Lava stone is the volcanic stone originates from inside the volcano, the slab of lava stone is heated to 400c in a specially designed oven. And the meal/meat of your choice will be presented to you on the stone when they are still raw.
So yea, you gotta do a bit of cooking here, even if you over-cook the meat, you can only blame yourself for it. However, with this method of cooking, it enables all the natural juices and flavours of your meat to stay within itself. And you don't have to worry that your meal will get cold, as the hot lava stone can stay hot to approximately 35mins, good way to enjoy hot food.
Lavastone grill cafe is an old house converted into a restaurant, it might look small from the outside, but it's huge inside with lots of table in different section/rooms of the house/restaurant. Because hot stone grilling is their specialty here and the restaurant wasn't properly designed to be a grill house, you have to be prepared to walk into a smokey room.
We found this place by flipping through the Entertainment Book (Russian Roulette style), of all the possible choice in the book, we happened to flip to this page and decided to give it a try. It was a Saturday night, and the room was filled up with groups of people, noises and smokes.
We had a serve of Garlic and cheese ciabatta roll to start with because we are all very hungry and still waiting for one of our friend to arrive, whom can't seems to find the place. The bread was just average, it is a bit dry and we wish to have more cheese or pesto on it for better texture and better flavour.
Reef and Beef
They have a few selection of bread on the menu, and a small selection of entree on stone. As for mains, it's mainly different type of meat and seafood, they do have Venison Steak and a Game Platter for the more adventurous kind. Vegetarian don't worry, there's also a Vegetarian Platter on the menu with usual suspect such as eggplant, sweetcorn, mushroom and haloumi cheese. Because none of us is vegetarian nor game lover, we ordered the Mix Grill and the Reef and Beef. All mains served with gourmet potato and salad. For those who don't trust their own cooking, there's 4 mains choices that are not served on the stone and are cooked by a chef.
The Reef and Beef ($33.90) has a piece of prime sirloin steak which is already starting to sizzle on the lava stone, on top of the beef, there're 2 pieces of prawns, a scallop and a squid. The slab of lava stone has already dusted with salt (it's the white particles on the stone), so your raw meat has already seasoned (lightly), if you like more seasoning, there's salt and pepper shaker on the table. I squeezed some lemon juice on my seafood while they are sizzling away on the stone. It is also served with 2 dipping sauce - oregano, garlic and coriander dip and lime and dill sauce, the lime and dill sauce was quite nice to go with both the seafood and the beef.
As for the Mix Grill ($29.90, first picture of the post), it comes with portion of beef fillet, chicken tenderloin, pork fillet, lamb and field mushroom, it is also served with bearnaise and brandy peppercorn sauce. The bearnaise sauce was average, as I can't taste any shallot and tarragon in it, perhaps a tad too much vinegar.
After having our mains, we can feel that our stomach is screaming for more food or some desserts. Judging what's on offer on the menu and the caliber of this restaurant, I don't think the desserts will be good, but my dining companion are all going for desserts so are my stomach.
Sticky Date Pudding - $9.90
While the desserts sounded a bit old school, we finally decide on getting a Sticky Date Pudding (to test if they can get it right), a Jamaican Cheese Cake and Don Pedro (Vanilla ice cream top with a shot of Irish Whisky, whipped cream and crushed walnuts), also a cup of flat white and a glass of Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Sticky date pudding was ... let's just say, the Maraschino cherry is the only nice thing on the plate. The pudding was dry, dense, hard and only slightly warm, it wasn't a pleasure eating the pudding, the butterscotch was way too sweet even the vanilla ice cream on the side can't balance the sweetness.
Don Pedro - $15
Don Pedro, sounds nice and foreign, despite the name makes it sounds very exotic, but it doesn't look that unique to us. The chef was way too generous with the Irish Whiskey (I wonder if that's a good thing?), all you can taste is the alcohol and lots of cream. It is definitely a dish from an alcoholic for an alcoholic who just want to get drunk!
Jamaican Cheese Cake - $11.50
The Jamaican cheesecake is the best of all, it is visually appealing albeit the plating style is quite old school and the cheese cake actually taste quite nice and smooth.
The whole experience is quite fun and it's a different kind of dining experience, everyone on the table is so busy engaged in their own cooking, and find it fascinating when we cooked the meat til perfection. It is also a nice place for group gathering, birthday or just seeking a bit of fun for dinner. Having said that, we would prefer Korean BBQ over Lava Stone grill, for better variety of choice, and tastier meat. Lava Stone grill is ok, but we have come into conclusion that we would appreciate more if they put some effort into marinating the meat especially the chicken and lamb.
Service was touch and go, certainly it was a busy night, but the wait staff doesn't seems to make any eye contact with us, it's kinda hard to grab their attention. Whereas, some of the staff looks a bit lost, they don't seems to know what they are doing, that's what happen when you hire backpackers, they just don't stay long enough in one place to learn how it actually works.
Our bill came up to $210.80, because we use entertainment card, we get to enjoy $35 discount on the total bill.
Food Quality: 3 outta 5 lavastone
Service: 2 outta 5 lavastone
Ambience: 3 outta 5 lavastone
Will I be back: I might just pop into a nearby Korean BBQ Buffet
155, Walcott St.
08 9328 6669