Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote

13th January 2013
A lot of my reviews so far have been of restaurants on the higher end of the scale, but I have some firm favourites that I visit regularly that also deserve a little mention on my culinary journey through London’s restaurant scene. LeRelais de Venise L’Entrecote is part of a small chain, with its origins in the French capital. Steak-frites and nothing else! There is no menu and no reservations and the queues at lunch times at the City branch can stretch out the door. Clearly a winning formula.

Tables are tightly packed and service is what some would call brusque. There is no chit-chat. The waitresses in their cutesy French maid uniforms take your order, write it on the paper table cloth and move onto the next table.

You start with a fresh green salad with walnuts and a mustard dressing and a few slices of baguette. No butter, because that’s not how the French do it!

In this day and age of too much choice, it is nice to walk into a restaurant and the only choice you get is how you would like your steak cooked. Even then, I debate whether they actually pay any attention – rare to medium rare seems to be the standard. If you are vegetarian, this place is not for you! With the thinly sliced entrecote steak, comes perfectly crisp hand-cut French Fries (what else?) and a sauce that like the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices, remains a tightly guarded family secret. The sauce has become quite legendary and many have tried and failed to recreate it. Once you have finished and just when you’re thinking you can’t eat any more, a second helping of steak-frites is served with more of the delicious sauce. Seconds? Why not? Totally gut-busting, but totally more-ish!

After all of that, if you have room for dessert, there is a wonderful dessert trolley serving all the French classics such as Tarte au citron and Crème brulée. There is also a well-stocked cheese trolley. I never have room for dessert though, so can’t say what these are like.
The wines come from the family’s own vineyard near Toulouse and is priced at a very respectable £4.40 for a glass or £8.70 for a half bottle.

For a decent steak and a quick meal, I recommend “The secret sauce place” as we like to call it. The food is good and at £21.00 per person for 2 courses, pretty great value. Just get there early!


Until we eat again!

Square Meal Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte on Urbanspoon

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