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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)|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
The search for the best steak in London continues: it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.
We arrived early, and were ushered into a gentleman’s club of a bar, all mahogany, leather and low lighting. The (heavy) bar seats are, as the friendly barman cheerfully told, extremely comfortable. And the cocktails are extremely good. The list is long, but the barmen happy to make suggestions based on your likes. This is a very fine bar, with very fine barmen, making very fine cocktails.
When our table became available, we were escorted from the cosiness of the bar to the cavern of the dining room, all bare bricks and high ceilings. We were post-theatre so wanted merely a main. Fine, but this, we were told, would be thirty minutes. Fair enough, although how a medium-rare steak takes more than 15-20 minutes I am unsure. By this stage of the evening, all the sensibly sized sharing steaks had gone, and we were left with the smallest: a 1.1kg rib-eye, so maybe 30 minutes at a squeeze.
40 minutes later, our friendly waiter (think Toby from In the Loop) came back to tell us it would be eight more minutes. Nice and precise. 15 minutes later, another missive from the kitchen: one minute until we could tuck in. Ten minutes later, it arrived. Over an hour. For a medium-rare steak?
For this to work, the steak had better be the best piece ever, cooked to perfection. It wasn’t. The steak itself was a lovely piece, nicely marbled, thick and pink on the interior. It was also really greasy. Not juicy; greasy. There is a profound difference. So were the peas and lettuce (although, given that they seemed to have substituted mangetout for petit pois, that was the least of my concerns with the dish).
It wasn’t all bad – the chips were lovely. We did a comparative tasting between the triple cooked and the beef dripping. Both were greaseless, both fine examples of the fryer's art, but the triple cooked won hands down: cut thinner, they were crispy and precise. Alas, a fine £4 bag of chips doesn’t a £70 steak make. Yes. It is expensive. And the sauce is extra. You’re charging seventy notes for a steak and then you add insult to injury by charge a bottle for the béarnaise? Come on.
We spotted that our cocktails had been omitted from the bill and, having pointed this out to Toby, he was kind enough not to add them in, because management “loved us”. Nice touch, but I’m afraid the love is only going the one way.
Great bar but, if you want the steak, go early to get a cut and size you want, order ahead and take some Thirst Pockets. Just in case.