Blackhouse – The Grill on the Market

2-3 West Smithfield, London, EC1A 9JX

Food: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Price: 40-45 per person (drinks excluded)

As the title may suggest, this is the right place for meat lovers. Hidden behind the arches of Smithfield market, the place gets flooded by the City crowd from 6pm onwards. Book a table.

The decor is sober but comfortable, almost as to welcome both Tories and Labour. With dim lights and restful sofas, this is a classical City place where you can enjoy your smart suit but still sit back and relax.
The service did not really stand out, we arrived early, around 6pm and the stewardess was not at her station hence we had to wait few minutes before being seated. Never mind, the quality of the food paid back pretty well.

The menu covers honest English food and most of the steak and fillet cuts that you might desire. The restaurant’s slogan reads: solid, honest & simple food. I agree.
We started sharing a couple of dishes to try a bit of variety. The moules frites where nice and light, with a refreshing, white wine and cream sauce which I made sure I could finish all till the last bit of bread. We also had a classic fried brie with a delicious red onion relish I still crave for. The starters portion were definitely abundant, the right start of a meal after working ten hours in the City.

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And then…the meat. I had the special of the day, a surf and turf steak with king prawns. Served like a little pyramid of flavours and colours, the dish was a pleasure to both the eyes and the palate. An aged-to-perfection steak, an English classic you can always be happy about.

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My companion had the finest 200 grams of fillet in the City! Well, I confess I probably did not try all the fillets in the Big Smoke but this one left me speechless and drooling. He ordered all the possible sauces with it. I admit I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of sauces available: peppercorn, diane, blue cheese, bearnaise. All deliciously thick and creamy. Still, I thought the fillet was too good not to enjoy it by itself. But this is up to personal taste of course.

At this point I was stuffed with food, but I could not avoid trying a dessert…a bomb of a dessert to be precise. A black forest trifle that came into a layered pot of chocolate, cherries and cream. Wow! Dessert lovers, knock yourself out!

As a general advice, you might want to contemplate having either a starter and a main or a main and a dessert, if you still want to be able to make your way back home. Alternatively, have all the three of them and then opt for a nice stroll towards Bank.

Very satisfied by this meaty trial, I strongly suggest the Grill on the Market as a fine, solid, honest & simple English experience.

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