Named after the Meatpacking District in New York City, MPD Steak Kitchen impresses with a serious steak offering that boasts a selection of regular, to more unusual cuts of beef.
A former nightclub site which has been transformed into a 200-seater restaurant and bar, the MPD build and design (which cost in excess of $3 million) is the embodiment of owners Robert and Victor Zagame's vision. Spanning across two levels, the venue is a sensory overload of touch, smell and sight.
The experience starts from the moment you enter the narrow hallway which feels like you’re walking through a grill – guests encounter the dining space, and note tones of charcoal, contrasting light and dark woods, offset by white and red neon, copper finishes, leather booths, cow hides, over 50 different light fittings, blue leather bar front, and quirky sculptures and wall features.
The restaurant is led by former Vue Group executive chef Chris Bonello. Recognised as Shannon Bennett’s right hand man at Vue Group (seven venues including Vue de monde, Bistro Vue, Café Vue), Bonello worked alongside former Attica restaurant manager and head sommelier Banjo Harris Plane, who consulted with MPD on building the 250-strong wine list. In particular it favours local Victorian and Australian wines, plus Argentinian, French, Italian and Spanish varietals. The collection is stored in a glass-encased climate controlled ‘floating’ wine cellar, raised three metres off the ground.
Under Bonello's guidance, the restaurant is in good hands with the majority of the beef locally sourced from suppliers like O’Connor Beef and Vic’s Premium Quality Meat. Bonello has also brought in the big guns like David Blackmore Wagyu and Cape Grim to complement the premium offering. Other meats are treated with the same respect to ensure that lamb (Flinders Island), fish, poultry and pork lovers will also be satisfied.
Not to be outshone is the bar, which boasts an extensive selection of quality bourbon and scotch, plus a focus on local craft beers and ciders like Grand Ridge Brewery from Mirboo North, and O’Brien Gluten Free Pale Ale from Ballarat. If you're a cocktail lover, you're in for a treat - the list is adventurous and includes the signature MPD espresso martini. This is one special cocktail - A bubbling, misty concoction of 666 Autumn Butter Vodka, Double Drip Coffee Liqueur, Little Drippa Cold Dripped Coffee and Brown Vanilla Sugar Syrup crowned with a House-made Gingerbread ice cream made at your table.
We loved tasting our way through the sophisticated yet approachable menu.
To start the eggplant terrine, baba ghanoush, kale, brick pastry was absolutely stunning. A Middle Eastern inspired dish, this was one that was presented exquisitely and bursting with flavour.
The dish of scallops was similarly delicious. We loved that the scallops had been beautifully seared and accompanied by peas, broad beans and prosciutto which added just the perfect touch of salinity. Each bite was gratifying.
For mains the steaks (as expected) were a cut above. We fell in love with the mammoth 1.2 kg grain fed O’Connor dry aged Tomahawk. Displaying a mastery in the manner the steak was cooked, the inch thick cut of beef was cooked perfectly from end to end. A good searing ensured that the steak was lined with a thin crisp layer packed with caramelised beef flavour.
With every steak, comes a side of MPD's triple cooked fat cut chips. Far from being just a side dish, denied due love and attention, these were sheer pleasure.
Whatever you do, save room for dessert and indulge in the Pear tarte tatin - think sweet fruit over a comforting blanket of gloriously sticky sweet toffee and melt-in-your-mouth pastry finished with ice cream. Simply lovely!
Bringing a rewarding slice of the CBD's upmarket dining to the area, MPD is the restaurant the South East suburbs of Melbourne have been waiting for.
Location: Corner Greaves and Clyde Roads, Berwick
Phone: 03 9702 0758