Living rather close to the recently opened Casa Malevo, I have long fancied dining at a restaurant that proclaims to have the finest meat in London. As a man with extensive experience in the steak world – sadly reflected in my proportions – I had very little hope that I would find a truly outstanding steak in a restaurant that has only received lukewarm reviews from the ‘professionals’.
But my word was I wrong.
After some initial confusion with our reservation (handled flawlessly by the manger), we were seated at a very lovely (if a wee bit cramped) bar in the centre of the restaurant. An incredibly well-priced Malbec followed. (So well priced, one might well be tempted to order direct from the restaurant for consumption at home!)
In being graciously led to our table, we found that our orders were promptly taken and with great respect for our choices. My dining partner for the evening, a wonderfully boisterous American with a real appetite for all things “man”-related even managed to order a 650g fillet – cut to order, as are obviously all the steaks. All without the staff missing a beat (unless one counts, of course, the chef and manager who both came over to admire my companion's perfectly grilled cow).
The food itself was spectacular. Such freshness in meat is rarely found in London, a town with an incredible range of restaurants, but sadly plagued by mostly sub-par proper steak places (there are obvious exceptions, but I feel the point stands). The marbling was perfect, the grilling top-notch and at every turn, staff willing to exceed expectations. No matter was too small, with careful attention to every passing word of the customer. (My friend remarked that it was the only steak restaurant in London that actually respected his request for “black and blue”.)
Besides the glorious cow that we consumed (I stuck with a far smaller, but equally fabulous 350g ribeye – the Butcher's Cut), the rest of the food was outstanding. The pudding, in particular, was excellent (a creme brule of sorts). My only qualm was with the shared starter platter. The food itself was undoubtedly of high quality, but being unfamiliar with all sides of Argentine cuisine, we both found descriptions needed. It was still quite tasty – whatever it was!
Overall, I really must commend the entire team at Casa Malevo. As my friend wrote to me today – three days after our visit: “We must go back; i've been daydreaming incessantly about steak ever since.”
Bravo, bravo. Finally a restaurant worthy of Connaught Village.