Anglo American Steakhouse
Those of the Beef belief . Beef-lievers
Wine lovers, wine aspirants, sommeliers on their day off
American expats, City workers, C Suite Executives and cosmopolitan people doing business
People fully prepared for the traditional and ultimate fine dining food coma that only a Marriott steakhouse can do for you.
In A Word
Manhattan in Canary Wharf
Crossing a temporary bridge from Canary Wharf to West India Quay, we show up just before 7pm on what begins as just another Monday night. The Manhattan Grill is empty asides from a few solitary, older diners who seem to be really savouring an expensive meal to themselves.
One svelte, ‘business’ looking woman with an American accent swills and smells a glass of something red, and is later unable to finish her berry centric dessert. Such discipline. Can I finish that for you, madame? No? K…
Upon entry I learn (very happily) that Manhattan Grill is a Marriott property. Which indicates strongly a meal that will be a truly spectacular, gratuitous and almost theatrical experience (see our reviews of JW Steakhouse and Gillray’s for an idea of what else the Marriott have in London).
The restaurant is seated underneath a very beautiful and very modern building that I later find out is full of executive apartments (like normal apartments BUT WITH (EVEN MORE) CRIPPLING RENT PRICES).
It plays low volume, fashionable hip hop and r’n’b music which later turns to instrumental rock and the occasional, semi-recallable 80s number.
The decor seems a bit…uncoordinated – though not being an interior design fascist I really don’t care. The restaurant itself is wonderfully spacious, even as it fills up later on, you get the feeling that they’re not trying to squeeze as many people in as physically possible. Those of you who like to swing cats around will be able to do so (though why you’d bring a cat to a steakhouse in Canary Wharf is beyond me…)
Drinks? a substantial wine menu that offers no choice of spirits, beers or anything else not derived from the humble grape (though there’s some cognac on the dessert menu). But with wines of this calibre…
And speaking of high calibre wines, we opted (again) for a bottle of The Federalist 2010 – which is my legit favourite wine in the world ever PRAISE AND BLESSINGS BE TO THE ZINFANDEL.
As for ‘tasting notes’ I will just say that it is a wine that deserves some kind of awards ceremony completely dedicated to its many exquisite qualities.
Service is a little more laid back than some of the other Marriott restaurants, which I prefer – – I still find that very attentive service a bit too much, I was brought up in a working class household. I was actually able to pour my own wine here!
At some point a faultlessly polite Indian man comes out (possibly the somm) and decides to see who’s ordered The Federalist. He’ll later go on to show me around a little and explain a few things about the restaurant. Towards the end he tells me about how Sir Alex Ferguson once came (I think with some footballers) and ordered 3 bottles of their £499 Opus One…
When it comes to food, it seems all the Marriott steakhouses have perfected the art of high quality AND high quantity (who said you can’t have it all?). Perhaps they believe dinner should be a hedonistic experience for both tongue and stomach – perhaps not. But, such dinners are probably the closest I have ever come to experiencing The Bacchanalia.
All in all, Adam (my +1) and I spent about 5 hours here, in that time getting to know some of the staff, who were friendly and knowledgeable. In keeping with the Marriott theme, we probably consumed enough calories to power a mid sized Mediterranean city for a few minutes.
It’s one of those places where you know you’re quite full but the food is so good you just can’t bear to not consume any of it. In these instances, you can regret nothing…
For starters they decided we should have a tasting platter, so I can give you a representation of the various appetisers on the menu (though bear in mind that portions would be larger if this were individual courses)…
From left to right we had…
Baked Blue Swimmer Crab Cake, Seared Black Pearl Scallops, Devonshire Pork Belly, King Prawns.
Of particular note was the crazy voodoo they did to the prawn to make it taste better than a prawn should, and an almost pornographic amount of buttery richness imparted into the shredded red cabbage. HOW DO THEY DO THIS
However, if this were a Battle Royale – with Mexican wrestlers dressed as items of food, then for me the scallop with chorizo was the winner. Whereas Adam rated the crabcake highest. This resulted in a brief standoff that could be resolved only by eating a lot of steak VERY SLOWLY.
So how about that steak?
Chateaubriand (served rare)
It’s taste was subtle, the meat as soft as velvet. It had that kind of ‘clean’ feeling that you get from sashimi (i.e raw/almost raw, extremely good meat) – the closest thing I can compare it to was a venison sashimi I once tried at 2004s Meatopia.
They also add a little garlic butter. When served with the horseradish sauce, it was a similar taste to sushi.
T Bone (served blue) (Scottish)
There was less bone weight on it than expected, and the taste was broader and more obvious than the chateaubriand. Basically the classic steak flavour, broadened a little by said everpresent garlic butter. The fat was chewier and more gristly than I expected, and perhaps less rich.
(all the) Sauces
I am OK with this – as we were (briefly) in possession of sweet potato chips, shaped for the task.
We also tried to eat all of the following and very nearly succeeded (damn you, physiological limitations)
Less buttery/creamy than a lot of other mushrooms, they seem to be lightly fried. They were OK, but did not provide quite the fungal-sensory punch to the face I had wanted.
A bit too heavy on the cream, it was good, but a little too much.
Manhattan Grill do both, creating what is probably not a healthy salad at all, but one that you eat with frenetic energy, digging deeper for the delicious slabs of avocado until all that is left are small shards of oil streaked lettuce and the happy memory of a salad that was gone too soon
Sweet Potato Fries
Cooked enough to bring the sweetness out, but not so much as to make them overly crispy, or salty, they were delicious on their own and the ideal vehicle for digging for sauces.
Adam simply described the whole thing as “momentous”.
On this we both agree…
A: 22 Hertsmere Rd, London E14 4ED
P: 020 7517 2808