When we talk about being treated like royalty, I suspect our expectations differ greatly. Well, Goodman Restaurants have set the bar so high it’d need a pole vault to clear it.
The drizzly London evening somehow adding to the elegance of the experience. A short stroll riverside from Canary Wharf Station, Goodman greets you with a not unexpected mix of New York gangster kinda feel. Goodman is the baby of Russian entrepreneurs, which is a well judged and understated hybrid. You know meat is king as soon as you enter.
Tables of highly polished mahogany, ruby leather booths and floor to ceiling aspect windows over look the grey and atmospheric Canary Wharf. Goodman have also incorporated stringent Covid safe measures into the decor which actually added to the elite experience instead of detracting from it.
The choice of cocktails is concise, effective and, after ordering aperitif of dry Martini and house Negroni, turns out, very strong and very good. The staff are also royally top drawer. Kind, patient and prodigiously knowledgeable. While we observed, open mouthed the spectacle of food being delivered to other tables, enormous Fred Flinstone sized sides of charcoal grilled bone in beef, we munched on pillowy slices of house breads, which we generously slathered with soft, creamy, properly salted butter.
We ooh’d and aaah’d over the menu for just long enough for someone to offer us the alternative ‘The Cuts’ menu. All hail ‘The Cuts’! Within no time at all, we were both bamboozled with choice and salivating. One needn’t be a steak connoisseur as the chef talked us through every bone in, dry aged choice from the in-house ageing room. Prime cuts are from the Lake District here in the UK and Angus USDA Crown jewels. With prices to match the quality of the breed, weight and age of the meats it can drain the treasury but believe me this is exceptional quality AND quantity.
After consulting council (my partner and I deciding whether to share a 900kg tomahawk or choose two different mouthfuls) the chef and our appetites advised us sweetly to choose and get it cooked it up before our choice sold out.
Incidentally there are other dishes besides steak to choose from. Juicy burgers, seafood, Josper grilled chicken and the court jester of Harrisa cauliflower steak for the unlikely vegetarians at the banquet. A banquet of starters such as thick, unctuous burrata, spiced prawns and mellow beef carpaccio. We ordered the rich, decadent, deeply flavoured lobster bisque seasoned with fragrant tarragon and an eye watering satisfying and contrasting tuna tartar. Fresh, creamy mouthfuls of umami rich flesh accompanied by crisp, crunchy prawn crackers.
If meat is king, his queen is the wine list. I believe i could have closed my eyes and wiggled a finger in the direction of any red or white and I wouldn’t have been disappointed. We opted for a Swiss white merlot, all vanilla creamy and deceptively deep for a white wine and a Amorone Valpolicella. Festive, rich and almost sweet. Both big enough to stand up to the royalty of the feast.
As our main event arrived with fanfare we gazed at the majesty of a 450g T bone and a 400g ribeye and I wondered if our eyes had been bigger than our bellies as we’d also ordered a side of lush truffle mac and cheese, fluffy hand cut chips and a house salad for balance. But the crowning glory, accompanied with excellent but almost unnecessary béarnaise and peppercorn sauces, were the steaks. The thickness of the cut, the fat marbling, the smoky, grilled to perfection chocolate brown colour of the outer crust, the glistening cerise of the rare meat as our knives slide through the butter soft flesh were all part of the most affecting of steak experiences.
While you don’t usually go to a steak restaurant like Goodman for dessert, I’m so glad I did. Two desserts, both alike in dignity, similar yet different in all the best most delicious way. A delightful, light, sweet, honeycomb parfait with excellent banana sorbet without a hint of synthetic flavour and a hazelnut pave which was essentially a house brick of chocolate. I want to live in that house.
An evening of Henry the Eighth level indulgence meant we went back to our own castle and immediately bought new steak knives to honour the noble king of dinners. Long live and all hail the steak!
To discover more, visit: goodmanrestaurants.com
All imagery courtesy of Goodman Restaurants.
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