Hotel Nest

Posted on November 24, 2011

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Never being one to shy away from a bargain, I found myself wondering along the rather idyllic streets of Albert Park on a Thursday night. The purpose? To experience Mad Cow Thursday at Hotel Nest (111 Victoria Ave, Albert Park VIC) for their $1 steaks of course. Nope, not a typo, steaks starting at one dollar. Too good to be true? Well this intrepid foodie was more than willing to find out on your behalf.

First up let’s clarify some things; as with all clever marketing, the devil’s in the detail. There are certain conditions that apply to the Mad Cow Thursday’s $1 steak promotion.

  1. Steaks start at $1. Key word being the start. $1 buys you the 125g sirloin, larger steaks come at a higher cost. The 200g is $5 and from that point on, it’s add another $5 per additional 100gs up to 500g.
  2. Sauce cost $1.
  3. Sides cost $3 each.
  4. You make your order by marking off the steak/sauce and side you want  on a little order sheet (ie. you’re doing part of the waiter’s job to offset the cheap deal).

So an actual steak dinner will probably set you back to something more like the $15-20 mark, which is still a pretty great deal by any stretch.

We were seated in the very cute greenhouse section. Lots of ferns hanging along the walls, fairy lights, retractable glass roof letting in plenty of sunlight and cute little window looking out onto the street front. Nothing to complain about there. Even without their deal, I could happily sit there sipping an icy cold drink and watch the world go by. Bliss.

But enough of the scenery, what of this steak meal? This is a hard one to evaluate. If you remove price from the equation, well our meals were pretty average. Problem number one, despite ordering the same steak (300g cooked medium) and placing our orders at the same time, my companion and I did not get the same steak. Mine was overcooked so that it was well done, and yet my fellow diner’s was undercooked at medium rare. That was just strange, I do not understand how that could have happened. You would have assumed the kitchen would have cooked our same order at the same time and thus delivered next to identical steaks… In all fairness, it was still pretty tasty even if it wasn’t cooked to our preference.

My second gripe is that I believe the ‘fat chips’ is incorrect labeling on the ordering sheet. The chips were not ‘fat’, they were just standard sized chips. Not shoestring fries, but not fat chips in my books either. Thirdly, the sides were rather small. Yes I know they came at a bargain price of $3 each, but it’s not so much of a bargain anymore when you’re getting a lesser amount to counterbalance that now is it?

In saying all of this, I do recognise that the meal was still very good value. $17 each ($10 for 300g + $1 sauce + $6 for 2 sides), and we walked out pretty full and satisfied. From a purely foodie point of view, unfortunately it wasn’t anything special, but factor in the price and it’s a pretty different story. The surrounds are quite lovely, vibe was good and the service was efficient. Don’t go in expecting a fine dining experience and there really isn’t anything to fault. Seems like not too many people have caught on to the deal just yet, but it won’t be too long till they get crowded out on Thursday and there’s no indication of how long this offer will last either. My advice is to get in early rather than missing out all together!

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