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London's best steak?

OK Chowhounders - I need steak help.

3rd wedding anniversary coming up and somehow we have developed a steak thing. 1st anniversary was at Peter Luger's in Brooklyn; last year at Hawksmoor. Both good but not super super wow - do I just have to stay at home this year with the BBQ and walk the cow by the grill???? (I like it RARE!)

Thanks for suggestions :-)

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  1. if you get rib eye (with the bone in, natch) from o'sheas in knightsbridge, you can make a truly delicious steak dinner at home that is mostly better than you'll get in any restaurant. you can spend the mark up on an outstanding claret instead. if you want a recipe, ask and i'll post some ideas on the recipe board.

    fyi, i never go out for steak anymore.

    4 Replies
    1. re: howler

      I think you're right. I've had a sneaking suspicion that was the case. *Calls waiter over* - "Garcon - please move me to the Home Cooking board!"

      1. re: themags

        I agree with Nick, I mean howler. There's an O'Sheas in Selfridges as well.

        1. re: greedygirl

          OK, changing the topic to London's best uncooked steak, is O'Shea's the best? Allens of Mayfair? Ginger Pig?

          1. re: themags

            mmmm.... Ginger Pig 45 day dry aged beef..... ahhh

    2. Both are chains, but did some good steak:

      Black & Blue, Borough Market
      Gaucho's, Tower Bridge

      Not quite Peter Luger's though.. :( I would probably go with Ginger Pig followed by judicious application of fire at home.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MonkeyC

        to be honest, i find lidgates, wyndham house butchers and o'sheas to be far superior to the ginger pig. o'sheas has the best beef/lamb, but i find myself at wyndham house for pork/chicken. the red label chicken at wyndham house is the most chickeny chicken around.

        1. re: howler

          I'm liking the Lidgates website with cooking and cut info - thanks for the tip! http://www.lidgates.com/

      2. If you do decide to go out, I'd recommend Goodman's. I had an O'Shea bone-in sirloin there last month that I'm still thinking about!

        1. Spare a thought for The Rib Room at The Carlton Tower Hotel in Sloane St. Comedy prices, but it lives up to its name.

          1. Maze Grill (expensive but v good) or Goodman.
            I like their corn fed beef (fattier, more tender) but that's a matter of preference. I think most british beef tends to be grass fed.

            10 Replies
            1. re: sikop4t

              cows are ruminants. they are fed grain so as to shorten the amount of time they gain weight - its all about the money, lebowski. so yes, american beef is fattier, but its certainly not more tender.

              if you are somewhat competent in the kitchen, grass fed dry aged scotch or irish beef is far superior to anything in the us of a.

              1. re: howler

                I find British beef so reliably bland that I must frequently smother it in sauce. Big thick cut American beef, to my tongue, is so full flavoured it awesomely delivers on its own.

                1. re: tasneem

                  I second your opinion and am not being swayed by my American roots. I've had the great Irish beef - it doesn't compare to what's available in the U.S.

                  1. re: zuriga1

                    our perennial argument, innit (grin)

                    one of these days i'm going to invite you over, cook, and try and get you to change your mind.

                    1. re: howler

                      I'll come and support you, howler. Brit beef beats Yank beef for taste every day of the week*. Innit.

                      * Although I have on occasion had a decent tasting American steak which almost matched what we have here **

                      ** I'm comparing top quality with top quality here of course.

                      1. re: Harters

                        thank you harters.

                        i agree - with a lot of effort, you can get decent beef in the usa. see if you can help further: the only way i know to describe the difference in taste is to say that grass fed british beef tastes cleaner to me than (most) grain fed american beef.

                        i hope its not a psychological issue with me as a reaction to the horrors of feeding cows only grain etc. but i'm beginning to believe that an animal whose led a happy life, eating what it naturally eats blah blah and is killed humanely blah blah tastes a lot better than the alternative. having said that, watch me flunk a blind taste test.

                        1. re: howler

                          Joking aside, I suspect the different preferences between Europeans and Americans is that we both prefer what we've grown up with, and are familiar with.

                          I know you don't fall into either category :-)

                          On a possibly related aside, I often see Americans on the CH topical boards say they don't like lamb as it's too gamey for their taste. Whereas I regard lamb as a sweet lovely mild meat - including the Herdwick lamb chops we had tonight which have been working their little legs off running up Cumbrian hills

                      2. re: howler

                        Youse got a deal. Can I bring my A-1 sauce along? :-) I'm a bit meat deprived, so to speak. The DH doesn't eat beef.

                        1. re: howler

                          Youse got a deal. Can I bring my A-1 sauce? :-) I always have to buy a steak for one... the DH doesn't eat beef.

                2. I'm a customer who became involved in O'Shea's.

                  O'Shea's of Knightsbridge 100% Black Angus fully traceable Perthshire Grass fed and barley finished and SW Irish can be found at Goodmans , Racine , Bob Bob Ricard , 101 Pimlico Road , Sake No Hana , Hakassan , Royal Oak and L'Anima to name but a few - or better still buy it and cook it your self.

                  The marbling on Cote de Boeuf , Sirloin on the Bone , T-Bone etc is superb and occurs naturally without the need for 150 - 300 days of carb (i.e. corn) feeding. The beef is slaughtered 3 years + and has developed fully on some of the best pastures in the World.

                  Depending how you like your Cote de Boeuf Goodman's US style in Josper and Racine French style in griddle with butter are tough too beat - the Onglet at Bob Bob Bob Ricard is sensational.

                  1. My experience with steaks around here has mostly been disappointing (except, as people have noted, when I get to a good butcher and then make my own). But I have not tried any of the Argentine places that seem to be getting popular. Has anyone had good experiences there? Because if they do a proper Argentinian steak, those are meats that still live in my memory.

                    1. I LOVE Wagyu beef steaks... you can't beat this steak for evenly-marbled melt in your mouth texture. It is perfect when cooked rare - no sauce required either. Unfortunately, it's not freely available over here in the UK, I guess they don't believe cows require luxuries such as beer and massages :)

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Anasuya

                        have you read raymond blancs "a taste of my life?" fwiw, he describes the whole beer/massage meme as an urban legend.

                        1. re: howler

                          Yes, wagyu is just a breeding line of extremely high marbled beef. It is the genetic base that determines wagyuness, not the treatment of the animals. Australia does some cracking wagyu, though I am with Harters on this - it is just too rich to be served as a steak, but works well in small amounts.

                          I reckon one of Australia's top restaurant dishes is the wagyu burger.

                        2. re: Anasuya

                          I've never eaten Wagyu but telling me a steak is "melt in your mouth" actually doesnt sell it to me at all. I prefer a bit of chewing myself (hence always a preference for rump on the rare occasions that I might order a steak).

                          1. re: Anasuya

                            Here's are few discussions on wagyu that folks might find useful:

                            BTW, wagyu comes in different grades, based on the level of marbling (and thus different suitability for different cooking methods), so the experiences might vary depend on which grade one has tasted.

                            1. re: limster

                              Hello, has anyone been to Santa Maria Buen Ayre or A La Cruz lately? My sister wants us to go there but nobody seems to rate these places anymore with Goodman or the Hawksmoor seeming to be more popular? Are they worth a try?

                              1. re: curiouseater

                                Definitely worth a try, although Buen Ayre is a lot more casual than Goodman, so perhaps less of an 'occassion' restaurant (unless you really love your meat and that is celebration enough!).

                                1. re: pj26

                                  Thanks pj26, is there any discernible difference between Buen Ayre and A la Cruz? I know that John Rattagan was at the former but now is at the later. I have to say all that I can find online is about how bad the service is at A la Cruz and that things have slipped at Buen Ayre. There will be 7 of us so I feel responsible!

                                  1. re: curiouseater

                                    sorry - I should have clarified I have only eaten at Buen Ayre (great in Broadway Market, not so great the one in Battersea) so can't compare!

                                    1. re: pj26

                                      Hello, does anyone know if there is a discernible difference between the Goodman Mayfair branch and the Goodman City one?

                                      1. re: curiouseater

                                        goodmans or the palm for me with hawksmoor a distant 3rd

                          2. GAUCHO south kensington, its is to die for! Sorry this is waay past your anniversary! Hope it was good

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JNW

                              I can always eat more steak :-)

                              In the end we ended up getting rib-eyes from Lidgates and stayed in. But gotta start thinking about next year - maybe a couple of airline tickets to Buenos Aires?

                            2. The ribeye at Vivat Bacchus (London Bridge) is excellent -- great flavour, an elegant savoury beefiness, enhanced with a nuanced blue cheese in a butter-shallot-parsley sauce, a delicate pungence from watercress, and thick cut chips, firm and modestly creamy in the centre, with a medium thick crust that is very crispy.

                              1. Has anyone tried the East London Steak Company ? (https://www.eastlondonsteak.co.uk/ind...) The prices seem fairly reasonable (well, compared to the likes of Allens anyway). Just wondering what the quality of the beef is like.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: FarleyFlavors

                                  I've ordered some burgers from them, and they were superb. Definitely going to get some steak from them in the future.

                                  1. re: FarleyFlavors

                                    Yes, I've ordered from them and was really pleased both with the service and the product. Lovely meat - beautifully aged and marbled, and like you say, relatively speaking, reasonably priced.

                                    1. re: juniper77

                                      Thanks for the feedback. I'll have to try them out.

                                      1. re: FarleyFlavors

                                        I was not impressed thought it was commodity beef on a par with 2nd or third rate Butchers in the UK - I believe most of the meat comes from Select a large catering Butcher.

                                        1. re: Sandeel

                                          Blimey, two wildly differing opinions then.

                                          "I believe most of the meat comes from Select a large catering Butcher."

                                          Is there any evidence for this ? Their website seems to indicate that they buy their meat directly from the farms - to quote, "We take great care in sourcing all our cattle from small, family owned and operated farms that reflect our own attitudes to beef production."

                                          ETA: I've gone ahead and ordered a few steaks from them and will report back.

                                          1. re: FarleyFlavors

                                            Munched my way through a selection of their meat over the past week and a half. A mixed bag to be honest.

                                            The good. The sirloin was superb. I tried it both on and off the bone and both were equally good. Perfectly marbled, tender and delicious.

                                            Their service was excellent. I booked an early delivery slot (0500-0800) and got a text message at 0640 warning me that they were 20 minutes away. They arrived at 0700 on the dot.

                                            I requested and got a large bag of beef bones for stock which were thrown in free of charge.

                                            The average. The ribeye (on the bone) could have been fattier and was a little dry, although it didn't help that I overcooked it slightly and it ended up closer to medium than the medium rare I prefer.

                                            The marrow shafts, although delicious, were probably overpriced at £3 a kilo.

                                            The poor. Never having cooked ox cheeks before, I thought I'd order a pack and slow braise them. The problem was that they weren't trimmed nearly enough. By the time I'd removed the thick layer of fat from the surfaces, I'd lost quite a bit of weight and they ended up overpriced too. Tasty enough though.

                                            I'll be ordering from them again to try out some of their other cuts. If this meat does indeed come from a "large catering butcher" I'd be very surprised.

                                  2. The new CUT in Park Lane is very good but stick to Creekstone USDA their British/Irish meat selection is not good at all unlike Goodman and Hawksmoor

                                    157 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ, GB