Treat Yo’Self Preston with Matt Lane at Dexter, the BBQ Lords.
Matt Lane, co-owner of Mamasita and Hood Food Guide’s host for our season finale in Preston, took us to non-traditional barbeque spot Dexter to indulge our carnivorous palette in this week’s Treat Yo’Self.
If you really want to Treat Yo’Self, don’t deprive that fresh mouth of savoury or sweet. Preston’s Dexter is the hottest new spot filling the gap of Western style cuisine in a predominantly Asian-influenced hood, and they’re filling it with their smoky and luscious meat.
Dexter has truly perfected the art of the savoury-sweet compliment, and that’s more than apparent in everything we watched Matt and his mate Ben Foster (co-owner of Pope Joan) devour. They started with the Meat Donuts, which appear to be a normal, Sugar and Paprika-coated ball of dough on the outside, but hit you with a surprise of a smoky Beef Brisket Jam on the inside. Sounds kind of gross, tastes like a dream.
This meatery also kills it with their Caramelized Short Rib, a smoked cut of Beef that they RUB WITH SALTED CARAMEL, slap over a grill, let catch on fire to create a legendary sugary glaze and then drip-coat with a nice gravy. Did we mention that they serve it with Bone Marrow Mash, more aptly referred to as “meat butter”?
Each meal, from buns to plated dishes, gets a serve of mellow House Pickles, which helps you eat high marble meats without feeling sick, according to co-owner Sam Peasnell, who believes that a good non-traditional barbeque offers a careful balance of tastes, from smoky to sweet, spicy to sour. The brine of their unreal Pickles goes towards their celebrated Pickleback Shots, which is a shot of Maker’s Mark that you chase with a shot of Pickle Juice. No, it’s not as disgusting as it sounds. Caution: You may grow to love Picklebacks to an unhealthy degree.
Matt and Ben finished off with the warm Chocolate Chip Cookies with liquid nitrogen Milk, which makes the dairy kind of more like Ice Cream. Overall, a simple dessert to balance out a decadent meal.
The Preston venue itself has got the minimalist, urban-industrial feel of every other trendy Melbourne restaurant, and the staff is strangely knowledgeable about not only the menu, but also about butchery. It is a treat just to get a whiff of that hazy, slow-cooked, tender-as-anything meat. The open kitchen is as big of a tease as the scent of the place. You’ll catch yourself staring, watching with bated breath as the chunk of meat that the chef is holding up with tongs threatens to break apart, to fall off the bone. Truly an experience worth going to Preston for.
456 High St, Preston
(03) 9973 3577
Words by Rebecca Bellan