It is a universal truth that a couple in possession of an Entertainment Book must be in want of a restaurant. We have only recently acquired our book, but have been using it to check out some restaurants that we might not otherwise go to – or even know about. We visited Char Char Bull on Australia Day Eve, a Sunday when the Fremantle waterfront was buzzing. Most restaurants looked busy and Char Char Bull was probably 70% full (and it had a fairly large floor space). Being on the Entertainment Book Gold Card, I had assumed the restaurant was fancier than it actually was. It was more a bistro and, based on other’s attire, I could have probably got away with thongs or jeans (perhaps not both together), rather than the dress and heels I wore.
Our main criterion for choosing Char Char Bull was STEAK. None of the entrees really appealed, but we were hungry so we started with the fetta, garlic, rosemary & a hint of mozzarella pizza. For $10 we got a full sized pizza (much bigger than expected) made of very good dough (it bode well for the selection of gourmet pizzas they also offer) with a buttery garlicky herby topping. It was very good, and came out very quickly (which was welcomed by my blood sugar levels). My dining partner (MDP) and I both chose steaks for mains: the Char Char Rib Eye and the Scotch Fillet, with a side of steamed lemony beans. Both steaks were very good – very good – and cooked extremely well. The beans were fresh (not frozen) and, indeed, lemony. MDP complained that we could have done with more mashed potato, but I was satisfied with my lot. Dessert was a disappointment. We shared the jaffa profiteroles, but these were lite on both the profiterole and chocolate sauce, and heavy on the cointreau icecream (I did not order icecream). MDP thought that the iceream tasted like vanilla, which I felt was a little unfair as I could definitely taste the orange, even if it was subtle.
Our dining experience lasted about 2- 2.5 hours. Service could have been a little faster, particularly towards the end when we were contemplating whether or not to have dessert. We had to go up to the counter to pay our bill, which was perfectly fine, just unexpected.
Details: Char Char Bull, 44b Mews Rd Fremantle 6160 WA. Phone: (08) 9335 7666
Service: MDP complained that we were left alone too much, but he’s more attuned to American service. I felt ok with it (though they did take a long time to ask about dessert).
Food: There are only a few steaks to choose from, but they’re well worth coming back for. Next time I’d probably skip dessert.
Mark-up: Our $45 bottle of Stella Bella Cabernet Merlot retails for $25-$30 online. (~ 65% markup)
The discount: The Entertainment Book Deal was a 25% discount of the bill, up to to $35. Our starter, two STEAKS, a vege side, a shared dessert and the wine came to $155 – or about $118 with the discount. Better still, the staff member who processed our bill did not scratch the number off our card and welcomed us to come back and use the discount again. We may well do so.