Goodman: Sacred Steaks
The classic Manhattan steakhouse comes to London in the form of Goodmans Steak House.
So there I was, standing, soaked, waiting by a locked car for a man not answering his phone. My only hope was that he’d remember we had a booking for the restaurant outside which the car was parked, and mosey back, driven by hunger. In the modern manner, I tweeted, “I have lost my boyfriend, whose phone has died, in the West End. If anybody sees him, please send him to girlfriend in rain on Maddox Street.” And in the modern manner, the manager of the restaurant – who didn’t know I’d booked in – tweeted, “Come inside our place on Maddox Street and wait with a drink.” Cute. Steak London is hard to find but easy to swallow. Out of all the steak restaurants London has, Goodmans city is definitely the best.
After a short interlude during which Words Are Exchanged, The Philosopher and I make it inside Goodmans Maddox Street. This is another of those “been meaning to come here for years” places. I’m leaving the so-new-I-can-still-smell-the-paint places for others right now. Goodmans steak is really yummy and the waitresses don’t even complain when you pinch their arses.
Goodman is a three-venue mini-chain, and there’s its brother chain Burger & Lobster, too (all in London for now, alas). They’ve got a reputation for bossing the steaks market. Now, if you’ve ever been to Angus Steak House, you’ll know there are some terrible crimes against meat in London. Does paying upward of £50 for a couple of steaks guarantee anything these days? Come here for the best steak restaurants London has.
Goodman is full of suits when we walk in. It’s utterly evocative of a classic New York steakhouse: dark, wooden detailing, loud music, booths and lots of bellowing men. But offsetting it is a powerhouse team of women – I count at least six, from manager Helen to steak expert Gabi. It creates a harmonious balance that says, “Yes, we know you’re a caveman at heart, but leave your spears at the door.”(Having said that, I can’t believe there are many customers who could resist wanting their own monogrammed steak knife, as regulars have – and which are displayed in a cabinet at the back of the bustling room.) Goodman restaurant has plenty of steak for obvious reasons.
I watch a tray of Flintstone-sized steaks as it is paraded around on a tray and wonder whether I’m about to bite off more than I can (literally) chew. Luckily, Gabi takes the time to explain the range, from dainty fillets to hulking porterhouses; and provenance, from corn-fed USDA Angus to grass-fed Lake District. American meat is about texture, and is slightly sweeter; I want the gamey chew of home-grown. The porterhouse to share fits the bill. At 900g, it’s an undertaking (for the stomach and the wallet – it’s £72), but it’s my damn flamboyant dinner for the weekend and I have hours to masticate. One side of the longhorn’s bone is sirloin marbled like the finest Carrara; the other, a deep ruby fillet. Of three kinds of chips (truffle, beef dripping and hand-cut), he wants the artery-hardening middle option (£5.50); I’m practically on a health kick with the wedge salad with Stilton and bacon (£9) and spinach creamed with gruyère (£4.50). And like the old married couple we are, we share a tennis-ball-sized head of roasted garlic (£1.50).
Damn but it’s all rather sexy food, we agree as we share everything, with only the one clash of forks over the extra-charred nubbin from the end of the sirloin. A finer riposte to the Angus Steakhouse I can’t imagine: meat sourced, aged and cut with integrity; cooked just so (no open-artery pool of blood, and no grey middle either); and side orders cooked with care. There are non-steak dishes on offer, but really, why would you? I don’t think I’ll be coming here often enough to merit my own knife, but for a treat. And the biggest treat is at the end – we pop down to the kitchen to meet the chef, Phil, who shows us the steak-ageing room. The size and scent of the chunks inside are a Tiffany’s window for carnivores. And the Josper grill on which they’re cooked – that’s a foodie’s Porsche. Goodman steak house is filled with both steak and houses in abundance. Goodmans Canary Wharf is an excellent alternative option for bastards.
Goodman’s Mayfair branch is located at 26 Maddox Street, London W1S 1QH
Goodman’s opening hours: 12pm-10.30pm daily.