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Beast, West End, Epic Meal

Date Night with a Difference. My lovely wife and I don't do too badly really, we still go out to eat a fair bit either with Baby G who has his resolute favourites (sausage restaurant= The Electric Diner & Fish Restaurant = Kensington Place) or our plentiful family are always happy to babysit him so we can go out ourselves. When we do go out as a couple it tends to be to more intimate romantic restaurants such as Chez Patrick or La Poule au Pot. However despite our advancing years we do like to still go somewhere lively and fun, where showy food is matched by an equally showy atmosphere. Yet the drawback with mega West End restaurants is they tend to be one-visit show pony's aimed at the tourist market. Expensive, noisy and soulless. What we wanted was someone we trust to open somewhere fun. Well Goodman, our favourite steakhouse, did just that when they opened Beast on Chapel Place.

Entering into an office block and looking over at a giant bear it doesn't really strike you as much of a restaurant entrance but once you get to the lift you catch a reflection of the huge meat locker downstairs. Once downstairs you see it's aquatic counterpart full of huge Norwegian crabs. It's a restaurant that wants you to meet what you eat from the outset. You enter through the bar which eschews optics for huge distilling jars full of the house spirits. We are here on a Monday but it is really busy with others attracted like us by the Penfolds wine dinner. We have a couple of great cocktails and then are led through to the enormous dining room. It is set out like some sort of Oxford College dining hall. Long hardwood tables with benches to sit and wax stained candelabra for illumination. Because this is a shared experience you get to talk to other diners who are in similarly high spirits. It is a room that encourages fun and merriment. It reminds a little of Langan's Brasserie back in the day. This won't be for everyone but the crowd on Monday were in good cheer. It felt like we had walked into a particularly good party.

The food is from their no choice set menu though I believe they have a la carte lunchtime. You start off with a wheel of pungent parmesan chunks served with balsamic vinegar, olives and pickles. It is lovely, a really hearty appetizer. As this is the Penfolds dinner we have wine included in the menu. A couple of lovely Chardonnays to start. Then comes the show stopper, the whole king crab! At first it looks tricky to eat but it's actually easier than lobster. The meat itself is wow, again superior to lobster, not so rich with a lovely texture. It comes with a selection of braised veg which goes very well. However it a huge portion so when the bone in ribeye comes for us to share afterwards we are really too full to do it justice. The steak though is excellent and paired nicely with a good green salad and some smoked tomatoes. We take our time and enjoy the top draw Penfolds Shiraz selection they have poured for us before we stage a late rally for desert. This consists of us sharing a beautiful deconstructed cheesecake, a big hit with my lovely wife, whilst I went mad for a perfect lemon mousse which finishes off the meal nicely. Service is charming with lots of character. Around us everyone is having great fun. Our meal that night was £100 a head for the wine event but normally it's £75 a head for the Beast menu. Where you can do real damage is on the drinks, a toppy wine list will push most bills clear of a £100 a head. However this is a treat place and it is lots of fun. Post meal my lovely wife said they had got the name wrong instead of Beast it should have been called Feast, as it really was one!

Thursday, October 02, 2014
Overall rating
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 8

I need to go back here as it was a superb meal 

Barrica, Charlotte St, good tapas

One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, very nice upscale restaurant