Zelman Meats at Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols, 109 - 125 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RJ, United Kingdom

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This restaurant is part of the Goodman group, sister to the Soho restaurant of the same name, opening in Knightsbridge in mid 2016. The brand is a re-launch of the seafood restaurant Rex & Mariano, which struggled and was duly converted to a steak format in late 2015. This Zelman Meats branch is on the fifth floor of Harvey Nichols, tucked away near the wine section of the food hall. The simple décor features red leather seats, and a menu that, as the name suggests is mainly a showcase for meat. The latter is well sourced, from O’Shea butchers, with a range of steaks offered.

The menu offered a few starters, various steaks, some side dishes and a pair of desserts. There was a wine list with some quite prestigious labels, presumably aimed at the up-market Harvey Nichols clientele. Examples were Josepth Chromy Chardonnay 2014 at £45 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £20, Jean-Michel Gaunoux Meursault 2012 at £85 compared to its retail price of £37, and Col Solare Red 2011 at £130 for a bottle that will set you back £54 in a shop. Opus One 2012 was £400 for a wine whose current market price is £264.

To start with tuna tartare (£12) was generally pleasant enough, with avocado, soy and black sesame but it had some extremely hot red chillies, which lurked within the tartare like little bombs of searing spice. I am a fan of chilli but these were exceptionally hot, and they overwhelmed the other flavours (11/20). 

We had Aberdeen Angus rib eye from Scotland that had been aged for 45 days. The flavour of the meat was good, as well it might be at £60, but it was not as tender as it should have been, perhaps due to it being insufficiently rested. This was a pity since such an expensive piece of beef really demands more care and attention. This is tricky to score but perhaps 13/20 based on the flavour. On the side, triple cooked chips (£5.50) were fine, as was charred broccoli (£6.50) with anchovy, chilli and garlic butter.

There were just two desserts, and my companion had a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream. I sampled this and it was pleasant enough (12/20). Service was fine and the bill, with just a single glass of wine and a solitary dessert, came to £62 a head. If you indulged in a bottle of wine then a typical cost per head might be nearer £70 or so. This was a rather uneven meal, and at these prices the experience needs to be more consistent than it was.


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