hippo creek african grill – hillarys
Marty from Madagascar is hanging on the wall.
If there is anything to establish the presence of carnivorous intentions, it would be a zebra pelt. Simply put, the business here is STEAK. (Vegetarians are still catered for – there are fish, prawns and a few vegetarian options available).
As we walk over the threshold, we are greeted and asked to go upstairs where another waitress escorts us to a table amidst numerous young families. The upstairs loft looks over the main restaurant, the zebra pelt and not much else. It’s a noisy and awkward space for small tables – especially amongst the large parties and families. Not withstanding the lovable sound of wailing children, our table makes for good people watching on those fortunate enough to have a table with a view of the water. Our table could be worse – the diners seated outside were constantly shooing flies away.
I love the menus here. Not only what is inside but the thick luxurious leather cover, branded with the Hippo Creek logo. Hippo Creek boasts south african incarnations of all things carnivorous. There’s explanations detailing the origins of their meat, the different grades and where exactly the cuts come from on the animal. It’s educational eating. Only good things can happen when people learn more about where their food comes from. Curious foodies can peer into the aging room, where meat is dry aged and hung. For the slightly more adventurous there is emu, crocodile and buffalo on offer.
The waiters are quick, systematic and friendly, and our order arrives in average time. The bf’s 700 gram rib eye Angus steak arrives, crowned with a rack of pork ribs. It’s a huge amount of protein flanked by golden thick cut chips.
I ordered the comparably meek 300 grams of rump – the Hunter’s Assaghai. Grilled on a skewer, the chunks of meat are basted with peri–peri butter and dangling over chunky chips which are soaking up the juices dripping off the skewer. Utterly wicked and impressive. Okay it’s heart attack food but it’s only once in a blue moon kind of food – right? Eat here, and you won’t have a hankering for beef at least for a while.
As usual I sampled the bf’s plate quite generously – for research purposes of course. I’m the girlfriend that’s always leaning over and dissecting the boyfriend’s plate, taking more than her fair share! The rib eye was too raw to be classified as medium rare. The beef was tender and well marbled, with a line of tough sinew running through it. However, the leading star of the night was the mushroom sauce. My goodness that mushroom sauce was crazy tasty – everything edible on our table was gluttonously dredged in it! Good thing it was served in bowl, or else the bf would’ve have been furiously guarding it for his own purposes. The rack of pork ribs was fairly lacklustre – the ribs were very overcooked, tough and stringy. Its saving grace was the passable BBQ glaze.
The Hunter’s Assaghai was delicious. The MSA rump was very tasty, well aged and perfectly rare. The crispy chips with steak juices raining down on them were equally tasty and heart hardening greasy. If we do return to Hippo Creek, I would probably order the Assaghai again – besides being a head turning dish, the novelty and premium beef make it value for money. I dare say the rump was better tasting than the Angus rib eye…
Absolutely stuffed with bovine offerings, we waddled out of the restaurant, a few dollars lighter but very satisfied. Overall, Hippo Creek is great if you love a mean steak in a nice restaurant, with an exotic difference. Make sure to book in advance as they are regularly booked out. It’s a great location on the water, so try to book a water facing table.
Up’s: Great steak and menu options – order the assaghai! Good service and tender steak.
Down’s: For us – being stuck in the loft area with noisy families. The alfresco area can be plagued with flies.
Hippo Creek African Grill, Shop 203, Sorrento Quay, Hillarys Boat Harbour, 58 Southside Dr, Hillarys WA
T: (08) 9447 2238
Breakfast Sat – Sun 8am – 11am
Lunch 7 days noon – 3pm
Dinner 7 days 6pm – 9.30pm
p.s. There is a really good gelato place on the Quay, so skip dessert at the restaurant. A short walk from Hippo Creek, Bellisimo Gelato seems to be inside knowledge with locals and regulars (look for the crowd). Their gelato is delicious, not too creamy nor icy and very flavoursome. Walk off the steak strolling around the Quay and gain back the calories with the gelato.
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