Gem Bar & Dining Room, Collingwood

We had decided two nights prior where we were going for Thursday night dinner – The Gem.  I had heard some great stuff about this place – that it’s a great rockabilly venue and usually has hot rods parked out the front.  I’ve never seen the hot rods, but upon entering, the rockabilly was everywhere.

Chicks with short fringes, guys with embroidered cowboy shirts, cowhide stools and pictures of Elvis on the wall. Everything was made of wood, and they had door curtains with cute Hawaiian pin-up girls striking poses.  The atmosphere was awesome.

We sat outside in the sun while we waited for the kitchen to open at 6pm.  I had already made my selection – 230g Angus scotch fillet cooked medium rare with undressed salad and veggies instead of chips.  The guy behind the bar was so polite and helpful.  He told me that the veggies were gonna be beans and asparagus, and that I shouldn’t have any jus with my steak because it might have sugar in it.  So nice!
We didn’t have to wait too long for our meals.  They were presented beautifully on big square plates.  My steak had the criss-cross grill marks on it and was put on top of the asparagus and beans with the salad on the side.
The steak, as usual, was unevenly cooked to a more medium state with a deliciously juicy portion along the side and a more medium well finish in the centre that left it a little chewy.  I did enjoy the flavour though, especially when I dunked each mouthful into the salty, buttery dressing of the veggies.  The asparagus and beans were cooked perfectly with still a bit of crispness, and the salad was super fresh with wedges of cucumber and tomato alongside shards of Spanish onion and red capsicum.
Dave got the 14 hour slow roasted pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and French fries.  He said it was really good.
The pork was well seasoned and really soft and juicy.  The coleslaw was moderately dressed to provide moisture and the bread was toasted and crunchy on the outside whilst still being soft and fluffy on the inside.  The chips were spot on; crispy and didn’t require any additional salt.
I really enjoyed spending the late afternoon at the Gem.  Their crowd seems to be local and it was very homely.  The bar staff were really polite and hard working without being clunky or bothersome.  Dave raved about his chips and ‘sandwich’ and my steak was good.  I’d like to come back when NoSugarVember is over and try their parma.

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