Five years ago, Hawskmoor was the steakhouse for those in the know – an unassuming little joint on Commercial Street with its charcoal pit and prime cuts chalked on a blackboard. It fed you proper and spat you back out into the world to spread the word (see above for ‘the word’).
Now that London’s red meat renaissance is in full swing, it’s very hard to find a bad cut. But not all steaks are equal. Here are FN’s favourites:
1) The defending champion: Hawksmoor
Still the king. Even the fat is to die for. You’ll take the bone home for your dog even if you don’t have a dog. Go with a big group and order the Chateaubriand. Or, don’t go with a big group and order the Chateaubriand anyway. The business has grown in recent years and now has private equity backing in the shape of Graphite Capital. There are four restaurants at Air Street, Guildhall, Seven Dials and the original (and best) on Commercial Street. The cocktails aren’t bad either.
2) The contender to the crown: Goodman
The martinis are very good. The steak is even better. Meat is usually taken at a table like a civilised person, and of course you can do this at Goodman. But after a good steak you can find yourself lethargic, belt undone, spilling over your chair like a tired balloon. Instead, why not order your cut at the bar with a plate of truffle chips alongside. It means you can keep the martinis coming at a rapid pace. The crisis is over, after all.
3) The value play: Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte
The best thing about this hidden gem on Throgmorton St is they don’t bring you all the food at once. Wait, wait, wait, don’t write it off. The concept is all-you-can-eat steak. The first serving is pretty hefty and by the time you’ve finished, you’ve forgotten there’s more to come. It’s like a free dessert, only the dessert is more steak. Le Relais de Venise is not for those who want choice, mind, as the menu is limited to steak, chips and salad. Quality over quantity and all that. In any case, this place excels at both.
Honourable moo-ntion: Gaucho
We can’t fail to mention this City favourite with its novel cowhide chairs – the only thing better than eating a cow is sitting on a cow while you eat a cow. In all seriousness, you’ll be hard pressed to find a steakhouse serving up better Argentinian wine.