A glitzy new steakhouse arrives on James St, adding to the already world-class lineup of food destinations within walking distance of Newstead.

When opening a new restaurant on James St, you need to come correct on this glitzy slice of Brisbane’s food and beverage scene, which boasts some of the most celebrated eateries in the city – Hellenika, Gerard’s, Essa, SK Steak and Oyster, Same Same and Bianca among them.

It’s a switch-up from Fatcow’s original, temporary location, which was in the old Cha Cha Char premises at Eagle Street Pier while Dexus prepared its $2.5 billion overhaul of that precinct.

“I’ve always enjoyed what James Street does, so when this was presented to me, it was too good to refuse, so we went full steam ahead. But every operator here is at a higher calibre, and it feels like they all have the same drive and passion.”

Fatcow opened on Wednesday on the ground floor of the old boutique David Jones store on the intersection of James and McLachlan streets. The obvious restaurant to compare it to is SK Steak & Oyster at the opposite end of the precinct, but Fatcow is a different beast to that slick Simon Gloftis-owned operation, which is arguably the modern yardstick for steakhouses in this city.

Where SK is light and bright during the day and carries itself with a quiet glamour in the evening, Fatcow has been given a darker, moodier and slightly glitzy treatment by regular Tassis designers Clui Design.

The venue is furnished in black leather, timber and parquet floors, with white marble counters and mirrored ceilings. A signature feature is the tiled acoustic panelling that lines the venue’s walls. Much of the seating is arranged in intimate booths sectioned off from one another by sheer white curtains.

Steak is of course the hero of head chef Garry Newton’s menu, with Black Angus cuts ranging from a 180-gram, grass-fed eye fillet up to a 28-day dry-aged 800-gram T-bone that goes for $220. There’s also a wagyu menu from which you can order a 150-gram, 12-score A5 eye fillet for $165, or a fourth-cross tomahawk or rib on the bone that cost $22 and $38 respectively by the 100 gram.

All steaks are cooked on a parrilla grill over iron bark and served with a complimentary side, with sauces and other add-ons such as eggs and foie gras available for extra.

The wine list runs to more than 300 bottles and includes the requisite big Australian shirazes and cabernets alongside impressive selections of champagne, burgundy, New Zealand pinot and vintage Italian reds. There’s also a cocktail list that mixes signatures and classics, and includes an Old Fashioned menu.

“I’ve tried all my life to put value in things,” Tassis says. “If you’re going to spend $100 in my restaurant, I try to appreciate every dollar. For that price, I want to give you the best service, the best food, the best wine I possibly can, whether it’s $100, $200 or $50 – everyone’s welcome.”

Open daily 11.30am-late

10 James Street, Fortitude Valley, (07) 3123 5325


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