Thursday, 19 August 2010

Goodman City

For over a year now I've been wanging on about how Hawksmoor is THE BEST steak restaurant in London. But I am a big fat fraud. How was I supposed to know what was the best when I haven't visited all of them, or even their strongest competitor?

There have been so many posts about Goodman, so I'm sure you know all there is to know about it. If not, it's simple. They do steak; USDA corn-fed meat as well as grass-fed Irish and Scottish beef.

So, when Goodman opened their second restaurant in the city, I jumped at the chance of 50% off food in their soft opening. I am enormously skint, so I had to make the most of the situation. One lunchtime, I jumped on the tube and ran my sweaty arse over to Bank. The room is cavernous, and very manly indeed, with exposed lights and banquettes in deep shades. There is an aging room for the meat which is on full display, though I managed to miss this entirely in my own oblivious way. The tables were populated by besuited men.

My starter of Frank Henderman's Irish smoked salmon was beautiful. Firm, densely textured salmon was permeated throughout with the flavour of smoke. Discs of raw beetroot were topped with a dill cream, and a slightly cheesy brioche-style bread was rich. On their own, all the elements were delicious but I was unconvinced about how they sat together on the plate.

400gr of USDA rib eye, cooked to medium turned up. The meat was tender and my heavy, Goodman-embossed steak knife slid through with ease. I found an extra grind of salt at the table brought out the flavour of the meat more. Chips were crunchy, fluffy but slightly too thick a cut for my liking (seriously - can someone PLEASE reintroduce curly fries back into the spectrum?) and sugarsnap peas, bathed in butter were crisp and perfectly cooked. I hoovered most of these up.

When all was done and I managed to be back at my desk in 1.5 hours, I was relieved to discover I am still a Hawksmoor girl at heart. Perhaps it's unfair to make comparisons given that Hawksmoor don't do USDA meat, but I found my steak to be underseasoned and the meat, while tender, was lacking in flavour somewhat. My companion's Wagyu rib eye (of which I finished off for him - lightweight) tasted more like the steak I'm used to. The service was charming though, with genuine enthusiasm glowing from our waitress.

Goodman do an extremely reasonable lunch menu; I'll be sure to go back for the burger. Meanwhile, with the Shoreditch branch 20 minutes from house and the new Covent Garden site, opening in November, 20 minutes from my office my steaky loyalties will lie with Hawksmoor.

Goodman City

11 Old Jewry
London
EC2R 8DU

Tel: 020 7600 8220

Mayfair branch here

10 comments:

Pavel said...

I'm yet to understand why people go out for big lunches when they are working, I'd have to go back to my desk and have a massive meat sleep after a steak for lunch. What grade is the USDA steak as well? As there are 3 to choose from and 2 of them aren't that great so thats probably why your steak wasn't as good as you'd hoped.

Wild Boar said...

Had a pretty similar experience as you - good, but Hawksmoor's steaks were beefier and seasoned better.

Pavel: According to Kang, they serve USDA Prime. But when I went and specifically asked, the waiter said they don't serve Prime.

An American in London said...

I went to Goodman a year ago and didn't really enjoy my NY strip. I liked the starters and sides better (chicken liver, salmon carpaccio, creamed spinach), which redeemed the meal somewhat. But never good to leave a steakhouse feeling "eh" about the steak.

That said, at 50% off, I'd try it again. Sadly, I was too slow and missed the soft opening. : )

Patrick said...

I probably prefer the overall experience of Hawksmoor but prefer the beef at Goodman. Some of the O'Shea stuff I've had there has been sensational.

catty said...

I totally *heart* Goodman steaks.. even more than Hawksmoor! Am yet to check out this new city branch though!

Helen said...

I haven't tried it, as you know but I like to think the outcome will be the same. I'm not ready to break up with Hawksmoor.

Northern Snippet said...

Its surprising how often steaks aren't seasoned right, its such a simple thing and it does make a huge difference.
I know its a bit picky but I don't like the plates with the name on.

Tom said...

I still don't really get the whole USDA thing or obsession... I think I need to try it at its height in NY or Chicago to appreciate why it is good. Since to me it stands for a touch bland atm

But jesus I am jealous of your meat. That is what I want the most!

Andrew said...

Sweaty arse? I've never noticed... oh, wait... there is that photo I took in Lisbon...

gourmet traveller said...

hell yeah, bring back them curly fries!