Marco Pierre White’s Steak and Alehouse, Bishopsgate, London

Delectable dessert of Sticky Toffee Pudding

Delectable dessert of Sticky Toffee Pudding

Set Menu:

  • Location: Marco Pierre White Steak and Alehouse, East India House, 109-117 Middlesex Street, London, E1 7JF (nearest tube station is Liverpool Street)
  • Date of Visit: Thursday 29th November 2012
  • Time of Table: 6.45pm
  • Deal Bought From: Living Social
  • Deal Price: £49 for Two
  • Dinner Companion: My fiancé Dan

Getting More for your Money?

This dinner deal includes:

  • Three Course Meal from the Olympic Menu
  • Champagne Cocktail each
  • For Two people
Atmospheric dim lighting and reflected candlelight

Atmospheric dim lighting and reflected candlelight

What we ate…

Katie:

  • Starter: Potted Duck with Green Peppercorns
  • Main: 8oz Ribeye Steak with Grilled Mushroom, Tomato and Sauce Bearnaise
  • Side: Triple Cooked Chips and Crispy Onion Rings (not included)
  • Dessert: Cambridge Burnt Cream

Dan:

  • Starter: Potted Duck with Green Peppercorns
  • Main: 8oz Ribeye Steak with Grilled Mushroom, Tomato and Sauce Bearnaise
  • Side: Triple Cooked Chips and Crispy Onion Rings (not included)
  • Dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding

What we drank…

  • Raspberry Fizz Champagne Cocktail
  • Fruit Fizz Champagne Cocktail
  • Small glass of New Zealand 2010 / 2011 Hawkes Bay Rose, Trinity Hill – not included in offer
  • Pint of Bombardier Beer – not included in offer
  • Cappuccino – not included in offer
Can't beat a Champagne Cocktail arrival...

Can’t beat a Champagne Cocktail arrival…

What did we think?

With the name of a renowned celebrity chef dangling like a carrot in front of a yearning donkey, once again I couldn’t resist getting my hands on an offer for one of Marco Pierre White’s fantastically professional restaurants – this time in his original Steakhouse, situated just five minutes from the central hub of Liverpool Street station.  No gaudy entrance way here – if you didn’t know the address it would be all too easy to waltz on straight past, but the sophisticated domed black awning above a set of descending cream stairs discreetly highlight your dinner destination. Walking in, you can’t help but be bowled over by the easy going and comfortable atmosphere yet there is still that swish London class that seems to ooze from the magnificently mirrored walls and sociable buzz. On further inspection, it is actually quite a small space, but how they have arranged the room makes it seem vast, and you don’t feel crowded in at all, which is fantastic for a romantic tete a tete.

Cosy round tables enhanced the sociable scene

Cosy round tables enhanced the sociable scene

I really believed that a great deal of thought had actually gone into the arrangement of the tables, and to be honest, it was really quite unique. Most of the tables were circular and even the tables for two situated along the side wall were also large and round with two comfortable wooden chairs sitting next to each other.  The great thing about this is that you were kind of next to each other and kind of opposite, which created a really intimate atmosphere, whilst also providing plenty of space for side dishes and drinks without getting in each other’s way. It may sound daft to be so impressed with the way the tables are laid out, but I feel that it enhanced our dining experience. The old fashioned decor had a twist of sleek modernity, with mounted flat screen televisions displaying flickering fireplaces.

Quirky duck starter

Quirky duck starter

We kicked off with the first item on our offer, a luxurious champagne cocktail each. I opted for the Raspberry Fizz, indulging in my favourite summer berry flavours with a delightful bubble of the champagne. Dan went for the refreshing Fruit Fizz which packed a passion fruit punch that was really vibrant and bright in taste. We both went for the same starter however of the potted duck and we were both equally baffled by its appearance! Hidden under two thin slivers of sweet gherkin was the duck, which was the consistency of tinned tuna for example, but it had the delicious taste of pate, studded with the husky strength of the green peppercorns. It was served with a long, incredibly thin cracker that was like a Melba toast and added a really nice crunch when you dolloped the duck on top. We also tucked in to the bread basket which consisted of two slices of brown bread which I took care of and two of sesame seed white, which Dan dealt with. The bread was equally delicious with the duck and even though I don’t usually eat gherkins, I actually loved the sweetness with the rest of the starter.

Steak and sides - a perfect sight

Steak and sides – a perfect sight

We had finished off our cocktails by this point so were on to our next round of drinks – me with my traditional rose, this time a lovely New Zealand one that was zingy and refreshing, although steeply priced at £8 for a small glass. Dan went for a pint of Bombardier, which has got to be the smoothest beer I have ever sampled. When our mains arrived, we couldn’t help but lick our lips at the tantalising classic British dish. We both went for the ribeye steak (who wouldn’t when in a steakhouse?) and as a dedicated carnivore I can say that it was the best steak I have ever eaten. I had mine medium rare and it was divine – some steaks when cooked medium rare come up so chewy so it takes years to cut and digest, but this beautiful slab of pure beef cut like butter and was so flavourful with very simple, natural meaty taste. The meat wasn’t overworked in any way, and was complimented by a traditional grilled tomato and mushroom and a completely dunk-able sauce bernaise, that had a tasty chive hit. We shared two sides with our steaks, going for the triple cooked chips, that had the shape of wedges, a perfectly fluffy inside but a super crispy crunchy outside, making them stunning with the meat. We also had the crispy onion rings, which were coated in a light rustic batter and were absolutely massive as well. Equally delicious and with plenty between the two of us, our mains were the ideal size. Even though it doesn’t look like much when it’s placed in front of you, once you get stuck in, it’s so filling yet manageable to get through the lot!

We still had one course left in our repertoire from the offer and this was the one that left me torn between traditional old fashioned desserts. I fancied the warm rice pudding and the Cambridge burnt cream, which I had guessed to be a crème brulee. Dan convinced me to sample the crème brulee which I did with gusto, snapping the thin caramel layer on top of the vanilla custard with my spoon. The topping was so light and crunchy while the mousse-like custard was so tasty. Dan went for the sticky toffee pudding with a blob of cream on top.

Indulging in my dessert

Indulging in my dessert

To finish my meal I had my usual cappuccino that came with two small square minty chocolates.  The cappuccino was quaintly presented with a scattering of chocolate over the frothed milk. After a brown sugar lump it was perfect and the ideal conclusion.

Making a second reservation? Definitely. The offer that we used was a great deal in my mind – we paid £49 originally and then another £34 when we were there which overall I don’t think was that bad considering the incredibly high level of cooking and the standard of the food.  I also loved the environment and the space of the restaurant – its layout and presentation was really great. The central location is also a massive plus point as Liverpool Street is just half hour from where we live in Essex, and is one of easiest places for us to get to in London. The food was superb, the staff polite and conscientious and the evening on the whole was truly brilliant.

The Dinner Dates Opinion:

“Going out in London for dinner is out of my normal comfort zone – I’m usually a Harvester / prefer a takeaway kinda guy.  My nerves about the menu looked to be justified while looking at the starters.  Nothing I had eaten before or would normally choose.  It turned out this was a good thing, prompting me to go for the potted duck with green peppercorns. When it arrived it was not what I had expected and so I was eyeing up the bread and butter on the table but after being brave I got stuck in and actually liked it. It went very well with the cracker provided and also the bread and butter.

A concluding coffee

A concluding coffee

The rest of the menu looked more familiar. I went for the steak and shared triple cooked chips and onion rings with Katie. The chips were amazing; crunchy yet soft inside. I’m not a big fan of having blood in steak or it being too red, so I usually have it well done. This usually means it’s hard, chewy and not very juicy.  This steak was the exception. It was cooked to perfection – soft and tender while still cooked well. I boldly stated it was the best steak I’d ever had and I enjoyed every mouthful.

I had a little room left for desert and had the sticky toffee pudding.  It was very rich and came with a big dollop of clotted cream which I had hoped was ice cream. It was very bold and although didn’t look big on the plate it was a decent size portion.

The restaurant had a great atmosphere and very customer friendly staff.  Being someone who is not very into trains it’s in a great location with only a few minutes’ walk from Liverpool street station. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening and am actually looking forward to eating in London again.”

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