A Meaty Treat
If our reviewer lived closer to Butcher & Grill, he’s be seriously worried about the old cholesterol levels……
Review by Oscar Udeshi Photograph by Jez Timms
I am always sceptical of any place that gives you 50 per cent off anything, especially on dining. Butcher & Grill was recommended by a maître d’ acquaintance of mine who works for a very popular restaurant chain, and he mentioned in passing if he ever gets a Monday off, that is where he goes to dinner. Butcher & Grill on a quiet side street next to Battersea Park has a 50 per cent off deal on steak on a Monday evening. I roped in a school friend of mine whom I have known since the sand box and figured worst case I would have plenty to talk about.
Both of us were very pleasantly surprised. The front of the shop has a butcher’s counter which also sells vegetables (no idea what one does with those) and a few other choice things with the restaurant behind. My friend being a fellow carnivore like myself, we both decided on the steak tartare (£11.50 each) to start. We asked the waiter if he would recommend it, and he looked at us quizzically, “what is there not to like about steak tartare” – we were in good hands. Not sadly like my former stomping ground Brasserie Gustave where they did it table side (but which place still does nowadays), we were treated to a very nice mildly spiced tartare that would definitely give the West End a run for its money. Extra Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce was brought to the table as well. The meat was fresh and correctly chopped and perfectly seasoned, no one flavour jumped out, but then it shouldn’t. We effortlessly finished it – it was that delicious. I asked my dinner companion if he would have it again, to which he emphatically shouted definitely.
We ordered just shy of a kilo of T- bone for our main course and it did not disappoint. A few sprigs of thyme appeared on the perfectly rare steak as we ordered, with a nice char. It was juicy, flavourful and tender. We each took our first bite and were already eyeing the steak as to who was going to take what part next, like vultures circling their prey. We had sides of field mushrooms, triple cooked chips that were not overdone nor hard which is often the case, and kale – my companion is a doctor and insisted we have something green. That was probably the let-down of the meal, but kale usually is unless it has bacon bits in my opinion. I come from the school of “bacon just adds.”
We were drawing lots of who was going to gnaw the bone, sadly my companion won and it looked like the pirhanas in the film “You only Live Twice” had had a go of it and cleaned it to the bone – so you can assume it was pretty damn good. We polished the steak off with a 2012 Chatea Petit Val Saint Emilion Grand Cru for £52.50 which my Vivino app worked out as a 2.5 mark up – not unreasonable. The wine finished, my friend who can eat for three decided on the sticky toffee pudding (£6.50) as a dessert, which we shared. It was not too heavy, nor sickly sweet and was a good end to the meal, especially with a glass of Oban and Lagavulin whisky (£10.00 each).
The bill came, the T-bone was half off, so £25.94 with a sauce each for 830 grammes of meat was, shall we say, exceptional value for London. Probably exceptional value anywhere. The real question, would we come back if the steak was full price, to which we both replied with an emphatic yes! It is not the most romantic place, but great for friends to catch up. It is not loud, but not quite the hold the hand of your partner and look longingly in to their eyes kind of place. I am glad I do not live too close to it, as I could see this place being one of my regular haunts and would probably need to do something about my cholesterol sooner than later. I look forward to another visit to try the chateaubriand, the ribs, the burger…. And order another steak tartare.
Enquires: Butcher and Grill, 39 Parkgate Road, Battersea, London SW11 4NP / 0207 9243999 / www.thebutcherandgrill.com/