Food Articles

Butchers Tell Us Which Restaurants Serve The Best Steak

And how you can serve it yourself to juicy, flavoursome perfection.

Butchers Tell Us Where To Get The Best Steak 1

Struan from Provenance Butchers, Notting Hill

“I’d recommend Flat Iron in Covent Garden. They have an awesome, ever-changing, full-carcass specials menu and butcher everything on site, which is unusual. It shows that the chefs know what they’re doing. Or, if you’re looking for steak that’s a bit high-end and different, go to The Beagle in Hoxton. They fry everything on a wood grill, and the results are delicious.”

Common DIY steak fail: “Patience. It’s a virtue. You’ve got to let a steak rest after you’ve cooked it. Be generous, wait as long as it’s taken to cook. Then put it on a warm plate, but not too hot. If you have a medium temperature, something like 35 degrees, you’ll pick up a wider profile of flavours.”

Butchers Tell Us Where To Get The Best Steak

Jess from Turner & George, Angel

“It’s gotta be the Hawksmoor in Piccadilly. I previously found fillet steak to be a bit lean and tasteless, but their fillet is tender, beautifully cooked and oozing with flavour. Some restaurants mask the flavour of beef with a lot of sauce. I love that they try persuading you to not go for sauce, and to just let the steak speak for itself.  The Art Deco design and atmosphere is, like the service, amazing as well.”

Common DIY steak fail: “Always take the meat out of the fridge three to four hours before cooking. This brings it up to room temperature and allows it to cook evenly. People underestimate the importance of that.”

Butchers Tell Us Where To Get The Best Steak 4

Paul from Meat N16, Stoke Newington

“The best steak I’ve eaten this year so far was at The Don, St Swithins Lane. The meat was absolutely spectacular and, actually, not mega-expensive either. Another superb local restaurant I’ve been to recently is Trullo in Highbury. They cook a steak seriously well.”

Common DIY steak fail: “There’s a theory that, however you want it, a perfect steak always takes eight minutes. Rare would be a minute either side and let it rest for six minutes. Medium-rare, two minutes either side and four minutes rest. Well done, four on either. Another tip is so never salt the meat before the pan – it draws out the juices.”

Butchers Tell Us Where To Get The Best Steak 3

Andrei from The Ginger Pig, Marylebone

"If I want the best, I’ll head to either Hawksmoor or Jones Family Project. We supply both, and their chefs know exactly what they’re doing with our meat. You know you’re always going to get a perfectly cooked steak with lots of char on the outside and the meat deliciously pink and tender on the inside. Both restaurants also do mean sides – I fully recommend the truffled macaroni cheese at JFP. When you work around meat all day it’s nice to have some good side dish options.”

Common DIY steak fail:  “Always, always season your meat with salt crystals instead of table salt. There’s just no comparison. Oh, and if your griddle pan is hot enough, you shouldn’t need to use any oil at all.”

Butchers Tell Us Where To Get The Best Steak 2

John from Lidgates, Holland Park

“I’ve been working in the industry for forty years and have seen a fair number of steak restaurants come and go in this area. Buenos Aires is a properly authentic Argentine steakhouse in Chiswick - you wouldn’t catch Margaret Thatcher dead in it.”

Common DIY steak fail: “A little trick I have is wrapping it in tin foil the second it’s done. That really captures the flavour and makes sure the steak soaks up the juices before you eat it.”

Words and pictures by Gabriel Pogrund