Marco Pierre White's Steak & Alehouse

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East India House, London, United Kingdom

Marco Pierre White's Steak & Alehouse London Reviews

jhoc jhoc
66 reviews
An Expensive Alehouse Jan 10, 2011
Dubious of any restaurant containing a chef’s name but propelled by my love of steak and new venues I opted for a Saturday night meal at Marco Pierre White’s Steak and Alehouse in the City. For clarity he has a Chelsea establishment of the same name. Being A Saturday night in the City I was prepared for the calm that comes with the weekend in a place most people leave until Monday morning, but the restaurant was surprisingly full so do book ahead.

There isn’t much of an ambience as you walk down stairs to a well lit basement level dining room, a clothing rack on the left for your coats and a LCD TV on the wall above the tables displaying an animated fire burning. I went in January so apologies in advance for your disappointment if you come in the summer months and there is animated air conditioner. I was a little nervous at seeing this and the general emptiness at 7:30pm was some additional cause for concern. With my back to the fire I settled in, or at least tried. The problem was the red rubber sheet under my white table cloth. The material was so thick, rigid and heavy I was doing all I could to get my legs under without pushing the table over, a struggle that I was sure to lose.

The menu was spot on, simple and delivered on a rigid piece of A4 cardboard that has become synonymous with steak houses (for some reason?). What do they expect you to do with it when you’re done? Starters weren’t that interesting and with most running near £15 I opted for what turned out to be a mediocre French onion soup. The steak selection is what we’re after though. A standard 3 cuts ranging from 8-16 ounces is offered and topped off with a chateaubriand for 2 people to share. I went for the T-bone and was happy with the result. It was cooked to perfection and tender as you like so Marco is finally on the score board. Accompanying the steak is a half tomato and a fried mushroom along with béarnaise sauce which I also give high marks for as I like to see a little more than a piece of meat and a white plate for £30+.

Triple cooked chips are a must with any steak so we ticked that box with pleasure. The veggies were also cooked well and crisp which is an often overlooked quality of the side -another point or two there. My partner isn’t a red wine drinker so it was by the glass for me, but what a disappointment to find my top 2 (out of 5 options) were sold out. Note to Marco – people like drinking and will pay for it on a Saturday night, sort yourself off and get some stock in. After the mains were cleared the service level (which had been very good and attentive) seemed to drop off. After a 15 minute lull the A4 menu came out again and after another 10 minutes I managed to get the wine list (also on A4?) back. It never ceases to amaze me why desert wines and ports are on a separate menu that they are so reluctant to give back to you.

The final order was rice pudding. A rare choice but pulled off brilliantly and now recommended. At last we paid the bill and had to help ourselves at the coat rack to recover our items and climb out of the cellar. Overall it was a great steak, bland and pricey starters, good sides and good puddings. The service was good 80% of the time, which I’ve learned to accept for London and the ambience got negative marks. For an expensive restaurant they could do a bit more to elevate the experience or lower the prices a bit and keep serving good steaks. For my money I think the Hawksmoor or Goodmans has a little more to offer in this price range. That said, he does call it an Alehouse which I agree with, just happens to be the most expensive alehouse in London.
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