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 Cured Kingfish was absolutely stunning. The fish was wonderfully fresh and cured to absolute perfection. We loved the accompaniments of pickled kohlrabi, green apple and puffed rice.
Similarly delicious was the Lamb ribs served with salsa verde and pickled carrots. The lamb was incredibly moist and contained the perfect amount of unctuous fat, encased in a crisp outer crust. Each bite was gratifying.
For mains the Flinders Island lamb is comfort food at its best. We loved the decadent jus lacing the melt in your mouth lamb perfectly balanced with slightly tart organic pickled cabbage, gooey caramelised pear and fried radish.
The steaks (as expected) were a cut above. We sampled our way through 2 of the steaks (O’Connor Premium Tomahawk and the Cape Grim eye fillet) - Displaying a mastery in the manner the steaks were cooked, the inch thick cuts of beef were each cooked perfectly from end to end. A light searing ensured that each steak was lined with a thin crisp layer packed with caramelised beef flavour.
With your steak, a side of MPD's Miso roasted eggplant is a must. Far from being just a side dish, denied due love and attention, this were sheer pleasure.
Whatever you do, save room for dessert and indulge in the Apple 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!
For something more adventurous, we recommend the decadent Malt parfait served with cocoa nib soil, almond sponge and dark chocolate mousse.
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