HUCK'S RANT: Stacks on

All I wanted was a steak.

Not a dry-aged, chocolate-fed, beer-swilling, massaged-daily, bespoke-bred bovine that’s had a more beautiful life than the rest of us.

Nope. All I wanted was a steak.

I wasn’t demanding it to simply have its bum wiped and gently waved in front of a naked flame to be served at its absolute optimum for half a year’s salary.

Nope. All I wanted was a steak. A pub steak, actually.

A sub $25 feed to go with a handful of sweet amber and the dulcet tones of Friday’s six o’clock swill. A satisfactory budget sign-off to the week.

All I wanted was a decent enough slab of red flesh cooked somewhere remotely near pink. Served with a fistful of fries, a menagerie of mixed leaves and a pepper sauce – on the side of course; no one needs their steak swimming in something strangely brown. But they couldn’t help themselves. And I guess what arrived was technically a steak.

Hidden beneath a swamp of mushroom sauce with its own skin and speckled with peppercorns was a mound of meat, starch and flaccid greenery.

My promised steak manifested as a preposterous pile of beef and sauce on top of fries on top of salad and threatening the edge of the plate. It was impossible to cut the steak without everything falling onto the table, let alone the fact the fries were squished and soaked and the salad almost sous-vide.

And you’d have to excavate the steak to get to either anyway.

They may as well have put the whole thing in a blender and served it as a thick shake. Perhaps in a mason jar. Maybe with a doughnut on top.

No one needs food stacked layer upon layer. I mean, food stacked high in fine dining restaurants is ridiculous enough – chefs you might think it looks pretty but it's a pain in the ass to eat.

Speaking of donkeys, at a venue that just happened to serve the worst dish I’ve ever eaten (a melange of baked fig, soggy bacon, gorgonzola sauce and raw capsicum that looked and smelt like something that had been regurgitated), I was also served giant slabs of pork belly that were tougher than ten-year-old thongs. Sadly, that wasn’t the most disappointing aspect. The pork was skewered on a giant swinging metal pendulum and looked like something dangerous dangling between a donkey’s hind legs.

I don’t need to get slapped in the face while trying to carve my dinner, thanks all the same. It was crazier than Charles Manson eating fruit loops on a ferris wheel. What’s wrong with putting it on a plate? Not a wooden board, not on a shovel, not in a god damn helmet. A plate. You know the crockery invented to put food on? Yes a plate. Even a bowl will do. And perhaps while you’re there maybe have an ounce of care plating up. Just think about the person eating it. No mountains to cut through, just appealing food on a plate – that perhaps you’ve cared about cooking it too.