Last week a voucher for the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse on Kings Road dropped into my mailbox from Zomato, and, not being one to turn down a free meal I promptly booked a table for two for Sunday night. I even managed to prise the boyfriend away from his computer for part of the evening to join me (a small miracle in itself).
The boy and I don’t often go out for fancy dinners, we both work best in the evenings so we tend to do lunches over dinners anyway, and with so many fantastic, more budget friendly dining options available in London, we never really feel the need to splash out, so this was an extra special treat for us.
We booked a 6.30 table since Kings Road is a bit of a trek from our flat, and we wanted to be able to get home at a reasonable time and work (yawn, I know, but we were working double time to make up for taking the weekend off for Paris)! The restaurant itself is in a fairly awkward location, the closest tube station is a good twenty minute walk away, but it was a mild night and we were happy to burn off a few calories! From the outside, this place looks pretty inconspicuous, like your run of the mill London brasserie, but inside when you’re greeted by the fancy french Maître D, there’s a definite different vibe.
When we arrived the restaurant was fairly busy, but there were a couple of spare tables by the door, and we were swiftly slotted into one. First impressions were that it’s pretty cramped, you can tell they’re trying to fit as many covers in as possible, and our table was all of about an inch and a half from the table next to us, our friendly American neighbors could hear all of our conversations and us theirs. It’s cosy, that’s for sure.
The boy ordered a Peroni and I went wild on still water (I know, I know, I’m crrrrazy), whilst we perused the menu. The Peroni was £4.50, pretty standard for London prices, and a large bottle of still water (enough for four glasses) was £4, so all in all pretty standard. The wine list was pretty pricey, you were looking at around the £10 mark for one glass of house wine.
Our starters arrived pretty swiftly, and I’ll be honest, we were pretty underwhelmed. I ordered the Carpaccio of Beef, and it looked and felt like it had been prepared earlier in the week and bunged in the fridge. It was tasty, but the plate was freezing like it had come straight out of the fridge, and it was definitely lacking on the presentation front. The boy ordered the Chicken Liver Parfait with Brioche Toast, and whilst he liked it, he said it was fairly strong. It was served with a perfumey pink sauce that neither of us could figure out what it actually was, and again the presentation was really lacking. We may have been being picky, but when you’re paying £12.50 and £9.50 for a starter, you kind of expect it to look nice!
Up until this point, the service was really good, but then it started to get a little slower and disorganised, nobody would check on us for twenty minutes, and then two people would ask us the same question within thirty seconds of each other. It was almost like once it got a little busier, none of the staff really knew what each other was doing.
Our mains came out around twenty minutes after our starters, I just ordered the 8oz House Cut Steak (£18.50) which I believe changes, this time it was rump, while the boy ordered the 10oz Tail on Ribeye (£24.75). All their steaks are matured for 21-28 days, and you could tell, they were incredibly tasty and well seasoned. I got the peppercorn sauce while The Boy tried the Bernaise, and no complaints there, except we could have done with more!
We split three sides, the seasonal veg (green beans), triple cooked chips and buttered new potatoes (all £4 each). They were all delicious, I was concerned that the chips looked a little anemic, but they tasted great, crunchy on the outside, soft in the center.
I had had my eye on the Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert, but we were both stuffed so we got the bill and started to walk it off! As with all restaurants like this, they stuck on a 12.5% service charge, making our total £96.47, not by any means a cheap date.
As we walked back, The Boy and I did a full debriefing and we pretty much agreed that we had totally mixed feelings. Whilst we enjoyed the food, we both agreed that with the price tag, we would expect better presentation, service and not to be rubbing elbows with our fellow diners. The decor is a little confused, and there were some black marks on the table cloth too. For a £100 meal, we just agreed we would expect it to be a little more polished, it was a little rough around the edges.
That being said, if you’re looking to treat yourself to a good steak, and you’re not fussed about the details, then this is a great little find!
Any recommendations for good steakhouses in London would be welcome!
I was kindly given an £80 voucher to use at the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse by Zomato, which covered the bulk cost of our meal. As always, this doesn’t affect my review!