Lionleigh serves up winner

IT HAS long been a bone of contention: Who has Rockhampton's best steak?

The answer, as it turns out, is The Lionleigh Tavern.

The hotel yesterday took out the best steak award at the Beef Australia Awards of Excellence, beating strong competition from the Cambridge Hotel and the Ascot.

"We're excited .?.?. Choppy's (owner Chris Close) over the moon, I'm over the moon and the chefs are over the moon,'' manager Paul Addison said. Mr Addison said having good quality steaks on the menu was a priority for Mr Close.

"He loves his steaks, that's why all our steaks are guaranteed by him.''

Mr Addison said the hotel's steaks had become increasingly popular since Mr Close took over the reins.

"The steaks are going through the roof,'' he said. Head chef Phil Jamieson attributed the success to good quality steaks from Wiggo's Beef City Meats, talented chefs and a good hot char grill.

"It goes back to the quality you start with ? all our steaks are hand picked.

"We didn't even know we were being judged, so that is the quality we serve up all the time,'' he said.

But he said he was proud the pub had taken out the award in the beef capital.

"It's exciting, especially with Beef Week coming up.''

The awards, sponsored by Beef Australia, were announced at the Walter Reid Cultural Centre yesterday with awards also presented for best pie, best burger and best beef signature dish.

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