|Mash Steakhouse, Soho London|
Mash are said to have the best parts of a real American steak house tradition. Basically what this means in layman terms is that they serve BIG Steaks. On top of this they claim to have five star service with breath taking interiors and the biggest selection of American wine outside of the US. Soooo, I'm obviously intrigued to find out just how much walk these guys can talk. I've tried a few of these new American steakhouse restaurants with little success. Often overwhelmed, inexperienced staff serving dried out ribs with one dimensional barbecue sauces for unsophisticated palates. Yes they have lovely interiors but beyond that not much substance. No pressure then.
|First Reception Desk, Stairs Leading Down|
So again I will try, but this does come recommended by the team at Zomato. I'll do my best to keep an open mind. Grumble grumble.
Its a lovely spring day and I head into Soho with my partner in crime, the Chic Geek. This is a sponsored visit so I have pre warned my companion that there is to be none of the usual grumbling and impatience as I document the meal. It's located in one of my favourite eating spots in London, Soho. I had planned a Sunday visit but Mash don't actually do a Sunday lunch service which is a shame, however Sunday dinner is offered with BYO, so you can bring your own wine with no corkage fee. We actually dined on a Saturday afternoon instead.
|Interior Mash Restaurant - 6 Berth Booths|
Mash has an unassuming exterior and inside we were presented with a reception desk, then directed two flights down by the receptionist to another reception desk and yet another receptionist who then led us through to an expansive art deco inspired dining area, with an impressive bar - friendly staff on the bar.
Our menu arrived with a nice steak selection, pricing from around 38 pounds up to 95 pounds for a high grade Wagyu. The waiter said this particular Wagyu was from a bunch of beer drinking, back massaged cows in Australia. I thought the whole beer/massage was just a myth but the waiter was assured in his testimony.
Among the choice were American corn fed, Uruguay grain fed, Danish grass fed and Australian wagyu beer fed massaged beef.
|Hanging Meat at Mash, Complimentary Bread|
Being a kiwi I obviously went for the Danish grass fed (kiwi's are bought up on grass fed beef) and chic geek tried the american corn. Its not doubt the steaks are the main attraction but I like to test all facets and ordered a salad and the scallop for starters.
Meanwhile we dived into the wine selection and I can say the quality of the wines were excellent by the glass. When our starters arrived we were presented with a small dish of scallops that had been perfectly cooked and had a distinct stripe appearance, a lovely soft fleshy centre with a lemon butter taste, with slight aniseed from what I think was charred fennel.
|Scallop Starters - Mash Steakhouse, London|
My salad looked very simple as far as presentation goes, I mean there really was not much effort to make this dish look any better than a standard salad. It was very nice though, lettuce was clean cut, the dressing was creamy with a kick of horse radish(?), salty parmesan and fresh leaves.
When the steak arrived, the Danish Longbone was very sizeable. I opted for a bearnaise sauce and sides of mash and green beans.
|Fairly plain looking Ceasar Salad, Mash London|
The longbone has incredible flavour, it was gutsier than the American corn, which was more soft texture with a cleaner lighter taste. This really is for serious steak fans. I was blown away by the first mouthful, it was sublime, plenty of fat, seasoned well - both steaks were and it was obvious they had been lovingly nursed to perfection by the chef. So much flavour on the surface, and excellent quality meat.
|The Danish Longbone, Superb flavour|
|American Rib Eye - soft in texture|
I think the order side of mash was a mistake, it really is too salty to eat with the steaks, so be careful because as it does blow your taste-buds a bit so much that it overpowered the steaks. The beans we incredibly fresh, still had a fresh picked fibrous texture to them, and the shallots made them deliciously sweet and I loved that they were topped with almonds.
|Sides: Green beans served with Almonds, The Mash potato|
Given that Mash has lovely dining rooms with an impressive wine cellar, hanging meat and amazingly cooked steak two levels below the ground, I am convinced that god forbid, I should ever need to survive a nuclear winter, this would be the place to do it, as long as you don't order dessert......
Unfortunately the service finished on a poorly executed lemon meringue. Served cold, it came out of the kitchen quite quickly. It had been nowhere near an oven with all the usual blow torch hallmarks barely keeping its shape and within a minute the meringue had turned runny. It was only the blow torched parts left with any structure and now sitting lifeless in a pool of melting egg whites. The sugar in the egg whites for the meringue had not dissolved so it had a gritty texture but I didn't actually mind any of this until we tasted the yellow lemon filling. The lovely tanginess was there yes, but what was this alien undercurrent taste of unnatural chicken protein? I suspect the filling hadn't actually been cooked at all and I wonder if the chef, using raw egg yolks in the filling mixture, completely omitted the cooking part? or that used eggs that were rank? or the filling had been sitting exposed in a fridge and picked up a nasty taste, I've no idea but it wasn't good. The ice cream it came with however, was outstanding!
|Lemon Meringue, The Bill - Mash style|
I was afraid of this, it seems that they were great with steaks (they have sourced excellent produce undoubtedly) , wine selection was superb, service was formal, attentive and excellent but as always these places are let down in that ability to ensure that every dish on the menu is 5-star not just the main attractions. And at the prices they are charging with that amount of floor space to fill with some many great restaurants in Soho, I'm sure they are trying their hardest, maybe this was just a minor oversight because their standard is very high but if I was looking to take business folk here, I would want every dish to be great, not just one and that means the salad too.
Mash Steakhouse is for the discerning diner but is it over priced? I don't know. It's such a big place to full and how they can sustain these prices at that square footage will take some work. They do pre theatre menu's so there is some reprieve.
Overall, I really like Mash, the steaks are absolutely incredible, the service is high standard and it is a beautifully staged restaurant inside with plenty of private dining. I hope it goes from strength to strength.