The decor inside is typical of a steakhouse – dark wood tables, booths and low-level lighting – dark enough to provide a lovely, relaxed atmosphere but bright enough so that you can see your food (part of my excuse for having rubbish photos!). There’s outdoor seating on a terrace at the front, which would be lovely to eat on in summer though you might struggle to escape the smokers since its a small area. Each table is set with different paper place mats which either show specials or provide details about where each cut of steak is from. The waiter brings over a thick, leather bound menu and offers to explain any part of the menu or cuts of meat. It’s hard not to order steak when you go (obviously) – it’s a steakhouse and they clearly take great pride in their meat but the other meals on their menu actually sound incredible, and given the quality of everything I’ve had I have no doubt that they’d be amazing!
My favourite cut is fillet. Perhaps not a true steak-lovers choice but I love how tender it is.. And if I’m being perfectly honest I’m just as much about the sides as the meat! We’re predictable – everytime we go I’ll get a creamy mushroom sauce, Marcus will get peppercorn, we both get thick triple cooked chips (much as I love fries, steak for me has to be with thick fluffy chips), we both get Mac and cheese, and well usually share a couple of veg sides.. Tenderstem is a staple for us!
Everything is done perfectly here. The steaks are so tender and juicy, cooked exactly how you want it. They’re seasoned beautifully, though they offer you mustard and horseradish on the side. The mac & cheese comes in a thick creamy, cheesy sauce, and finished with more cheese, warmed until it’s bubbling and golden brown.. that alone is a good enough reason to go!
Their chips are just as immaculate. Crispy edges, fluffy in the middle, and despite the small pot there’s a deceivingly decent sized portion inside – just the right number to be a satisfying but not overwhelming side.
The rest of the sides are simple, but I guess everything is at a steakhouse – grilled tomatoes are literally halved and grilled salad tomatoes, mushrooms are just chopped button mushrooms, sautéed in garlic butter. Their tenderstem is buttered and served with delicate shavings of parmesan.
Despite the highlight of the meal being the steak, don’t pass on their starters! I’ve had the most delicious calamari in a light tempura batter, creamy mushrooms on toast and deep fried brie! Yep.. deep. fried. brie. 😀
I’ll admit that like many other restaurants in St. Albans I haven’t tried as much of their dessert menu as I’d have liked. The Pudding Stop is always a go-to dessert place for us as we love their desserts, and because we mainly eat here for a special occasion, I’ve usually got a big cake or something else I’ve baked waiting at home! There are some decent ice cream flavours, but they were complimentary – I usually wouldn’t choose ice cream for a dessert, especially being spoilt and having had so much amazing gelato. The brownie was good, but nothing to shout about and there are a lot of desserts that simply don’t take my fancy – I don’t like trifle, pavlova or creme brûlée (which is half of their dessert menu!). We’re going to take his parents here though so I’ll definitely be trying more of their desserts in the future!
We always leave stuffed. It’s partly the quantity of food we eat, obviously, but also how satisfied we feel with the quality and flavour of the food. I’d definitely recommend this place.. I’ve been many times and I’ll certainly be back. I’m not alone either – every time we drive past it’s rammed! I’ll leave you with another picture of their mac & cheese.. if you aren’t already convinced that you need to eat here 😉