If ever there were three decisive words on the London foodie scene, they would be ‘steakhouse’, ‘City of London’ and ‘Marco Pierre White’. So London Steakhouse Co. City, from Marco Pierre White and James Ogilvie Robertson has got a lot of minds to change; though one visit to this haunt will shake even the most stern naysayers into believers.
Venue and Atmosphere
I’m running late and am lost when my friend texts me to say she’s arrived at London Steakhouse co and it is ‘fancyyyyyy’. She’s right to add numerous ‘y’s; London Steakhouse Co is proper posh, with a hushed reverence to old-school dining traditions. Built into a basement, there’s two floors to the dining space, all filled with starched white tableclothed tables and heavy wooden seats. The lower dining space has a calm quiet; arches are carved into the walls, with mirrors stretching along one side and monochrome cartoons hanging on the other.
The restaurant is mere minutes from Liverpool Street, which usually means chaos and suits. There’s no escaping the City workers at London Steakhouse co but they come in dating twos and even a few low-key media types take over tables. Service paid me more attention than I’ve had in months, with water and wine topped up before we’d even noticed that they were emptying. This is the sort of place you come when you want to show mum and dad that you are now a fully fledged adult - just as long as they’re still footing the bill.
Food and Drink
One story my parents like to trot out to bring me back down to earth, is the time I started crying about a place being too posh. I was 11 and we were at a wine farm which had more ingredients on the menu than I could spell. London Steakhouse Co. doesn't mistake fine food for 101-ingredients food, in fact everything is so simple, 11-year-old me would have been in her element. From the starter menu, smoked salmon (£12.75) was sourced from Scotland and came in two thick slabs with a side dollop of creme fraiche and a tiny blini. Beef carpaccio (£9.50/£12.50) was as easy, given depth with crumbled parmesan and a few peppery rocket leaves.
Steak is rather obviously what the restaurant specialises in, with all their cuts coming from Aubrey Allen - ‘the most innovative butcher in Britain’ - and aged for 28 days. Meat is not cheap, but nor should it be when it tastes this special. The 8oz centre-cut steak (£39.50) is one of the leanest cuts of steak you can get and was a thick, soft wedge, best served rare, which tasted almost vanilla-y in its softness. 10oz tail-on ribeye (£27.50) was far smokier and saltier; though both were doused in a creamy, custard-thick bernaise sauce. Sides are on the expensive side, with a bowl of chips and salad coming in at £4.75.
When it comes to the sweeter side of things, the restaurant stuck with old favourites. The Passion Jazz cocktail (£11) was the restaurant's take on the porn star martini, and was far more art-house movie than porn-star, with a fruity mix of vodka, passionfruit and apple juice. We finished everything off with a creme brulee and sticky toffee pudding (both £7.50), which were as indulgent as most City workers' salaries.
A lot of people will want to hate London Steakhouse co. City with its celebrity chef and City location, but look past the paper details for a dining experience worth shelling out on. The restaurant is as sharp as a tailored suit, with far more give, the menu is simply done but to perfection, and staff are so lovely, you want them to sit down with you.