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Crazy Horse The Steakhouse
129 Willis Street
Date of Visit: 26 July 2006
Reviewed by: Sky Heighway, CaptainCowEater, Wellington, New Zealand
OVERALL EXPERIENCE (5 is Best)
Since becoming organised enough to actually start a group dedicated to dead cow, I had heard about this Crazy Horse place. It sounded like my sort of place. That is until I found out a little more about it. It really is the Holy Grail of steak houses.
Prices that could scare a boogie man and make your bank manager tremble (at least for my low-income life style anyway). But...it is to the best of my knowledge the only real New York-style steak house in Wellington--Iím sure Iím going to regret that comment--and its no truck stop!
We booked in advance as usual and were allowed to pre-order. Time is important when we are doing a work lunch so this makes a big difference when deciding where to go. My first impression was that there was no obvious service when walking in at lunchtime. This led to me embarrassing myself but it does make for a good story. Nick and I walked in and there was no one there but a couple of well-dressed gentlemen by the door, one of whom greeted us as we walked in. We had a quick look around and couldnít find anyone who could take our pre-order (I elected to deliver it in person because a fax can get lost or be unreadable and a phone conversations can be misheard). I had assumed the gentleman who greeted us was the owner or manager so I approached him. He said that I should talk to Mat and looked across at his colleague. He then got up and left, so I handed the other gentleman the list of orders and received a very puzzled look. Then it all clicked. The owner/manager had gone to get Mat and had looked past his colleague, not at him. Oops. He did ask who the Dead Cow Society was and seemed a little bit interested. Probably more amused by the name than our activities though. Feeling sheepish, I didnít want to look him in the eye and stumbled through a conversation until Mat came to the rescue.
The ten of us arrived the next day with much mirth and volume. We were big enough to get a relatively private section. The atmosphere was well received by the group - very nice ambience, although the lighting was a little funny. There were spotlights lighting some of the table so some of us had lighting and some didnít.
It didnít matter much once we got into the swing of things (but then I had a light). The plan would have then been to eat Dead Cow. Unfortunately yet again we had to wait for it to be cooked, but this isnít necessarily a bad thing. First the restaurant has to be sure we would arrive and then there is the question of quality. I could not see them risking us being late unless they knew us well enough to be sure we would be there on time. The best steak is always timed to perfection so I wonít hold this against them.
So we killed time the best way we knew how - conversations of the worst kind. Matt suggested inventing "Liquid Chips". Even better if you could make them alcoholic. What the hell is going on in that man's head? Other conversation topics included "the Robbie Williams Couch" (donít ask), and many more unsavoury conversations.
We ordered drinks. Guinness, Thorne Clark Terra Barossa Shiraz and it must be noted that we were offered Monteiths Original before being told we couldnít have it due to the tap being cleaned. But a good save with the offer of Monteiths Pilsner. Mat, the waiter, did miss pronounce the name of one of our Dead Cow Society members, but it was the foreign guyís name and the waiter did get some of the harder names so we just laughed at the foreign guy. Once he gauged our humour he started having a laugh with us too and called Maika a Queen, which we all thought was real funny. Maybe Maika didnít. Sorry Maika. Anyway, we thought Mat was great. Especially since we felt like we were in a four star restaurant and yet the staff didnít act like they were above us as can happen is some establishments.
Out came the Dead Cow. What can I say - the anticipation was huge. The Dead Cow was glistening with sauce and the aroma was defining (that works in my world!). I ordered the Bone in rib fillet 450gm (16oz) on steak fries,
Cafe de Paris butter and jus for $36 ($22.25USD). Dead Cow medium rare. There were no steak knives, just standard knifes and that was all we needed. It was soft, juicy, tender, cooked to perfection and not too bloody. Iíve never had Dead Cow as wonderful and the Crazy Horse Steak House lives up to its name.
The sauce was just as good. It complemented the Dead Cow well without over powering it. I thought the fries were amazing too, but maybe I was on a Dead Cow high because my colleagues seemed to think they were good, but not exceptional. Donít be fooled by the picture either - the plates are bigger than average.
I donít think my steak would have fit on one of the plates I have at home. Mostly because of the bone, but you get the idea.
I think that next time I will be ordering the 300gm (10.5oz) eye-fillet. It comes on a truffle infused whipped potato with pancetta, sweet heart tomatoes, roasted garlic and jus for $34 ($21USD). I should have done that in the first place, but we all make mistakes. This is truly the best steak house Iíve ever been to. Matt ordered fries to go with his Dead Cow and was given the option of shoestring, chunky Kumara (sweet potato) or steak fries. Great Selection.
In conclusion, I would have to say, if you havenít been to Crazy Horse, you havenít eaten Dead Cow. The highest quality food in a great setting served by good people. The wine list was big enough to make them a supplier so you have your choice of country, price, style and every other possible option in wine.
I hope next time we can get our food a little sooner or a little more time for lunch to digest (Iíll have to talk to the boys about that). One of the guys did say he felt his Dead Cow was a little on the tough side, but it was hard to hear him above the mmmmm noises coming from everyone else. When we left, we where all in a happy place. My standards are higher now; good luck to the next restaurant!
ALL RATINGS FOR CRAZY HORSE THE STEAKHOUSE, WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND