London's pride at Steak
London’s restaurant scene has been on the up for at least decade and most of us London ‘foodies’ are rightfully proud of the diversity, creativity and quality that our city’s eateries have to offer. I have to admit though, that the steakhouse was one culinary category that – until recently – left a carnivore like myself a little underwhelmed. Im pleased to say that overpriced and undersized slabs of beef are a thing of the past and I have happily spent the last couple of months discovering where to find London’s best steak.
20 New Change City of London,
Greater London EC4M 9AG
020 3005 8555
There are many celebrity chefs in the UK, but fans of Jamie Oliver would probably be right to say he is the nation’s favourite. Not only has he been on our TV screens for years but he has also written a long list of excellent books and behind a number of restaurants, some of which are excellent. His latest venture, along with barbeque chef Adam Perry Lang, is Barbecoa – a meat restaurant with spectacular views over St Paul’s cathedral. Barbecoa has its own meat ‘ageing’ room (a sort of wine cellar for cows), so I ordered the Dry-aged Rib Eye for two (£65 - and yes, there was two of us). Cooked to perfection (medium rare) the meat was succulent, flavoursome and utterly delicious. The wine listis not cheap, but has plenty of steak friendly options. I went for a 2004 Haut-Bages-Averous (£120) that had plenty of grilled meat complexity of its own.
NEW FROM SCANDINAVIA
77 Brewer Street,
London W1F 9ZN
0207 734 2608
The clever play on words stands for Modern American Steak House, but MASH is very much of Danish inception. Having enjoyed success in Copenhagen, they decided to take on London and their beautiful art-deco site on Brewer Street opened in October 2012. The steak menu is broken down by country, including some mouthwatering Australian Wagyu. I fancied fillet, so went for the Uruguayan option (£30) and washed it down with a bottle of the Domaine Andezon Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, which at £35 a bottle was an absolute bargain.
SERIOUS ABOUT STEAK
157 Commercial Street,
London E1 6BJ
020 7426 4850
With four sites, Hawksmoor is well on its way to establishing itself as London’s most important top quality steak house group. Each of their restaurants is attractively decorated with a great ambiance and – most important of all – great beef. In fact, we share the same artisan butcher (The Ginger Pig), but my lack of a charcoal grill at home means I have no qualms about coming to Hawksmoor for my meat fix. Their Spitalfields site is my favourite and on my last visit I devoured a Chateaubriand (250g for £31) whilst drinking Bob Lindqvist’s beefy 2009 Qupé Syrah (£47.50).
CLASSIC STEAK FRITES
Relais de Venise
18-20 Mackenzie Walk,
London E14 4PH
020 3475 3331
Simplicity is the new complexity. That seems to be the mantra at Relais de Venise – a Paris institution that now has three branches in London. At £21 my Entrecote was well cooked and the service was attentive, but the (very) short wine list did leave something to be desired. Not wanting to pay £55 for a bottle of Haut-Sarpe St Emilion, I stumped up £25 for a sub-standard Corbieres (there were only three other red choices). Wine lovers should look elsewhere….
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