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Matthew Grant

Goodman

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been 3 times now to the city branch , the burger is very good and is the value pick there, £12 with very good fries and a myriad of extras. Took a 'near vegetarian' (her words to the waitress when she asked if we wanted to see the tray of meat) but who enjoys a good burger, we were both very happy, stuck to beer and it's a useful casual option, get stuck into the wine and the special cuts and it's expense account territory.


you don't win friends with salad

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We had an appointment in London so went for a (very) early dinner at Goodman. Being around 5pm it was the transition between lunch and dinner service, so staff were changing around, busily organising the space and even taking their own dinner (chicken, apparently, but they do get steak at least once a week). It was nice to be one of only a few diners and enjoy the peace and quiet because the manager said they have been fully booked for dinner since opening 4 weeks ago and it was certainly loud and buzzing by the time we finished around 7:30pm.

The space is new and slap bang in the historic banking district of London, a stones throw from the Bank of England and the Stock Exchange. The expensively fitted out dark room reminded me of a proper New York steakhouse, and I would imagine the bar would be a great place to while away a stolen afternoon (preferably on the bank's time).

No such luck for me as I was paying for dinner. So, onto the food. The menu is on the website so I won't recap. A funny thing about surfing eGullet and food blogs is that you pretty much know what you want to have before you are shown the menu. An even funnier phenomenon is that you either want to try something that others have tried, or you want to try something different so you have novel findings to report! Given everyone else seems to have had the caesar salad and the risotto we opted for the cold fish starters. I had the smoked salmon and beetroot served with a miniature loaf. The smoked salmon was thick-cut, at room temperature and had a decent hit of smokiness demonstrating its quality. My other half had the pickled herrings which came in a zinging vinegar which lit up the palette along with the occasional juniper berry. Both very good starts.

Beef sourcing is very important at Goodman and the drying primal cuts are available to view in one corner of the restaurant. When we went there was the option of USDA, Irish (from Jack O'Shea), Scottish and "Red Devon". I was most interested in the bone-in cuts, of which there was ribeye and sirloin available.

My other half is a bit conflicted as to the ethics of bringing meat all the way from the US when we produce our own very good stuff. There is also the unknown of the US meat system - particularly in terms of animal welfare - one buys meat by grade and not from a specific farm like we do here.

With regards to "grain finishing", this certainly results in a very soft and marbled final texture of the meat, but I am slightly put off by reports of how Kobe beef suffers by this method (http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs/raymond-blanc-le-blog/2010/07/your-menu-can-be-an.html and http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s/2007/12/kobe_beef_estabrook) - I am not sure if this applies to US bred meat.

(An aside, I once went through the painful process of reserving a table at Peter Luger's in New York and suffering a 90 minute wait for my reserved table whilst still trying to shake off yesterday's jetlag, eating very late and having a frankly pretty average joint of USDA "prime rib" - which may have slightly jaundiced my view of the apparently superior USDA meat.)

On balance I would rather had the O'Shea meat from Ireland, particularly as a recent bone-in ribeye we had from him was an absolutely superlative piece of meat, definitely in my top 10 eats (report on that here http://nickloman.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/beefy-beefy/). Unfortunately they were only doing a 500g bone-in sirloin for one, so we decided we would try the 900g USDA bone-in ribeye as this is my favourite cut of beef.

When it arrived it was rare with a seriously charred (in a good way) exterior. Sides were excellent bearnaise sauce, some very nice creamed spinach and some fine lyonnaise potatoes.

The steak was very good, I enjoyed it a great deal but I think next time I will stick to my guns and have the O'Shea - I think perhaps I prefer the flavour of grass-fed meat, even if it is at the expensive of the marbling. No doubt the steak was cooked very well but it didn't have the depth of flavour I was hoping for, a similar experience to Lugers in fact.

Pudding was a nice chocolate dessert and a fudge sundae which were both very nice, but you don't really go to Goodman for desserts and if you've done it right you are stuffed by this point. Nice coffee.

Service was very friendly and efficient throughout and staff are happy to answer questions about the meat.

Goodman is definitely highly recommended. Not cheap but I don't think a steakhouse meal should be - I would like to eat beef less frequently but insist on better quality from our suppliers.

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Edited by nickloman (log)

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