Why no really serious steakhouse in London?
A question I often ask myself is why we lack a really serious, important steak house in London.
Last week I was taken to the excellent Jacob & Co. in Toronto. Not only is this restaurant built on a grand scale, it encompasses the whole gumut of meat from prime USDA, Black Angus to Wagyu, a new word I learned that I hope we will hear more of in London.
Of course there are some small noteworthy operations in London that can be mentioned, but so far no one has tackled this kind of thing with any gusto.
I guess the "why" is that no-one thinks there's enough money to be made out of it but I'm not sure if they're right.
I've eaten at one of the major houses in New York and found it a good (if expensive) experience. That said, I'm not sure that we Brits have the same fascination with steak as North Americans to make it a sufficient "go-er". The Manhatten board has regular threads debating the relative merits of 6 or so "top places" - I just don't think you'd see that on this board.
You need to hunt out the good steak joints in London, as they aren't as copious as they are State-side.
I would recommend:
Buen Ayre, Broadway Market, Hackney - great steak, for less than 20 quid.
Hawksmoor, Shoreditch - you will struggle to finish the delicious steak. All their meat is sourced from the Ginger Pig, which is a superb butcher from North Yorkshire, and who have a regular stand at Borough Market. The meat is free-range and from longhorn cattle: http://www.thehawksmoor.co.uk/index.asp
NB: Hawksmoor note on their menu that "With 48 hours notice we can get any cut of steak - so if you'd like a T-Bone, Chateaubriand, Fillet or anything else you can think of, let us know and we will get it in especially for you. Some people have mentioned our cuts are on the big side - we hope you can forgive us." Nice.
Buffet Brazil in Putney is worth a go; I've only been there once, but I liked it. The meats we tried included three kinds of beef - "beef steak" in cubes (possibly flank), rump, and sirloin. We explained how we like our meat, and the carving of suitably-done bits was accurate. Decent side dishes too. More detail here: http://london.randomness.org.uk/wiki....
(They also have a branch in Earlsfield.)
Limster, I've been to RR a couple of times, quite a few years ago, good enough but nothing special and no picanha as I remember it.
On a random stroll last year I came across a place in Willesden called Armazem which is a Brazilian grocery store with a little kitchen/cafe and garden area through the back. I was told that they do Brazilian BBQ on Saturdays in the garden area, keep meaning to go along and check it out.
224 High Road
Willesden Green, NW10
020 8830 1395
I've been to Rodizio Rico a few times (the one on Upper St is more spacious than the one on Westbourne Grove). It's not bad for London, but I measure it against my favourite churrascaria, Porcao in Rio, which I absolutely love. A few cuts are a bit tough, so once you've worked out which are the good bits, say no to everything else! Otherwise you'll feel really sick after about an hour of non-stop meat gorging.
Helen Yuet Ling Pang