The King is dead, Long Live the King. Like just about anyone who went I loved Rex & Mariano the superb fish restaurant on St Annes court. The food was great, the ipad ordering fun and it was a great spot to have lunch. However not enough people went and the good people from Goodman shut it and re-opened it after a speedy refit as Zelman Meats. To tell you the truth I was a bit sceptical as there are a lot of hispterish BBQ places in town now of varying quality. A lot of them talk the talk but inevitably end up being disappointing & expensive. It's quite telling that long standing chain Bodeans is still very much the yardstick which many don't measure up to. Having said that I know the Goodman people are first class restaurateurs and can make the most unlikely concepts work. What they have done with Zelman Meats is dress up the existing site with some comfy booths, dimmed lighting and more Hoxton feel. The menu concentrates on meat in particular 3 cuts of beef, slow cooked beef short ribs, sirloin steak and the South American rump cut Picanha. Sides incorporate some of the old Rex & Mariano favourites such as oysters & the lovely red prawns along with some nice new veggie options like grilled courgette with mint & feta. As you can imagine it is seriously good and really very reasonable.
However for me what gives it it's character is the fact Misha Zelman the co-owner of Goodmans has really got involved and on the occasions I've been has been cooking and serving daily specials to the impressed punters. The first time I went with my lovely wife we just stuck to the main menu items as we felt the 1kg bone in ribeye he was carving up might be a bit heavy before we went to see the Brand New Heavies. When I subsequently went back with my carnivorous brother and his rugby mate we went for the standard dishes as well as the smoked slow cooked rib of beef Misha was serving up. It was superb. The roasting juices gave the whole dish a different dimension. This was the bountiful, beautiful meat experience you have so often been promised in London but usually fails to materialise. Off the main menu despite loving the smoked beef ribs the star of the show is the picanha, it melts in the mouth and the little bit of fat gives it such tremendous flavour.
The meal with my lovely wife with a fair amount of booze came to about £45 a head. The meal with brother with much more food and booze was £70 a pop but absolutely worth every penny. What I also liked is that they are open on a Sunday where they offer up the traditional Sunday lunch with either the sirloin or Picanha and all the trimmings. We took my mum and Baby G who absolutely loved it. He had an adults portion of sirloin and destroyed it! The ever affable Dave Strauss, Goodman GM, was astounded by the appetite of my 5 year old! Every time I've been in it's been busy with a fun happy atmosphere. I'm really pleased that they have got the site working for them. It's nice to see a restaurant where the great food is getting the punters in rather than the usual twitter and blogger hype. We all may miss Rex & Mariano which I'm told may re-appear elsewhere but Zelman Meats is a stonking successor.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 9
I go here loads it is consistently good. If you get the chance try and go a night when Misha Zelman is cooking. He's a lovely chap and the specials he does are amazing.