With meat-loving Iranian blood running through my veins, I’ve always been partial to a hefty slab of sirloin, a good old English roast and even a cheeky kebab at a shameful hour of the morning (don’t judge me).
As much as I adore plant-based dishes, and at times even have the audacity to call myself a part time vegan, I cannot help but yearn for a marvellously meaty meal – yet when I do it has to be the very best. Here are my top three London restaurants for fussy carnivores with exquisite tastes.
For serious steak cravings
Residing in London’s chic New Quebec Street, the newly opened Boxcar Butcher & Grill is a modern, independent restaurant and butchery serving quality British produce hailing from the most notable farmers across the UK. Upon entering this minimalistic eatery, I marvelled at its sleek design before being escorted to my table and presented with a pleasing-to-the-eye menu. Diners can choose from a selection of tempting starters and mains, including black pudding scotch egg with apple sauce and 45-day-aged beef burger with smoked streaky bacon and Mayfield cheese. I hoovered down the silky smooth chicken liver parfait – served with a zingy apple and grape chutney and sourdough bread, whilst my fellow carnivore was enamoured with the beef brisket and lamb scrumpet with tartare sauce. We didn’t know what a lamb scrumpet was either, but trust us, you’ll be glad you went there.
For our mains, we both feasted on the North Yorkshire Galloway sirloin steak smothered in silky béarnaise sauce and fluffy triple cooked chips, which was perfectly complemented by seasonal sides including garlicky tender stem broccoli with chilli and crushed heritage
carrots seasoned with hearty wholegrain English mustard.
Heed our warning. Go with enough change to tip generously, and an empty tummy.
When you want to eat meat in luxurious surroundings
Some nights I just want to dress up, wear my highest heels and gorge on three courses of gourmet meaty joy. And this is exactly what I did at The Balcon – a swanky dining establishment, nestled in the heart of St James. Starters at this grade II listed building are a hearty affair. The rare breed beef brisket croquettes that arrived at our table were pleasingly plump, crispy on the outside and filled with meaty merriment.
A mini Welsh lamb Wellington was equally exciting and was served with a fresh pea puree and a girolle sauce. Steak-lovers can opt for the Longhorn beef sirloin, Belted Galloway beef fillet or the Dexter Ribeye – all hailing from emerald green pastures of Yorkshire. Crispy-skinned roast chicken residing on a glorious blob of smoked mash and pan fried place with green beens and salsa verde are also fine choices for those seeking a break from red meat.
I finished my feast off with a shamelessly opulent dark chocolate fondant, which appeared majestically alongside a glistening poached pear. My beloved fellow diner opted to end her fine dining experience with the Beillevaire French cheese board.
For the ultimate roast dinner
This quintessentially British restaurant is discreetly hidden away amongst the nooks and crannies of London’s famous Borough Market and is regularly frequented by all types of famished folk in search of meat-induced happiness.
Their enticing menu plays homage to the farmers, fishermen, growers and wine makers of the nation and features dishes made with responsibly sourced, sustainable British ingredients. Their Welsh beef Wellington with rosemary roast potatoes is a soul soothing plate of comfort food in its finest form and their steaks have always been the talk of London. As much as all these dishes were calling me, it was the roasted East Anglian chateaubriand with Yorkshire puddings and crispy-skinned roast potatoes that brought me extreme levels of joy, yet also sadly reminded me why I would always struggle at veganism.
The pineapple tart with spiced rum caramel and vanilla ice cream was the perfect end to such an extravagant meal, although I was also rather taken by the Paxton and Whitfield cheese board served with a tangy pear chutney.
Featured image: Roast