One of London’s worst kept secrets, Le Relais de Venise is a bit of an institution amongst steak ‘n’ fries lovers for a very simple reason.
They do really good steak at a really good price.
You don’t come for the decor.
To be honest the place feels like a somewhat-dated French café and has that same busy atmosphere as Paris’ local favourites.
You don’t come for the service.
It’s better than what you’d get from most grumpy French waiters though. In a efficient, to-the-point, almost transactional sort of way.
No, the only reason that keeps people queuing for both lunch and dinner is the quality of the food.
Now, if you don’t want salad, steak and fries, don’t go. That’s really all they serve at Le Relais de Venise.
The only thing you do get to choose is how you’d like your steak cooked: rare, medium or well done.
Though that last option is strongly frowned upon (sacrilège!)
You might also have to take your pick from the 10-something strong wine menu.
Featuring 3 reds, 3 whites, 1 rosé and some bubbly, all really quite good both in terms of taste & value for money, it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
And then that’s it.
All that’s left to do is sit back, relax and get your teeth sunk into the set menu.
First, Walnut salad with French mustard dressing and fresh baguette.
Followed by the pièce de résistance, Le Relais de Venise’s signature Steak-Frites.
Trimmed entrecôte steak, full of flavour and cooked beautifully, and drizzled with a generous amount of the ‘secret sauce’ (a herb-y, creamy concoction I’d swear contains sorrel) the place has become famous for since its Parisian early days.
And a mountain of fries.
Don’t be fooled by how small the portions might seem from the above pictures. It’s only the case because at Relais, they do that amazing thing of only serving you half a portion at a time, thus garanteeing you get to eat every single bite while it’s still warm!
The dessert menu is full of homemade French classics including brilliant Profiteroles (choux buns stuffed with vanilla ice cream and served with hot chocolate sauce), but on our last visit, we couldn’t resist the traditional Crème Brûlée.
Good food, great value (we paid about £60 for two including drinks and service) & no agonising menu-pondering choices to make, Le Relais de Venise is just the spot when you want to focus on the people you’re sharing the meal with, whether it’s for a date, a long-time-no-see reunion or a casual business meeting.
The only down side? It’s a strictly no-reservation business, but since the company will be top notch, a little bit of queuing should be not problem…
Le Relais de Venise, 120 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone, London W1U 2QG