Peter Morrell enjoys the pleasures of the flesh at this new eaterie
Over the past couple of years there has been an inexorable rise in the demand for restaurants that serve steak. However these new restaurants are a world away from old ‘steak bars’ of the 60s and 70s.
Rather like wine, people have become much more knowledgeable on the merits of various cuts of meat, how long they have been aged, whether the ageing has been wet or dry and what the animal has been been fed on. So the emergence of the discerning consumer has been matched by a rise in quality by restaurants serving steak.
To sample one of these new breed of restaurants I recently had dinner in a Miller and Carter restaurant, although it is part of a chain, each branch has its own individual style. The new location in Bromley, Kent is in an attractive building and has replaced its predecessor, a more traditional pub.
Inside, a comfortable bar, decorated in muted pastel shades, offers a good range of beers wines and cocktails. The cocktails are a mix of old favourites like Mojitos and Margaritas, champagne based mixes and their own signatures made from premium spirits like Grey Goose vodka and Bombay Sapphire gin. Beer wise it offered a good range of bottles and I was pleased to see Meantime Pale in the line-up of draught beers.
Moving through to the dining area it was softly lit, the tables were well spaced and the place was packed, which indicated that there is a strong demand for this style of food.
For people who love steak, they will not be disappointed, the main section of the menu lists a range of cuts, all aged for 30 days. The off the bone selection is a mix of both wet and dry aged with ribeye, fillet, rump and sirloin all available, a chateaubriand to share and a fillet Wellington. On the bone, which are all dry aged, are T-bones, ribeyes and sirloin.
If you don’t fancy a steak then there is chicken, pork ribs, gammon and lamb rump, while for lighter eaters and vegetarians there is fish, a meat free risotto and a cous cous, quinoa and pecan nut salad.
Before indulging in our carnivorous desires my dining companion and I turned our attentions to the starters. The duo of duck parfait and black pearl scallops both looked interesting but the sharing platter of smoked barbecue ribs, baked cheddar mushrooms, dusted calamari, nachos, smoked and chipotle and honey chicken wings, our final choice, would give us the opportunity to try most of the starters.
When it arrived it was an impressive and appetising array of comfort food. The ribs were tender and smokey, there was a tang of cheese in the mushrooms, the squid was light and the wings suitably sticky, all offset by the crunchiness of the tortilla chips. It was a good start.
For our main course my companion had chosen the 8oz fillet but ordered it plain without any sauces or sides which included, to my surprise, lobster mac and cheese, a real U.S. treat. My choice was the handmade bacon and cheese British steak burger with Monterey Jack cheese and crispy bacon. I always have a burger in a steak restaurant, it is the universal dish that I use to compare establishments across the world.
My burger was excellent, although well done (insisted on by the health and safety brigade) it had retained its juiciness. Served in a seed bun with mayo, gherkin and tomato and with sides of slaw and seasoned chips, it was a satisfying meal. My companion’s rare fillet was packed with flavour and had a melt in the mouth quality.
The categorised wine list provides a good selection with reds, whites and rose ranging from £15 to £40 for a bottle. If you are having a celebration there is also fizz with prosecco as the entry point and Dom Pérignon at the top end. Amongst the whites were aromatic sauvignon blancs and viogniers while the reds featured a big, beefy 15% malbec/cabernet sauvignon and a rare wine from Brazil. As it was mid-week we chose the modest 11% tempranillo/cabernet Coopers Select from Spain, with fruity tones in the bouquet which developed into distinct cherry and strawberry flavours on the palate.
Desserts were beyond us as the portions had been large but the menu listed suitably indulgent favourites like sticky toffee pudding and banoffee pie.
Service had been excellent from the friendly and efficient staff. The restaurant is bang on trend with the current demands of the eating public who want quality ingredients, well cooked and served in comfortable surroundings.
Expect to pay around £40.00 a head for a two course meal including drinks and service.