When Simon Gault and the Nourish Group started the Jervois Steak House, there were mutterings that no one would pay that much for steak. How wrong they were: four years later, on a Wednesday night, the top floor was full, mostly of men, hoeing into steak.
It’s a bricky, simple sort of space: there are white table cloths, which is a smart touch, and high-backed wooden chairs. The whole thing has a manly air and the focus, rightly, is on meat: it comes on a big white plate with a Global steak knife and a couple of condiments for company.
A charcuterie platter – complete with manly oxtail terrine, Serrano jerkey and smoked beef and chipotle sausage – was an excellent introduction to the steak. The rump came medium, rather than rare, since it is cooked all day – it was succulent, moist. The prime rib – the restaurant’s signature – was nicely seared on the outside, beautifully handled and nicely marbled, a testament to good butchery, although not rare enough for our liking: when we ask for rare, we mean rare. A side of chips was a highlight: fat, hand-cut and crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside with plenty of salt. Gault knows and loves steak: it shows. SFG
HOURS Saturday to Tuesday, dinner from 5:30. Wednesday to Friday, lunch from 12 to 3pm; dinner from 5.30.
ADDRESS 70 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, ph 376-2049. www.jervoissteakhouse.co.nz