LIKE his great-grandfather Jim Cavill, who was an early pioneer in the founding of Surfers Paradise in the 1920s, Cav’s Steakhouse founder Richard Cavill is a true blue Aussie.
Established in 1984, the Labrador restaurant quickly became a Gold Coast tourism icon for its open beergarden/steakhouse layout, and the quality and value of the food.
Cavill says the objective was to open a restaurant that reflected the Australian values and culture seen by the early pioneers that the family name is so strongly associated with.
“The family background was in hotels that offered great value for money, and I wanted to ensure that was a major factor when we opened this restaurant,” he says.
“I’m a lover of good steak, prawns, salads and fresh fish – all these things that are depictive of great Australian food.
“You’ve got to start with a great cut of steak to finish with a delicious product. Keeping it simple is also very important to achieve consistent quality – something that I strived for when the restaurant opened 26 years ago, and something we still strive for on a daily basis.”
The restaurant offers a teasingly delicious range of chicken, pastas and seafood, but it is the great cut of steak Cavill speaks of that most customers flock to Cav’s to sample.
First though comes the entree and while a fresh prawn and oyster platter looks hard to pass up, Cav’s famous Wagyu rump sausage platter for two gets the nod.
It’s a simple dish that comprises sausage slices, barbecue sauce and tooth picks, but the tangy, rich flavour of the meat itself is a revelation.
Following the beefy starter comes the real star of the show.
The restaurant boasts an unrivalled variety of steak dishes and diners are encouraged to select which cut lands on their plate.
Cav’s signature steak Dianne and the yahoo barbecue ribs are eventually decided upon with some helpful advice from the man himself. The steak is grilled to perfection and the sweet bermuda onion rings are a nice touch.
A side of succulent barbecue wild caught fresh Aussie prawns topped an already impressive dish. The ribs main passed the first test when a colossal full rack was placed on the table complete with a wash bowl and bib.
The soft flesh and tangy barbecue marinate perfectly illustrated how barbecue ribs Australiana should be served. Despite a hearty entree and mains, space was somehow found to share a strawberry crème brulee to end on a sweet note.
Dining in the ambient steakhouse setting, the cultural diversity of families enjoying the great Australian menu is immediately noticeable.
Cavill says the family experience is one reason why not only tourists but also Gold Coast locals repeatedly come back for more.
“The family environment is very important, and to make the dining arrangement as comfortable as possible for everyone, we keep the families with children to one end of the restaurant and couples or business luncheons towards the other,’ he says.
“We have playground facilities, games that can only end with the children winning, and cheap kids meals that include an ice-cream – we certainly keep the kids happy.
“We also have a carpeted area for a quieter, more private meal which is very popular with our older clientele especially.”
As one of the most famous restaurants on the Gold Coast, Cav’s Steakhouse has delivered every day on what Cavill promised back in 1984 – consistently great food coupled with old-fashioned Aussie service.
With Surfers Paradise’s most famous street named in his honour, great-grandfather Jim may have one up on him, but Richard Cavill has ensured the family name continues to etch into the city’s rich history.
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