When the lovely ladies at OpenTable contacted me to take part in their Foodie Challenge to help curate a list of ‘best places to eat…’ it didn’t take long for me to decide on what I would write about. I look back on my previous posts and there is a lot of meat featured, so with that in mind I decided that I would have a ‘steak-off’.
First up is a full review of a restaurant that I’ve never visited before despite having opened 2 years ago. MASH – a Danish brand but perplexingly the name stands for Modern American Steak House. The restaurant is a vast 300 cover space just behind Piccadilly Circus. The Art Deco style of the restaurant is stunning and I was immediately drawn in. I just wanted to get comfortable at the bar and stay there. It really is impressive. I could just imagine the movers and shakers of the 1920’s dancing away to a jazz band playing in the corner. Alas, dinner was waiting so enough day-dreaming…
We were seated in a booth, which I just love as it gives you privacy. Most of the seating is booth style though so it really lends itself to a romantic dinner for 2. It took TBH and I a little while to decide what to order as there are cuts from North and South America and of course Denmark, but in the end I went for the £25 ‘steak and chips with side salad’ which was a 200g of American strip beef – very similar to a sirloin steak here in the UK. I chose a red wine jus (£2.50) with creamy spinach as additional side orders. The Better Half chose a 300g fillet steak from Uruguay (£30.00) with bacon and onion MASH potato (£4.50) and pepper sauce (£4.50).
My steak was a generous size – it certainly looked bigger than 200g to me. It was cooked as I ordered it, rested and well-seasoned. The chips were nice and chunky how I like them and the creamy spinach I chose was rich with cream and cheese and punchy with lots of added garlic. The red wine jus was delicious and had a nice, slightly thickened consistency to it. I don’t usually order a sauce with my steak as I don’t think a good steak needs a sauce, but this was purely for research purposes of course. I have to say that I enjoyed it, it was rich and totally more’ish.
The Better Half’s fillet was a good portion that he really enjoyed. When he got to the middle section of the steak though, he felt that it was slightly closer to rare than he would’ve liked. Our waitress immedietly offered to take it back to be cooked a little longer, but by this time he was pretty well satisfied. The bacon and onion MASH was divine and had a nice flavour of bacon running right the way through it. Really tasty.
Our waitress Lucia was charming and happy to engage with us. ‘The Damage’ was £114.75 which included a glass of sparkling wine, 2 beers, 2 glasses of wine and service. We really enjoyed our evening at MASH. I wasn’t sure it would live up to the high expectations that have been set by our favourite group of steak restaurants, but it definitely did and I would go as far as to say that “Number 1” is in danger of losing its top spot on being my favourite steak restaurants in London!
So who is number 1 on this list of best steak restaurants of mine?
Hawksmoor – You can read my review of the Guildhall branch here. It’s my favourite not only because of the very cool vibe, but the quality of steak on offer is outstanding. The price point is on the higher end of the scale, but you get what you pay for. I have yet to try the Air Street branch that also serves fish and the latest opening in Knightsbridge, which I hope to remedy soon. Having said all of that though, MASH has certainly given Hawksmoor a good run for its place as my favourite steak restaurant – but I have only been to MASH once, so will need to try it a few more times before making my mind up of where it places.
Another favourite of mine is Le Relais deVenise. I wrote about the City branch here and it’s one of the few restaurants that I visit time and time again. A French brand with three restaurants in London – the offer is a salad with walnuts to start and then steak and chips for a bargainous £24. That is it. I love the no-choice menu and the fact that you get two servings really appeals to the glutton in me. The secret sauce is also to die for. For a reasonable priced meal of great quality steak and wine from their own vineyards in Bordeaux you can’t really go wrong.
So there you have a short list of where I love to eat steak in London. Check out the OpenTable website for some more inspiration. London town really has progressed monumentally on their offering of decent steak houses and great restaurants in general and is no longer the culinary wasteland that it used to be a decade ago.
Silly season is upon us and I am sure that there will be lots of eating and drinking ahead. Keep a look out on the blog as I continue to tick off the restaurants on my bucket list
Until we eat again!