R and I were really excited upon hearing Hippo Creek were opening their third restaurant at Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre in Karawara. On passing glances in the development stages it looked to be a promising addition to the Plaza, which has undergone a $25m facelift. My guest for the evening, R, had been to the Hillary’s Hippo Creek and spoke highly of it and as a major fan of any steakhouse I was looking forward to the opening at Waterford’s!
The Hippo Creek chain is owned by Daniel and Tayla Gomer and Gareth Simpson and his partner Nadine. The South African venue describes itself as a “Bar & Grill which caters for all appetites from a 250g steak to a gigantic 2kg rump, so the serious meat lovers can enter with a big appetite and exit with a full stomach”. We saw the aforementioned 2kg of steak on the night (it was presented and cut by the mayor of South Perth to officially open the restaurant) and wow, that certainly looks like a challenge!
We were greeted by a fire twirler at the entrance to the venue, upon which we entered to see a beautifully presented restaurant. Designed by Roxby Architects, nothing has been overlooked here from the outdoor raised deck, to the attractive dining area, to the bar which stretches across the main part of the room and is actually made of bricks of Himalayan Salt. The end result looked amazing. The dining area can seat 300 people with a separate private dining room which can hold 20 people.
The bar has a great variety of beers and one cider on tap and I really enjoyed the Miles to Nowhere Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz they were serving on the night. On the night, the owners mentioned that a bottle shop has yet to open alongside the restaurant, which will specialise in South African wines and liqueurs and will also feature a butcher offering their dry and wet aged beef.
We were offered platters of grilled garlic and chilli prawns, salt and pepper squid, Boerewors sausage rolls with tomato blatjang (chutney), and mini potato and wagyu pies. All of the dishes were really tasty, however the prawns and squid were a stand out for me. There were also massive plates of spare ribs circulating the room but unfortunately I never got to try one, however R said they were perfectly cooked and very flavoursome.
The private dining room had been turned into a cheese and biltong tasting room. Biltong is sold by the 100g on their menu and on the night there were several to choose but the chilli kind was my favourite. R fancied the plain variety on offer. In one corner of the room, a carvery was set up serving extremely tender pieces of beef and pork. The meat was then served in mini buns and toasted sourdough with chutney and pickled condiment.
Towards the end of the night, we were served three types of petit fours, which were sweet and a lovely end to our evening.
The restaurant offers MSA grain and grass fed ‘dry-aged’ (min of 28 days aging process) or ‘wet-aged’ beef (aged in a vacuum sealed bag to maintain moisture). Customers can actually see the beef hanging in the dry-age cool room, which was located near the entrance. For those not lusting after one of these steaks don’t despair, there is a variety of chicken, seafood and vego options on the menu.
Interspersed with the great food, there were performances from traditional African dancers and musicians during the evening. Along with the helpful, friendly service and great food, it’s clear the owners have put hard work into this great steakhouse. R and I can’t wait to return for a full meal; however I don’t think it will be nearly as large as 2kg!
CFJ would just like to say a big thank you to special guest blogger, B, for writing this review and attending the event on behalf of CFJ. I’m looking forward to heading to Hippo Creek Waterford in the near future!