Boisdale of Bishopsgate ( Famed for steak and jazz!)
Tel: 020 7283 1763
The tussle for mantle of London’s best steak joint is a bloody one. Carnivores across the capital have chewed over the competition for years, feverishly holding their knives aloft in exultation for Gaucho, Maze Grill and The Hawksmoor to name but a few.
Elsewhere, private cigar clubs are cropping up all over the City once more while whiskey dens – like pubs and strip clubs - remain avowedly recession-proof. So in the face of all that competition, how does Boisdale of Bishopsgate, the City outpost of the elgravia original, fit in these days? Pretty simple really: just do the lot.
Hidden away in an atmospheric lane just opposite the hullabaloo of Liverpool Street station, this place is a City boy’s dream come true. Rare breed beef. Check. Impressive whiskey selection. Check. Cuban cigars. Check.
Descending from the ground floor bar area – where food is also served – the main dining room opens out into a warm space with the decor dominated by a red-blooded clash of the tartans. Hewn from an old wine cellar, it feels like the kind of place you could quite easily lose hours.
On to the food and two unexceptional openers taken from the a la carte list include a classic prawn cocktail, a spicy green harissa mayonnaise adding a welcome kick, and a simple trio of smoked salmon and gravadlax. Both dishes were adequate although lacking the punch to last long in the memory.
But make no mistake, the emphasis here is firmly on the meat. And this menu is not for the faint-hearted. It offers six different cuts of prime Aberdeenshire beef, ranging from 36-day aged 8oz rump right through to a monster 28-day aged 14oz fillet, the latter setting you back an eye-watering £55. Indeed, the quality of the cuts shone through, particularly in a meltingly tender rib of beef, but, while well cooked and nicely presented, the mains were successful without ever hitting the heights.
The list also features a fish, meat and game dish of the day and it’s well worth noting two more affordable set menus are also available here in addition to the pricier a la carte offering.
As well as the food, Boisdale also boasts an impressive wine list, just the ticket if you’re looking to impress. Live music – during our visit, a chap discreetly tinkling ivories – is also a nice touch and offers something a little different to much of the generic restaurant fare that peppers the Square Mile.
Of course, all this comes at a price, and a fairly hefty price at that. Nevertheless, Boisdale is the perfect spot to wow clients or to seek out the kind of comfort food we all need from time to time. Meaty, primal and downright delicious.
Ben Mitchell, Bevan Brittan LLP
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