Goodman makes some big claims, but I can't argue with them
Goodman has 3 restaurants in central London offering an American steakhouse menu. Stocking individual cuts from traceable, grain fed herds they claim to produce the “greatest steak in the capital”. Mark and I went to investigate.
We’d been talking about going to Hawksmoor for ages, then I discovered Goodman and after comparing reviews there was nothing between them. They have similar menus and prices and both claim to have the best steak in London but for whatever reason we decided to give Goodman a shot. All of Goodman’s meat is dry-aged on site in a temperature-controlled, dehumidified environment and then cooked in specially imported charcoal ovens at 375-400°C using three types of wood from sustainable sources including charcoal from Cornwall and Kent and charcoal from South America.
It was a Friday night so went for a quick (and expensive) beer round the corner at The Windmill before heading to our table at Goodman Mayfair, which is just off Regent Street, a few minutes walk from Oxford Circus. The friendly front of house staff greeted us and showed us to our table near the back of the restaurant, which is full of dark wood and feels pretty upmarket. We’re handed a menu each and order a beer to get started. There’s a massive wine list here but bizarrely only 2 beers on offer – Asahi and Samuel Adams. We opt for the latter.
Our waitress was great and checked with us a couple of times if we had any questions on the menu. We did. There’s a large choice of steak on the menu. Various cuts and even more breeds – Nebraskan Angus, Black label Angus from south Devon, Scotch Assured from the Duke of Buccleuch’s estates in Scotland, rare breed Belted Galloway from the Lake District, grain-fed Black Angus from Ireland and grass-fed Black Angus from Scotland. Tough choice! Luckily our waitress was on hand with a plate of meat (see below) to explain the differences and help us make up our mind.
- fat = flavour
- bone in = more intense flavour than off the bone cuts
- USDA corn-fed = sweeter meat than British breeds
which put the bone in rib-eye at the top of our list. Neither of us are big fans of fillet as it’s more about texture than flavour so the other cut we’re after is a sirloin so we have one with bone in and one off the bone.
We looked to ‘The Cut’ blackboard to see what was available and decided on the 600g USDA Angus, 150 day corn fed Bone In Rib-Eye (£42) and a 350g New York Sirloin (£30) with all the sauces – béarnaise, pepper & stilton. We were advised to have the rib-eye cooked to medium to make sure the fat would melt and add to the flavour and texture and ordered the sirloin at our normal preference – medium-rare.
The selection of side dishes is excellent at Goodman Mayfair. There are plenty of veg options like honey & ginger glazed carrots and creamed spinach as well as heavier options such as mac & cheese with truffle sauce and creamy mash potato. We went for a portion of Beef Dripping Chips (£5.50) which came with a little dish of beef dripping salt to chuck over them and some fresh Green Beans sautéed off with some shallot (£4) which were both very good.
We ordered a couple of starters as well, Mark picked the Tiger Prawn Tempura with avocado, mango & cajun mayonnaise (£12) and I had the Lobster Cocktail with greens & lemon mayonnaise (£16). Both were impressive, the tempura batter was light and crispy and the avocado and cajun mayo balanced well. The lobster was delicious but had been cut up in to lots of little pieces (apart from the claw) – I would have preferred fewer, chunkier pieces personally. By the time our starters came we’d finished our beers so had a look at the wine list so we’d have something nice to go with our imminent steaks. Knowing you can’t really go wrong with a Malbec, we settled on the 2011 Doña Paula Estate Malbec at £30, which was delicious.
Then the moment arrived – steak time! One of the managers came over to place everything on our table and seemed just as excited as we were about the food on our table. The steaks looked AMAZING and clearly we weren’t the only ones who thought so – a waitress came over to ask if she could take a photo of our steaks for another customer!
The rib-eye was special, in fact it was easily the nicest steak I’ve ever had. It was perfectly cooked, with a crisp, charred outer layer to bite through before getting to the juicy meat and melting fat on the inside. Ridiculously tasty. The sirloin on the other hand was over cooked. It wasn’t obvious at first as we took the two slices from the middle but after that you could see it was nearer to a medium-well than medium-rare. I mentioned it to our waitress and she called over the manager so she could see for herself. As we’d already eaten half of it I wondered whether they might be funny about it but she instantly agreed that it was over and offered to cook another one, get us another bowl of beef dripping chips and a round of fresh sauces – great service. Our third steak arrived within 10 minutes and was much more to our liking but while it was delicious, the flavour just couldn’t match the rib-eye.
It was tough but battled through to finish our third steak and were offered a dessert menu. We had a look but with the inevitable meat coma that comes with eating 650g of steak each kicking in we didn’t really fancy anything. The manager came over to take our dessert order and after we explained how full we were she insisted that we have a dessert on the house – how could we refuse? Her recommendation was Anne-Marie’s Outrageous Cookie Sundae with chocolate and caramel sauce and whipped cream (£6.50) named after the owner of the ranch they get some of they cuts from in Nebraska.
I wanted a glass of dessert wine anyway so asked which one we should order to pair the sundae. The recommendation was either of the Quady muscats from California – the 2011 Elysium Black Muscat or the 2010 Essensia Orange Muscat both at £7 a glass. Unsure which to choose she offered us a tasting… Amazing. She brought over a bottle of each and poured a pretty generous measure of each for us to sample. For me, the orange is the perfect dessert wine – light and crisp but still with all the rich sweetness you want from a dessert wine. I found the black too strong and berry flavoured but Mark loved it. A glass of each please. Our dessert turned up just as we got a second wind and we demolished it. I rarely order desserts, I don’t have a sweet tooth but the sundae was stunning. Full of cream, ice cream, caramel and soft chocolate cookies… deeeeelicious!
Wow, what a great evening. I dont really have anything negative to say about Goodman Mayfair. The staff were all genuinely friendly and informative and the food was all cracking. Yes, the kitchen messed up our sirloin but that’s inevitable from time to time and I was very impressed with how the situation was handled – very quickly, with no hassle and the manager went out of her way to make sure the rest of meal was memorable for all the right reasons.
The only downer for me was that I owed Mark and had to pick up the bill…
|Tiger Prawn Tempura||£12.00|
|600g Bone In Rib-Eye||£42.00|
|350g New York Sirloin||£30.00|
|Beef Dripping Chips||£5.50|
|Samuel Adams x 2||£3.75 each|
|Doña Paula Malbec||£30.00|
|Quady Elysium Black Muscat||£7.00|
|Quady Elysium Orange Muscat||£7.00|