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|Address:||11 Langley Street, London WC2H 9JG|
|Tel:||020 3589 3951|
|Price: £60.00||Wine: £19.00||Champagne: £55.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-3pm (Sun -9.30pm) 5-10.30pm (Fri-Sat -11pm)|
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
I’m not quite sure whether it’s exactly a recommendation to leave a steak restaurant vowing never to touch another lump of red meat again, but that’s exactly how I felt as I staggered out of Hawksmoor’s Seven Dials restaurant having manfully grappled with a 600g sirloin. In a single evening I’d reached a state of satiety that it usually takes a week or so in the US to achieve: for the foreseeable future it was going to be fish and chicken only! That said, the fault – if fault it was – lay partly with me: 600g of steak (even allowing for a fairly large bone) is more meat than anyone should healthily attempt in a single sitting, if not a week (£29). Even the 300g fillet (£30) consumed by my guest was a pretty hefty portion. And if you choose a large cut to share (Châteaubriand, Rib or Porterhouse) go early because by a 9.30pm sitting, the only joints (no other word would do) left were 900g and heavier (and well into three-figures in price)! You need seriously to love meat or go with a large group of hungry carnivores. That said, the meat was excellent, beautifully aged, ideally cooked with a delicious, salty, crust of caramelised outer flesh and a dark red, firm and perfectly rare interior. The sides are nicely varied – we opted for beef-dripping-fried chips (I could only face one given the size of my sirloin) and a minty lettuce salad which was perfect at offsetting the main attraction.
For starters we had half a dozen plump Cumbrae oysters which looked excellent and I opted for a fabulous salad of (cold) roasted Jerusalem artichokes and shallots with mustardy, olive-oily lentils and watercress: a stunning combination and a dish that really justified that rather incongruous title ‘winter salad’! Puddings weren't even an option… The wine-list is substantial rising to some eye-wateringly priced bottles, but with plenty in the £30-50 region, and the cocktail list is splendid too with loads of wonderfully retro mixes. I had a gorgeous Marmalade Cocktail and my guest had a gingery brew that contained gin, lemon and London Pride and had a bracing kick. (The table service in the bar was rather casual, and we sat for about ten minutes before anyone bothered to take an order.)
The setting is very striking – an old brewery – all below street level under arched, old-brick ceilings set off by a lightly industrial feel, but also with plenty of old wood and brass fittings: it feels quite American, but it is pretty noisy. The staff is attentive, friendly and professional though as they wear what they like it’s often quite difficult to tell who works there and who’s a diner – also expect to be served by at least half a dozen different people during the course of the evening. The bill for two (two cocktails, two starters, two mains, two sides and a £35 bottle of Tuscan red) set us back £166 (with service). I’d go again, but will think very carefully about the size of my steak – 300g is large, 600g is gargantuan…over 1kg is obscene.