The mantle of 'best steak in London' is closely-fought. I would say we are acolytes of Hawksmoor but we road-tested Goodman on Friday night to celebrate Sartre’s birthday.
Goodman embodies old school, fat-cat, largesse. Sitting on the table beside us was a captain of industry and a female companion he was almost certainly paying for by the hour.
It’s not cool, exactly. Best explained by mentioning the branded plates they serve everything on. Or, the slightly naff menu typography with little diamond shapes between the letters in the headlines.
But you cannot knock the exuberant New York-style unabashed gluttony of the place.
Of course you have pre-dinner cocktails. Of course you go for an extra lap on the cocktails before you consider ordering. Next you order a starter - even though you filled up on the delicious warm bread basket. And why have one bottle of wine, when you can have a white and a red? (Perhaps this, my father’s mantra, was born in a restaurant like Goodman).
There’s something about the place that encourages this kind of brashness. It’s all super-slick waiters, polished marble and dark wood.
Our food was very good, and very big. We started with tempura tiger prawns with avocado, mango and Cajun mayonnaise. Moreish is a euphemism. I wanted to go and stick my head in the fryer from whence they sprang for more.
We moved on to the Bone-In Rib-eye to share, served by weight, which was sensational. It was expertly cooked and served with three different sauces and beef dipping chips. At Goodman, they obviously care deeply about the way they prepare and cook their steak, and it was as good as I’ve had for a long time.
A special mention for a remarkable bit of attentiveness. When I first booked the table months earlier, I wrote that it was my boyfriend’s birthday in the ‘special requests’ box. I never mentioned it again, not even when we arrived that evening. As much to my surprise as his, at the end of our meal they produced this:
A lovely touch.
Goodman serves great steak with great service. It’s in-your-face, like the New York exudes. You’ll have a ball.