Steakhouse / Modern British
In A Word
Steak seekers lost in deep South London
People going on a ‘dessert pilgrimage’ to try out head chef Roger Pizey‘s ‘stimulating’ desserts
Marco Pierre White fans (but you will find no Marco here)
Chelsea fans who eat well. Really well.
Corporate types undertaking corporate events at the stadium who want an expensive/impactful meal to top the whole thing off.
Blue is the colour…
Except when it isn’t…
It’s been a long, long time since I went to see a football match. At one point I was seriously considering trying for a career with Crystal Palace FC. I’m not sure if I had any hope at it or not, but I did end up spend a lot of time in stadiums.
Certain things from those days still linger. Such as that stadium feeling. That same magical feeling that, I presume, causes thousands of people to get dressed up in facepaint at match time. Or makes people at home shout at their TV.
And these days I basically like steak as much as I used to like football.
So consider my enthusiasm when I was given the chance at dining at a steakhouse besides a stadium – Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge, to be exact.
Marco Grill’s decor I suppose reminds me a little of a nightclub. I guess in my mind, because I see the sparkly golden column in the centre, the low lighting and the images of celebrities having fun and that’s where my mind goes to.
The leather seats at the edges almost reminded me of an American diner, but like someone had injected it with… I dunno, Englishness and more of a measure of ‘classiness’? The staff are arrayed with the usual French accents. The restaurant itself is quite small, seating no more than 100, but there’s also a terrace area with it’s own little bar out front.
If you’re not a football fan – it’s not going to be a problem. You’d have no idea that the place was located next to Stamford Bridge, as there’s no team memorabilia or any allusions to sports that I could find there. You might find more of that in their sister bar/restaurant, Frankie’s.
Relative to some of the other high end steakhouses, by weight, meat cuts are not that economical here. But from what I’ve tried, they’re bloody good nevertheless.
Here’s what we had…
Carpaccio Of Tuna
Not so much textural variety (basically the tuna as a bed, underneath scatterings of something leafy), and a big heady olive oil taste . The carpaccio itself sticks to the plate, which makes it a challenge to eat. I enjoyed it, but I’m still not sure how I felt about this dish. Maybe it needed some wasabi?
Cat picked this one. Basically some fine dried meats – but there’s not really much room for the chef to demonstrate his skills here. It is exactly what you’d expect it to be.
28 Oz Porterhouse
Turns out they do my favourite cut of meat – The Tomahawk. But at the last minute I decided to break with tradition and go for a Porterhouse steak instead. I don’t regret my choice.
Well, Marco Grill passed steakhouse test #1, which is to actually serve a steak blue when asked. The meat itself was decadent and juicy, the fat full of flavour and SATISFACTION. Not marbled, but clearly delineated. I’m not sure what breed of beef they used but this one makes the top 10 steaks of my life so far.
It was served with excellent traditional style British chips…as chunky, salty and carby as you want them to be. And some béarnaise sauce – which is the logical first stop for said chips to go and visit…
8 Oz Fillet
My +1, Cat, was not so impressed with her steak, ordering a fillet. Granted, having tried her steak it was rich, and delicious but Marco Grill committed two cardinal sins in succession…
Firstly, they served with sauce on the top, as oppose to on the side (which basically means that there’s no hope at trying the steak unadulterated). Second, she asked for it rare, and it came out something closer to medium. At this point it might sound like we’re splitting hairs, but if you’re a steak person, or you’re dropping £30+ on a fillet, you want these things to be right….right?
As for sides, we had the following…
Sweet Potato Wedges
Again, Cat wasn’t too keen on this one – describing it as ‘burnt’. I, however, loved them, the crispy outside contrasted with the sweet, almost nutty taste that I love so much in a sweet potato.
Strong, garlicky and buttery. As they should be.
This was a divergence from the creamed spinach which seems so beloved of British steakhouses. It was good and rich, but not quite so ballsy as creamed spinach (possibly I have had my tastebuds spoiled evermore by creamed spinach). Good, not great.
Just in case you didn’t know, Marco Grill’s head chef, Roger Pizey, who I alluded to earlier, is well known for his desserts and baking abilities. Up to the point where he writes cookbooks and has appeared on various TV shows (including Masterchef Ireland) on the subject.
Naturally I wanted to put his skills to the test and the results were both delicious and photogenic…
My favourite. Add mocha flavour to stuff and it just tastes better. Add mocha stuff to thick dark chocolate and wonderful things happen. Also ice cream. Impressive.
Meringue With New Season Gariguette Strawberries
I don’t much like Meringue, so I’m not best to comment on this one as I don’t have enough previous references. I like what they’d done to the strawberries…they were kinda like the strawberry version of a Morello cherry. And there was JELLY in there.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
A bloody good sticky toffee pudding. How to describe such a thing? Imagine a regular sticky toffee pudding and then with a little more of that the j’nais se quoi that makes it a sticky toffee pudding. Does that help?
A bit off the beaten track and a bit too pricey on steak for my likings, but I can’t think of a better steakhouse anywhere nearby and there’s a great atmosphere about the place, which I’d imagine only becomes more so once football season starts up.
If you happen to be a steak connoisseur AND a football fan and you end up near the stadium, I’d suggest taking a look at taking the plunge.
If I went back, I would order the tomahawk. I would also try to test everything else on the dessert menu :3