Featured Restaurant: The Steak Restaurant

5th April 2019

316 Uxbridge Road • Hatch End • HA5 4HR • 020 8421 2878

Reviewed by Lisa Botwright

Stylishly kitted out with clever mood lighting, earthy tones, dark wood panelling, and with intimate leather booths and banquettes, TSR has a touch of the private members' club about it. In terms of decor, it's already earned a huge tick. But how will the food fare? I'm a big steak-lover… will it be style over substance?

The menu is fairly simple, with non-steak dishes ostensibly much lower down in the pecking order, like handmaids dancing attendance on their bovine mistress. It's a given that we're going to go for the steak, but which flame-grilled wonder should we choose? I ask the manager for his opinion and he offers us the simple choice between 'taste' and 'texture': the 'rugged', marbled rib-eye or the 'prettier', leaner fillet. Sirloin, apparently, lies somewhere between the two.

So now I'm in a carnivorous-quandary. I usually go for fillet. I love to slice through it and feel the meat yield with all the tension of melted butter; I like that you can eat every part of this cut. But is my mild antipathy for using my steak knife to navigate around fat holding me back from experiencing the best possible food sensation?

Of course I must choose 'taste'. We pledge to go full-on rugged and choose the Burt Reynolds of the menu: Prime Rib of Beef for Two, cooked on the bone. In for a penny…

But first, our starters await. I have a dish of chopped Salmon Ceviche in front of me and my husband (H) has a huge Wedge Salad: a generous chunk of iceberg lettuce, drizzled with buttermilk sauce and scattered with blue cheese and pastrami. It's a winning combination: the fridge-cool lettuce and dressing make a delicious contrast with the cubes of hot, crispy, fatty meat (I've never had hot pastrami before and find it's similar to pork belly), as well as the peppery cheese.

My salmon is sublime. Only the best quality, sushi-grade fish works for ceviche as it's basically served raw – with only a quick squeeze of lemon to 'cure' it. The succulent morsels of fatty fish (there's a theme here; as any chef will tell you, fat is what makes things tastes so darn good) take my mouth to a very happy place. It's accompanied by slivers of French toast, but I think it goes much better with H's iceberg. He disagrees.

The steak arrives at our table with fitting resplendence. It certainly has the wow factor. The beef has been pre-sliced – all the better to show off its caramelised, seared crust and pink juicy centre (we've asked for it medium-rare). H and I are smitten at the first bite. Yes, there are thick veins of fat – and yes, they do add to the taste. My previous squeamishness has evaporated. As the meat cools, the crispy bits get even crispier and gnarlier and more densely savoury; it's as much as I can do to stop myself from picking up the bone and gnawing on it. It's been cooked beautifully, as only a monster of an 1800˚F grill – the restaurant's pride and joy – can truly deliver.

Our chosen sides have remained ignored, and now I feel like Goldilocks. The broccoli has gone cold (my fault), while the bbq sauce covering the mushroom and cherry tomato kebabs is a little too overpowering for my taste. Only the tomato and onion salad, with its refreshing acidity, is 'just right'.

I'm so glad I ventured out from my steak-eating comfort zone, though. A fatty cut of meat might not be so palatable in less skilled hands, but here it's good. Really, really good. And now I can confirm that The Steak Restaurant deftly balances both style and substance in one hard-hitting offering.

STARTERS: £5.00-£8.00 • MAINS: £12.00-£35.00
DESSERTS: £5.00-£6.00 • HOUSE WINE: £19.00

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