that’s about it. It’s a pretty small one-horse type of town and not a lot of work around so I found myself being a farmer and a milkman and whatever else and then I thought I needed to actually do something.
I was always interested in food, I suppose. My mum wasn’t a great cook; she used to be when she was younger, but I remember doing what I get my son to do now; standing on a stool and putting my hands in whatever was being made.
I thought it might be a nice road to go down so I went to the nearest hotel in Celbridge. On my street there are about 20 houses and out of those 20 houses, 10 of us were chefs and we all ended up working together at one stage. That whole area is a big hospitality area; the mothers were front of house and the brothers and fathers were barmen and sons were all chefs. It’s just that area, I don’t think that’s normal.
I suppose that was the first of it when I was 17. Kitchens were a little different then to now. It’s a lot more pleasant now. There are a lot of things you can’t say or do in kitchens these days that you got away with back then. I suppose none of us really knew who to call or whatever else back then.
It’s something that often comes up in conversation; the whole brigade concept and shouting head chef. It feels as though everyone is more about team work and encouragement now.
You have to have a happy medium, I think. You still need the discipline. There’s a fine line between us all having a big hug and getting through it together. If you’re a little bit hard on them, they seem to shape up. You have to have the middle ground and be fair. That’s the line I take; I’m fair, approachable and easy-going but if someone does something completely ridiculous then you have to let them know so they realise their job is on the line.
When I was an apprentice there was none of this approachability, it was all hard. You did the job, you did it the best you could and if you didn’t, you didn’t get fired, but you’d get a bollicking or a slap. These days, they can be a little too laid back.
Do you think that’s a global thing or do you think it’s an Australian thing?
I don’t know because I haven’t been anywhere else for a while. I came over here in 2000 and I’ve just been back and forward from home to here but I haven’t really travelled around the world. I don’t think it’s a global thing because I don’t have any Australians in the kitchen. I have chefs from America, Canada, South America and Indonesia. They’re from all over. I think it’s a generation thing and not a global thing.
There are less and less good chefs; chefs who want to get into the trade. There are a couple of good lads coming through and that’s great but there are very few excellent chefs left, except for the guys who have been in it for years. They are the ones who are on top over here. It should be the other way around; it should be the younger chefs coming though who are on top.
Do you think your approach is because you come from a generation of hard workers…
…or is it that you have the passion to keep you going?
Everyone should have a passion for something. It’s all about work ethic. Even if this is not your career and you’re studying something else but you take this on, if you go about it half-heartedly, you’re just creating bad habits for when you do get the job you really want.
There are much easier ways to make money than being a chef. But I’ve never done anything else and I work hard, so I don’t really understand it. If you’re in the industry and you enjoy cooking, that’s great, and you work at it, but if you’re in it just because you’ve seen MasterChef on tv and it looks cool to wear a white jacket then you’re in the wrong trade and you’re not going to last.
What made you come to Melbourne?
My cousin lived over here. I was supposed to go to Canada, but my visa was refused and then I thought I’d go to America and my visa was refused there too so I didn’t think I’d be going anywhere. That same week my cousin came home to Ireland from here and said Australia was great so I came over here. That was in 2000. The first year was a working holiday visa and I came over and took a look around. I assumed it was just going to be a holiday. Ireland was going great then; all of Europe was on top. So I thought if I tried to get my residency here and I’ve got Ireland as well, that’s over the half the world I can go and work in. So I went for my residency and ended up falling for the place.
What I like about the food over here compared to what we’ve got back home or in most of Europe is that we’ve got a middle ground over here that isn’t over there. There you either go to a two Michelin and pay through the roof or you go to a shitty greasy spoon. Over here you can go to a top end restaurant but then there are lots of steps down from that and there are still quality places whether it’s a café or whatever. There’s room to slip in anywhere here.
You would have seen a lot of changes in fashions of food from when you started. Are you someone who feels bound to follow trends in food?
I don’t know if I follow a trend or not. I’m definitely influenced, but by the places I’ve worked in. What’s trendy at the moment? I don’t really care, I suppose. We’re not doing anything new here, people have been cooking over wood for however long, but there aren’t a whole lot of places around fuelled only on wood.
What is trendy at the moment?
Good question. It might depend which neighbourhood you’re in, but shared plates, maybe playing with the food a bit, molecular gastronomy, soils and foams…Instagrammable rainbow breakfast stuff served in light bulbs.
I like looking at them but I don’t play around with too many foams or stuff like that.
Where do you get your inspiration when you’re making a menu?
Take this menu, for example, I firstly think, right where am I going to get the meat from and how am I going to treat it. I’ll dry age it, which is an influence from Rockpool, I suppose. Dry ageing it intensifies the flavour and makes it tender. For that I need top quality beef, so I source top quality beef. Once I’ve done that I don’t want to mess around with it too much so I try and do it as naturally as possible and just cook it over wood and send it out without messing around with it and doing too many things with it. It’s the same with the fish dish; it’s just fish with a sauce vierge. Tomatoes are in season so I can just let them do their own thing. I just need good quality heirloom and cherry tomatoes and cook them over the wood grill just so they’re blistered and you get that smoky flavour in there with some really good quality olive oil and some lemon and salt. There’s not a lot going on there, but with some Spanish mackerel or swordfish over wood, it’s as simple as that.
There’s not very much to any of the dishes on here.
It’s about looking out for what’s in at the moment. Asparagus is coming to an end in a coupe of weeks but it’s been great over here, the asparagus season has been unreal. I’ve been doing to them what you’d do in the nineties with Béarnaise sauce except I make a Béarnaise foam [laughs] with tarragon powder.
Aha. So trendy!
The reason for the foam in that one is because it holds a lot better than the traditional hollandaise and it’s a lot lighter and I don’t like hollandaise so that’s why I do it like that. The reason I don’t like hollandaise is I don’t like that buttery coating in the mouth and it makes you feel very full. But with this, it’s really light and you get the vinegar coming through and the tarragon. The asparagus is just off the grill so it’s all blistered and smoky. And then I have lardo, cured pig fat and I heat that up until it’s translucent and pop it over. It’s very simple.
It’s early days yet but it’ll change again in March and then again in June.
By June or July you’ll see a real representation of the grill as we slowly try and get as much on the grill as possible. Not to overkill it but to have that even flow. I’ve been talking to the pastry chef about using it and doing either a smoked yoghurt sorbet or something like that or grill some fruit.
Does it take a bit of getting used to, using the wood fire?
Using the wood, and you can ask the guys in there, is an absolute nightmare. I love it because it’s a challenge. It’s a challenge just lighting it in the morning; it takes 40 minutes to light it. Well it takes two seconds to light but then you’re looking at it and waiting for it to catch and then you get your little bit of paper and wave it a bit to fan the flames.
It’s old school, isn’t it?
A lot of places use those little fire starters, but I don’t know what’s on them, surely there’s a chemical on them that will taint the beef or something. So I’m just breaking up the cardboard boxes the vegetables come in and using those.
What kind of wood do you use?
Ironbark. It’s really, really hard and produces a high heat; it can get up to 400-500 degrees heat. That’s just the start. Once it catches, you let it burn down and put fresh wood on top and put your grates on. Cooking a steak is completely different. When you cook over a gas grill and you turn it on, it’s an even heat the whole way across. You can put your steak anywhere on the grill and you can almost stick a timer on it. But when it comes to a wood grill, every single steak you cook is completely different, even if they’re the same cut and the same size because the temperature is constantly changing. You seal your steaks off on one section and then have to move them to another part of the grill and then a piece of wood might fall and that will change the temperature, and then you move them somewhere else to rest them. It’s constantly changing and then the fire might be running out so you have to think about raking the coals or adding more fresh wood over to the side and then wait for it to burn down before you push it over.
Going onto a grill like that, if you can already cook a steak, that’s half the battle. But if you’re an apprentice or a chef de partie who’s learning to cook a steak, and learning about the grill, you’re going to have a disaster. At the moment it’s just me and my sous chef on the grill.
There are about nine different steaks on the menu so on a Saturday night we want to be doing over 200 on a Friday and Saturday night. As crazy as it sounds, that’s pretty simple with a grill that size and that powerful. When you have a little bit of experience on it you can get your steaks on pretty quickly and cooked and then up resting and you’re good to go.
Once we settle down, we’ll bring the commis chefs and apprentice chefs over and start teaching them how to use it. They’ll have to start from the bottom learning how to light the fire and learn about how the wood burns and go from there to feeding the fire and watching it and from there they can be taking steaks in. It’s a year down the line before you can say, well, I’m cooking with fire now.
The Weekly Review
Steak And Cocktails: An Unlikely Duo
There’s nothing wrong with the rock-solid pairing of steak and Shiraz. But there’s plenty of space outside the comfort zone for experimentation, like at new Prahran steakhouse and bar Angus & Bon, where they’re matching steak with cocktails.
The steak-friendly drinks here are restrained and considered, balancing sweetness and spice to mirror the qualities that red wine brings to a slab of quality, char-grilled beef.
The first is called Smoke On The Water. They mean smoke, literally. The cocktail, a mix of Cognac, thick, sweet PX sherry, orgeat (almond) syrup and a lemon-and-orange flavoured shrub syrup, is stirred over ice and decanted into a small bottle. The bottle arrives with a glass filled with a cherry and pecan-chip smoke. The booze is poured into the smoke-filled glass, so that the sweetish smoke acts as a subtle but present background note. It works well with beef being grilled over ironbark by ex-Rockpool Bar & Grill chef Declan Carroll.
Touchwood is the second of these cocktails and it’s a beauty. It takes Jensen’s Old Tom gin and mixes it with the bitterness of Amaro Montenegro, dark, nutty Oloroso sherry and a touch of saline syrup. The sweet-salty-savoury balance plays nicely with the char and smoke of grilled meat.
Nothing can replace the symbiosis of wine and steak, but Angus & Bon makes a pretty good argument for trying the road less travelled.
The Plus Ones
Angus & Bon Launch Party
I don’t often get the red carpet treatment, but Greville Street’s token new steakhouse – Angus & Bon’s launch party was a welcome exception.
If anyone knows how to throw a five-star launch party, it’s these guys! After making my debut down the red carpet (which was also accompanied by a live jazz band), my plus one and I were greeted with a Fraise Fizz – fruity, bubbly cocktail, and a fresh oyster bar.
The evening continued in a similar manner with a series of 17 small dishes paired with various drinks. Snapper ceviche and prosecco, grilled swordfish and Castro Martin Albarino, confit lamb ribs and Arfion Spring pinot noir, wagyu chuck with shiraz…the list goes on!
There was one particular cocktail that caught my taste – the Black Velvet; prosecco and porter beer, crisp and fizzy with a good amount of body from the beer, paired deliciously with Smokey Bay Oysters. An unexpected combination that seemed to work perfectly.
Owner Liam Ganley (Freddy Wimpoles, Lemon Middle and Orange, and Fifth Province) has transformed the old Prahran Post Office (previously Mrs. Parma’s) into a chic classy New York style steakhouse with exposed brick walls, solid wood panelling, feature lights, and loungy circular leather booth seating. Homely, sophisticated, and inspiring, it’s the kind of place you would visit to discuss international affairs or business plans, whilst sipping on whisky and enjoying a fine piece of wagyu.
The house specialises in all things meaty goodness, with head chef Declan Carroll (ex Rockpool) grilling up aged grass-fed beef and dried-aged Wagyu to perfection over a custom built woodfire grill.
Come around on a Sunday morning and you will have a totally different experience! $39 gets you a two-hour bottomless brunch with all the Bloody Marys, Mimosas, and Bellinis your little liver can tolerate.
Angus & Bon is a welcome new addition to the assortment of Asian Fusion and European restaurants on Greville Street. Forgo your local for an evening, and pop in for an after-work drink or steak dinner. You won’t regret it, we promise!
Whats New: Angus & Bon - New York Steakhouse & Bottomless Brunches
Angus & Bon is a New York inspired steakhouse, bar and brunch hot spot adding a touch of cool sophisticated elegance, with a side of cosy, to Prahan’s ever popular Greville Street.
Brought to you by the talented duo Liam Ganley and Executive Chef Declan Carroll, Angus & Bon has been cleverly designed to maximise your experience of all the delights on offer, great food, beverages and ambiance, so you walk away feeling content and fulfilled. Declan and Liam have created a menu that is low on pretension and big on freshness and flavour, with both the restaurant and the bar having their own menus. As a passionate devotee of wood fired cooking, Executive Chef Declan Carroll has incorporated wood grilled flavours throughout both menus, whether it is seared asparagus, grilled fish, or a big juicy steak.
Being a New York inspired steakhouse, unsurprisingly steak features prominently on the menu, whether it’s rib eye, scotch fillet, 30 days aged, grass fed, dry aged, local butchered – Angus & Bon has got you covered. Then choose your sauce; Bernaise, pepper, beef, garlic or Café de Paris and to make sure you are truly satisfied add a truly US-of-A side with onion rings, mac and cheese, and red & white ‘slaw to top it all off.
As if that wasn’t enough and for some unfathomable reason you’re not look to feed your inner caveman or woman then try something lighter, maybe a shared plate or entrée. We’d recommend having a hard look at the classic ham plate with premium jamon sarrono, prosciutto and sopressa, or maybe nibble on a pork croquette or confit lamb ribs. They even cater for the cave-veggie with vegetarian and pescetarian options.
Eating all that fine food gives you a powerful thirst and here Angus & Bon has you covered with a beverage list offering a great range of local Pinot Noir’s, and an exciting collaboration with Wiremu Andrews formerly sommelier of Rockpool and now owner of Smalls wine bar. And if you’re not feeling in the mood for wine then they can sort you out with a range of great beers and for the ladies a range of tastey cocktails, including; mimosas, bellini’s, bloody mary’s (in case this is the day after) and Aperol Spritz’s to name but a few.
And if the food and drinks aren’t great enough already, Angus & Bon now offer bottomless brunches every Sat and Sun from 12pm till 2pm – so don’t eat breakfast, lunch or dinner save that powerful appetite and get your orders in by 2pm sharp to qualify. But wait, there’s more, for a measly $39 you can add a few (or maybe a lot) of those same tasty cocktails we mentioned above!
Now I don’t know about you but I’d go to a tent revival to get the above food and drinks, so Angus & Bon really have outdone themselves with the decor. Taking the old Prahran Post Office built in 1928 (speakeasy anyone?) and adding the outsized talents of restaurant designer du jour Wendy Bergman of Bergman & Co, Interior Designer Ineke Hutter, and Architect Jack Monte, Angus & Bon have created your new home away from home. With a clubhouse look and feel combining separate bar and restaurant zones with outdoor seating on Greville street, your choices for looking good and people watching are all covered. You can catch rays outside as the sun sets, lounge at the bar, or sink into the leather banquettes and booths in the restaurant, lit with mood lighting from ‘Please, Please, Please’.
All in all, the new Angus & Bon steakhouse is so much more than just another food destination, offering quality touches and attention to detail in both it’s design, the choice of food and drinks and that feeling you’ve stepped into a little piece of New York off Chapel. So round up a few of your friends, get your glad rags on and head out for an evening of eating, drinking and looking oh so chic. Or maybe beat the crowds and start at lunch and make a day of it! Either way we think you’ll leave feeling content and fulfilled.
Eat Drink Play
Opulence With An Edge At Angus And Bon, Prahran's Newest Bar And Steakhouse
The historic Prahran Post Office, formerly home to Mrs. Parma’s, has a new face in Angus and Bon. Part American style steakhouse, part haute bar, Angus and Bon plans to keep Greville Street shaking all night long.
In it’s heyday in the seventies, Prahran’s Greville Street was at the heart of Melbourne’s counter culture and rock scene. Greville Records was the new kid on the block – clandestinely dealing out black market copies of rare imported records from underneath the counter – while just up the road, soon-to-be-iconic Aussie bands like The Dingoes and Spectrum paid their dues playing residencies at the Station Hotel. It was at The Station Hotel in 1975 that ACDC played some of their earliest shows before making their mark on the international music scene. But, like many of the grungy underground corners of Melbourne, time – and construction – marched on, and the beat of the music faded, replaced by upmarket boutiques and ritzy residential apartments.
But that’s now set to change with Melbourne dining scene stalwart Liam Ganley (formerly of Fitzroy Street fave Freddie Wimpoles, and Collingwood’s Lemon Middle and Orange) teaming up with chef Declan Carroll (Rockpool, Press Club, and Bistro Guillaume) to inject some rock back into Greville Street with Angus and Bon.
Feeling that Melbourne’s steakhouses tended towards stuffiness, the men wanted to create a space that reflected the street’s edgy, youthful past, while still honouring the tradition of the New York style steakhouse. And Angus and Bon does have a very 1940’s New York noir feel, with leather booths, deep rich timber, and brass fixtures punctuating the dark amber lit interior. The venue has a sexiness – an edge – that makes dining at Angus and Bon an experience, not just a restaurant.
The menu has been carefully curated, with O’Connors Gippsland grass-fed beef aged 30-50 days before hitting the grill, and Blackmore’s dry aged 9+ marble score Wagyu taking centre stage. Local, seasonal produce is the name of the game at Angus and Bon, with fresh veggies, poultry, and seafood creating a library of dishes to appease even the most finicky diner.
I dropped by to sample some offerings, and the falling-off-the-bone tender confit lamb ribs served simply with parmesan, basil, and crips kale were a crowd pleaser. The roasted pepper gazpacho lightened things up with a little zingy freshness. Freshly shucked oysters and wood-fired King Prawns served with a garlic and seaweed compound butter brought a little seaside flair to our afternoon. But my evening was made by the O’Connor beef – perfectly seared on the wood-fired grill – and served with a rich and complex cafe de Paris sauce.
And I couldn’t forget the thing that tickled my fancy my the most; Angus and Bon offer “bottomless brunches” between midday and 2pm on weekends. For just $39 per head, you can down as many bloody marys, mimosas, bellinis and spritzes as your rocking heart desires – done dirt cheap.
So while Greville Street may not be the Mecca of music it once was, Angus and Bon are here to stay, keeping the beat alive in the famed strip. And of course Greville Records is still there, still spinning vinyl over thirty years later. Make sure you pick up an LP as you walk past on your way to Angus and Bon.
Angus & Bon
The new steak house/gastropub in Prahran has some serious meat on the menu. Cooked over a wood-fired grill by former Rockpool sous chef Declan Carroll, these steaks are ideally charred, a whiff of wood smoke permeating the tender meat. The O’Connors Gippsland 28-month-old, grass-fed rib eye is presented sliced from the bone, which is still on the plate and begging to be picked up and gnawed. This thing has also been dry aged for a minimum of 30 days, giving the fat that incredible bacon-like quality that makes congestive heart failure seem worth it.
TRAVEL INSIDER - QANTAS
4 New Restaurants You Need To Visit In February
Angus & Bon
Food: Declan Carroll (ex-Rockpool) and chef Liam Ganley are at the helm of this Manhattan-esque steakhouse with wood-fire grills. Enjoy confit lamb ribs for entrée, followed by a more substantial protein – say, the 30-day-aged rib eye on the bone.
Drinks: Wiremu Andrews – owner of Smalls wine bar in South Melbourne – has curated the wine list, replete with local pinot noirs and chardonnays.
Space: Dine in the landscaped outdoor area or nab a spot in the clubhouse-looking dining room with soft lighting.
Location: Housed in Prahran’s old post office, which dates back to 1928.
Channeling New York hospitality establishments espousing casual grandeur, stylish steak house and brunch hot spot, Angus & Bon prepares to open in a fiery blaze, late 2017 on Greville Street, Prahran. Angus & Bon is anchored with two restaurant stalwarts at the helm, Liam Ganley and Declan Carroll. Liam Ganley landed in Melbourne following the European economic downturn and with his building and design background and his fiancée Margaret Lawless’ hospitality background on hand; the team then proceeded to open Lemon Middle and Orange and then The Fifth Province and Freddie Wimpoles.
Executive Chef Declan Carroll is a passionate devotee of wood fired cooking and has been a Sous Chef at Rockpool for 4 years. Previous to this, his resume included conspicuous stints at Bistro Guillaume and the Press Club. Together, Declan and Liam have designed a menu that is low on pretension and big on freshness and flavour. The bar and restaurant, each with their own menus will showcase the wood grill flavours, whether it is seared into an asparagus, fish or steak.
Graze and fossick from shared plates and entrées such as a classic ham plate with premium jamon sarrono, prosciutto and sopressa, or choose to nibble on a pork croquette perhaps or confit lamb ribs. With various menu items vegetarian and pescartarian friendly. For the protein lovers, select your preferred specialty cut, rib eye on the bone (aged 30 days) to scotch fillet (30 days) to grass fed, or a selection of locally butchered dry aged, grass fed 36-month-old prime cuts. Finish it all off with a fancy sauce, Bernaise, Pepper, Beef, Garlic and Café de Paris. Finally, accessorise with some sexy sides, onion rings, mac and cheese, fries, red and white cabbage coleslaw, then lean back and settle in for a session. Carroll says “The Angus & Bon menu has been inspired by working at Rockpool and cooking over wood grill for years. I want people to enjoy the food, feel fulfilled and be inspired to go home and put the BBQ on and just cook.”
BERGMAN & CO CLUBHOUSE
With a clubhouse look and feel designed by restaurant interior designer du jour, Wendy Bergman of Bergman & Co along with a stellar team including Interior Designer, Ineke Hutter and Architect, Jack Monte, Angus & Bon will become a home away from home. Housed in the old Prahran Post Office built in 1928, Angus & Bon features bespoke, ambient lighting by Please Please Please and will have two distinct areas (bar and restaurant) including an exterior zone on Greville Street for the summer months. Greville Street has recently undergone a facelift by Stonnington Council, with extended outdoor dining and beautiful new landscaping on show. The front bar beckons to relax and revive whilst the seductive banquettes and booths in the restaurant will ensure the most pleasurable wine, dining and imbibing sessions.
“Being a steak house we wanted to incorporate some of the elements seen in historical, traditional butchers. Bespoke round timber turned planters and crafted New York marble reminiscent of old butchers blocks, as well as glass display case joinery at the entrance,” Wendy Bergman.
Angus And Bon Is Prahran's Stylish New Steakhouse And Bottomless Brunch Spot
Greville Street has scored itself a dapper new meat destination in Angus & Bon, a New York-inspired steakhouse that's set up shop in the former Prahran Post Office.
The brainchild of Liam Ganley (who brought you Lemon Middle and Orange, and Freddie Wimpoles), along with former Rockpool chef Declan Carroll, the offering here is all about heroing the kitchen's woodfire grill. It'll be used across an unpretentious menu of veggie, fish and meat dishes, though the steak selection is set to be the indisputable star of the show.
Alongside plates like confit lamb ribs and pork croquettes, there's a truly hefty array of beef options; choose from quality cuts like a 30-day aged rib eye on the bone, or a grass-fed scotch fillet, teamed with a range of classic sauces and sides.
The wine list proves a worthy match, with plenty of choice by the glass and a special focus on local pinot noir varieties. You'll also spy an exciting collaboration with former Rockpool sommelier Wiremu Andrews.
Meanwhile, weekends will see punters swapping steak knives for Champagne flutes, with bottomless brunches offered each Saturday and Sunday. Head in between noon and 2pm to enjoy an endless parade of bloody marys, mimosas, bellinis and spritzes, for $39 per head.
The space itself is both stylish and comfy, the work of Melbourne studio Bergman & Co. The front bar and streetside areas are primed for summertime sipping sessions, while the back restaurant space tempts long, lazy dinners with its luxe banquettes and moody lighting.
Angus & Bon Opens in Melbourne
Declan Carroll (ex Rockpool, Press Club and Bistro Guillaume) and Liam Ganley (Lemon Middle, Orange, Fifth Province and Freddie Wimpoles) are behind the venue.
“The Angus & Bon menu has been inspired by working at Rockpool and cooking over a wood grill for years,” says executive chef Carroll. “I want people to enjoy the food, feel fulfilled and be inspired.”
The venue is split into two — a bar and restaurant — with each boasting a dedicated menu.
Entrees include a ham plate with jamon serrano, prosciutto and sopressa along with pork croquettes and confit lamb ribs.
For mains, there is a focus on aged beef. Diners are able to select their preferred cut from rib eye on the bone (aged 30 days) to scotch fillet (30 days) and grass fed. Locally butchered dry-aged grass-fed 36-month-old prime cuts are also available.
A range of sauces are on offer, from café de Paris and garlic to pepper. Sides include mac and cheese, onion rings and cabbage coleslaw.
The wine list offers local pinot noirs and a future collaboration with former Rockpool sommelier and owner of Smalls wine bar, Wiremu Andrews.
Angus and Bon Raises The Steaks
Walk into new restaurant Angus & Bon in Prahran, and you could be mistaken for thinking you're back in that cool, classic steak house you loved so much in New York. Take a look at the menu, including weekend bottomless brunches, and the feeling only intensifies. But this is Melbourne. And it (literally) rocks.
Restaurant stalwarts Liam Ganley (formerly of Lemon Middle and Orange, The Fifth Province and Freddie Wimpoles) and former Rockpool Sous Chef Declan Carroll (former sous chef at Rockpool, previously Bistro Guillaume and the Press Club) have created an experience centred around the wood grill - from speciality cut aged steaks with classic sauces (Bernaise, pepper, garlic and cafe de paris) and sides (onion rings, fries, mac and cheese among them) to shared plates, and vegetarian and seafood options.
"The menu has been inspired by working at Rockpool and cooking over wood grill for years. I want people to enjoy the food, feel fulfilled and be inspired to go home and put the BBQ on and just cook," said Carroll.
The beverage list features a stunning range of local Pinot Noirs and there is a an exciting collaboration with Wiremu Andrews, former Rockpool Sommelier and now of Smalls wine bar.
Steak and sauce and red wine - the perfect combination.
Steak and sauce and red wine - the perfect combination. Photo: Eugene Hyland
Adding to the New York state of mind, the Bottomless Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 12-2pm with Mimosas, Bellini's, Bloody Marys and Aperol Spritzs for an extra $35.
Housed in the old Prahran Post Office in reinvigorated Greville St, the clubhouse look and feel has been designed by Bergman & Co with two distinct sections: the front bar and seductive banquettes and booths for longer rendezvous.
Now open: angus & bon brings a rock'n'roll steakhouse to greville street
Dry-aged Wagyu and bottomless Bloody Marys.
“A lot of other steakhouses in the south are quite formal and European, with table bookings and white tablecloths,” says Liam Ganley, who co-owns new Greville Street restaurant Angus & Bon with his partner Margaret Lawless. “We wanted to engage with the area’s insane punk-rock history and create a more Windsor style that’s youthful and edgy.” AC/DC played one of its first Melbourne shows at Greville Street’s now-closed Station Hotel in January 1975. In tribute, Angus & Bon is named after the band’s guitarist Angus Young, and late lead singer Bon Scott. You’ll find other AC/DC references scattered throughout the venue, too. Angus & Bon occupies the old 1928 Prahran Post Office building. It’s the fourth Melbourne business for Liam Ganley, after Fifth Province and Freddy Wimpoles in St Kilda, and Collingwood’s Lemon Middle and Orange. “I’d been watching this site for two years before landing the lease,” says Ganley. “I used to come here a lot when it was Mrs. Parma’s and dreamed of re-designing the fit-out to restore a lot of the historical elements and introduce a good steak and drinks menu.”
Former Rockpool Bar & Grill sous-chef of four years Declan Carroll heads the kitchen at Angus & Bon. Carroll’s menu is focused around a woodfired grill custom built by Albert Gibellini at Sharpline Stainless Steel, who also built the woodfired grill at Rockpool. Cuts of O’Connor’s grass-fed beef are aged for 30 to 50 days before being thrown on the grill, as is the 9+ score dried-aged Wagyu from David Blackmore. Pork belly, lamb, seafood and vegetables also get a lick of smoke. The fire’s lit in the morning with dense ironbark logs burning at temperatures of up to 600 degrees. Managing the grill’s unpredictable nature takes real skill; often conditions change within seconds. Every single steak requires a slightly different technique because you have to work with the fire first,” says Carroll. “You have to be so in control of the fire at all times because the hotter and cooler spots on the grill are constantly moving.” Classic sauce options accompanying the different cuts of beef include peppercorn, Café de Paris butter and a fresh take on béarnaise. “We use a reduction method with tarragon vinegar, fresh tarragon and shallots, so it’s much lighter with just a kick of vinegar to cut through the beef, and we use the gun too so it has a nice foamy texture,” says Carroll. “At the end of the day it is all kept as simple as possible with good quality ingredients from about 20 suppliers and good technique.”
A daytime menu offers steak sandwiches and burgers and on weekends the bottomless brunch ($39) gives you two hours to knock back Mimosas, White Peach Bellinis and Bloody Marys. Often red wine is the go-to to complement a cut of steak. But Angus & Bon matches cocktails to its red meat. Bartender Jake Burnham has created a gin Old Fashioned using Jensen’s Old Tom Gin, oloroso sherry and Amaro Montenegro. He says the sweetness and spice of the drink works like a big malbec by cutting through the fat of the beef.
The interior was designed by Wendy Bergman of Bergman & Co. “It was quite a daunting space because it’s so big with the capacity for 200 diners inside and 40 outside,” says Ganley. “We’ve sacrificed many of these seats, though, because we wanted to create a more opulent and lavish space with more room.” The original wood panelling has been restored; any new timber has been carefully stained to match the old. The building’s original brickwork, sash windows and brass railings have all been preserved. A dropped-ceiling bar separates two main dining areas. The front is casual with high seats and a lounge bar where walk-ins are welcome. A more refined area at the back of the restaurant features tan-leather clam-shaped booths. Contemporary lighting by Please Please Please is dim for a dark and sumptuous Old World club vibe. The music balances New Orleans-style rhythm and blues from the 1940s and ’50s with the odd Beyonce or Rihanna cover. “There’s a fine line for re-creating old-fashioned, but making it approachable, comfortable and contemporary,” says Ganley. “But I think we’ve achieved it here.”
New bar and bar news
Watch this space
Set your alarm clock for late December, when Angus & Bon opens at the former Prahran Post Office on Greville Street. The venue finds Liam Ganley (Lemon Middle and Orange and Freddie Wimpoles) teaming up with executive chef Declan Carroll (Rockpool) for a New York-style joint focused on its wood grill – which naturally lends itself to bottomless brunch every Saturday and Sunday. From noon until 2pm, the drinks will include bellinis, mimosas, Aperol spritz and Bloody Marys at $39 a head. Giddy up sometime after Christmas.