Meat & More Meat @ Stonegrill

I've heard of Stonegrill's existence for a very long time, but I never actually went, partially because I couldn't justify the expensive price for a no marinade no-nothing plain steak on a hot piece of rock.

Stonegrill definitely uses rocks and stones as a motif in their interior design.  Although it is considered an upscale restaurant (the price definitely agrees with this), I felt that there were some details that could be brushed up on, especially the chairs for one.  My chair seemed to be quite worn.

Interior aside, the restaurant, located underneath the Granville Street Bridge, faces Granville Island from across the river.  There were quite a few boats at the dock on our side, and we could see the different private boats, sailboats, and kayakers sail past.

Click to enlarge - $49 prix fixe menu

Click to enlarge - $59 prix fixe menu
The waiter recommended to us their two prix fixe menus at the $49 and $59 price points.  We found it peculiar that they didn't really list the price on it.  We could only tell by the very small font signifying "09*-49" at the bottom right hand corner.  

Well, if you do the math, their normal menu is actually cheaper, even if you add the soup and dessert for $13.99.  We ended up mostly ordering from this menu instead.

We flipped to the back of the menu and found that they actually serve "Hong Kong Cafe Style Favourites".  Talk about cheapening the place up.  I can see why they would do that, since paying $40 for a regular steak on a piece of rock may not sound like such a deal for everyone.  I wonder why they did Hong Kong style cha chaan teng food, wouldn't some other Western cuisine be more fitting for the atmosphere? I can't really imagine someone coming here for a $16 pork chop rice, when there are plenty of choices elsewhere for $8. 

Onto the meal! Doesn't this roll look like an ugly brown rock? Actually, it wasn't bad.  Although it seems like it would be hard and stale, it was actually quite soft inside.  I do like crusty bread though, and this one wasn't.  

Finally all the meat came on a little trolley! Each dish had it's own slab of supposedly volcanic rock.  I will now show you the different pieces of meat we ordered:

1. The baseball cut ($21.99), AAA Alberta top sirloin. I didn't have a taste of this, but this one doesn't have much fat to it.  It was quite a reasonable size though.

2. New York cut ($27.99).  I had a taste of this and it was pretty good.  This one was really thick so there weren't really any worries about it being overcooked.

3. My ribeye ($28.99).  I actually liked my steak a lot.  Despite the fact it doesn't have any marinade, the natural flavours of the cut are still really good.  There is a small dish of sauce on the side, and I experimented with it by dipping the meat in it prior to placing it on the rock.  I can't really describe the flavour, though I know I've tasted it before.  It made me think of the steak I had in a cha chaan teng in Hong Kong. 

There was a section of fat though, but that's fine by me, as long as this means there is an even amount of marbling on the meat.

When the waiter brought the meat to us, he explained that if you wanted it to be well done, you should flip it over.  Otherwise, you should just leave it on the stone as it is.  Because our table was really long and also because I’m partially deaf, I flipped it over to realize it would be cooked too well for my liking.  I ended up taking it on my bread plate and cutting pieces to cook as I ate.  I found that this technique was the best, especially for a steak that was thinner like mine.  Even if I didn't flip it over and let it stay on the rock, I think it would have been way overcooked.  Everyone else ended up doing the same .

You know I really enjoyed the steak when I was the first to finish out of nine people.  Every time I worked on this post, I really wanted to eat huge slabs of meat, so I think it brought out the mass meat eater in me.  However, I don't know if I will be heading back, I kind of just want to try taking a raw steak and putting it on a piece of hot rock.

1661 Granville St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 637-0388
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Haha, MEAT in bold capital letters really caught my attention.

Pictures look nice, but let me get this straight. Basically, it's raw meat on a hot rock, and you cook it yourself, but you pay full price......no discount for cooking your own food? The meat looks pretty big, so are you getting more meat than say, The Keg, or Joe Fortes? Haha, I'm such a cheapskate.

@Peter: Yeah I was looking through the pictures and it was basically shouting MEAT at me. haha!

Yes, that is the theory, they give you a raw slice of meat on a hot rock and you do the cooking by yourself. Which is why I totally want to buy a rock and do this, but I don't know if its possible (or that clean). I'm totally not sure about the size of the steak, but 4oz is the size of a deck of cards... and I think this is bigger than 8oz, UNCOOKED. Of course it will shrink a bit, so it's hard to compare with other places.

My last experience at The Keg wasn't the best though, I have to say. It was a bit too overcooked for me, which is why I like that you can control the level at Stonegrill. But might as well cook it at home eh?

Looking at the HK menu makes me shake my head.
The problem I have with eating steak at restaurants is that I eat 16oz steaks and I am picky with my cuts!
It's also possible to do it on a rock-I have done it before! It's fun except the problem is that the meat can get stuck if no oil is on it.

Note: I have used those Coldstone BOGOF 3 times=6 of them already :]

@Gloria: WOW that many times?!?! hahaha I just used it once on Monday, though I have printed 3 out. Need to abuse it before the 31st!!

I found that they used a little bit of salt to coat the rock, though it's finer than table salt. Not sure what its called. Yeah the HK menu was like WHAT.

Actually, I consider that as the restaurant's method of diversifying. I mean, you will shake your head because you KNOW about it, i.e., you have been to those places; however, for your average Caucasian (or people whomever Stonegrill consider them to be their target clientele), they might not know better. It is similar to certain restaurant chain serving "kobe beef meatballs". Everytime anybody lauds at that dish, the same way I shake my head and say "really?!" (<-- you can replace "kobe beef meatball" with tacos or tataki and you have a similar effect!) At least it is "limited time offer", hahaha!

You make a good point. I think diversifying their menu could work but not necessarily in this way. Rather than a completely different HK Cafe Menu, they can still stick to their concept with using a stone grill and make Asian dishes that come with sizzling plates or DIY teriyaki perhaps? Haha.

@KimHo and Gloria: Yes, I see the reasoning behind that now. Yeah, they should totally serve rice on stone grills. That would actually make a lot of sense, and I think Chinese people would go too

Haha, diversify....ever order wonton mein at Cactus? It's on the menu =)

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