Smiths of Smithfield is a sprawling affair spread over four storeys, at the north side of the old meat market. The ground floor is a bar, leading up to a more formal dining room on the top floor, which has a balcony looking over the rooftops of the market and surrounding area. Given the location it is hardly surprising that the speciality is high quality meat, and the menu carefully lists the various suppliers of steaks. I started with smoked eel served on a potato pancake flavoured with a little horseradish cream and garnished with a slice of pancetta. The eel was tasty and the potato pancake had pleasant texture (13/20).
The steak I opted for was Longhorn sirloin from Glen Fyne Meats in Argyll, the meat hung for 24 days. The steak itself was certainly of good quality, topped with a little horseradish sauce and accompanied by a plate of chips and a salad. The latter had good leaves and a pleasant dressing, but the chips could have been a lot crisper and lacked seasoning (overall 13/20, more for the meat, less for the chips). The wine list was very good, with wines from around the world featuring good producers at mark-ups that were not too greedy. Service was casual but friendly, and dishes came at a reasonable pace. This does not pretend to be a fancy restaurant, concentrating on good quality meat cooked correctly, and clearly serves what the local clientele want. On this Monday evening the place was packed. Starters are £8.50 - £11, main course steaks £25.50 - £28.50, with vegetables £3 extra.