Macellaio RC, Bankside

Even though most of the recipes I post on this blog happen to be vegetarian/vegan (thank my laziness and love of vegetables for that), I do love a good steak.

Preferably one that’s been seared to rare, smokey perfection by a pro (aka. not me).

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

In my quest of London’s best, I had heard much praise about the Macellaio RC ‘butchery with tables’ mini group.

Many of my Italian friends had named it as their favourite restaurant in London. No small fate.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

In true Italian spirit, Macellaio RC is all about simple dishes made incredible through a dedication to the excellence of Italian produce.

In the franchise founder’s own words, “Macellaio Roberto Costa […] aspires to be a praise to the animal, but above all to the work of the artisan farmers that devote their lives to this passionate world”.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

The restaurants themselves, set up as modern, welcoming, warm Italian trattoria, mirrors this objective.

With brick wall, wooden accents, a myriade of trinkets reflecting the diversity of Italian crafts, big windows looking into the ‘meat room’, an open-air Ligurian bakery and a stage dedicated to butchery and carving, the Union Street restaurant looks like a dining theatre dedicated to the cult of good food.

Wanting to make the most of it all, we went for a bit of everything…

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Starting with salami and house-made, cloud-like focaccia, drenched in super fruity olive oil.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

And a couple of glasses of good Italian wine, of course!

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

We then tried Macellaio RC Union Street’s specialty – the pissa.

A form of pizza originating from 15th century Genova, the pissa dough is made from very strong flour and risen at cold temperature for 60 to 90 hours, resulting in a super crispy thin crust.

Topped with just a smearing of cream, it’s the perfect little nibble before moving onto the main event.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

The meat!

Being a greedy little French girl, I couldn’t resist the tartare.

Served very simply with Tuscan extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, it allows the quality of the Fassona breed beef to shine.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

But the true star of the show – Macellaio signature Fiorentina T-Bone steak.

Aged for 6-8 weeks, butchered and grilled in house and served with fluffy triple-cooked chips, it’s a meat lover’s dream come true.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Cooked to perfection, with crispy fat on the edges and deep, smokey-umami flavours…

The rumors were true – London’s best steak is at Macellaio’s!

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

After that beast of a meal, you might be tempted to skip pudding.

Don’t. Get the basil panna cotta. It’s light and fresh, wonky in all the right ways and an absolute must-try.

Be-leaf me!

Macellaio RC Union Street, Arch 24, 229 Union Street, London SE1 0LR

What else to do/see/eat in Bankside?

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside

Exploring London’s Bankside

Padella Pasta

Autumn cocktails at TwoRuba

I dinned as a guest of the restaurant for this visit.

Macellaio RC, Bankside

Bar + Block

In London, steak is a rare medium well-done. Especially when you’re on a budget.

Or at least it was that way until Bar + Block opened its doors.

Bar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Nestled right behing Kings Cross station, Bar + Block has everything it needs to satisfying meat-craving travellers on a budget.

Bar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky Bar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + WhiskyBar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + WhiskyBar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

There’s a big bar, natural, red leather, wood & copper-led decoration and plenty of big, comfy booths to host your steak party.

Bar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + WhiskyBar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + WhiskyBar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

There’s also meaty popcorn & nicely crafted, very reasonably priced cocktails.

And if that’s not every traveller’s dream, I really don’t know what is.

Bar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Though I’m sure the American inspired small plates come not far behind…

Bar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

There’s plenty to choose from, but make sure you don’t miss out on the mac ‘n’ cheese bites.

Especially grate when dunked into Bar + Block signature tangy n’ spicy Fiery Black Sauce!

Bar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

For the main event, there’s only one way to go – steak.

Once again, there’s a lot to choose from, but the signature ‘spiral cuts’ are the best.

Bar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Unless you include the sweet potato fries with corizo, feta & coriander, that is!

Bar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

All topped up with Asian coleslaw for your daily vitamin intake…

Bar + Block • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

…and this chocolate-y, brownie-y, toffee-y churros-topped wonder because every day, even the most tedious of Mondays, should feel like Sundae!

No need to wait for the weekend though – with reasonable pricing (especially considering the gigantic portion sizes), convenient location and friendly, efficient service, next time your friends are grilling you, you know where to take them!

Bar + Block, 26-30 York Way, Kings Cross, London N1 9AA

More restaurants near Kings Cross

Roti King ❤❤❤

Dishoom

Bar + Block

The Grill on the Market

As much as I love plant-based food, there are times when only steak will do.

And when the craving strikes, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than at The Grill on the Market.

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + WhiskyThe Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Located just opposite the iconic Smithfields market, The Grill on the Market is a modern steakhouse in all its brick-and-red-leather glory.

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

The week’s special cuts are on display at the back.

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

While behind the bar, there’s a whole different sort of display on…

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

The sort of display awaiting the touch of an artist to turn into incredible cocktails.

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Starting with a fresh n’ tangy Rhubarb Sling (Rhubarb syrup, Tanqueray, lemon, rhubarb liqueur, soda) each.

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

The perfect pairing for the Mediterranean-inspired salmon tartare.

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + WhiskyThe Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Fresh and clean, with the added creaminess of the hidden, perfectly poached quail egg and a touch of crème fraiche on the top…

Offishally delicious!

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Though not quite as good as the Cauliflower Cheese Souffle with Thermidor glaze and pickled red cabbage.

Pure indulgence.

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + WhiskyThe Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

And then to the main event – Australian Chateaubriand fillet.

A beautiful, house dry-aged piece of meat, grilled to blushing pink perfection and served with all the trimmings.

And extra bearnaise sauce for fries-dunking because OBVIOUSLY!

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

The pud’ menu is short but filled with classics: apple pie, chocolate pot, bakewell tart, mess, lemon posset…

All the usual suspects, but with a few twists along the way.

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

The sticky toffee pudding might be the most classic of the lot, but it is much lighter than you’d expect.

Perfect if you’ve already over-indulged!

The Grill on the Market • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Or you could skip pudding altogether and go for a rich & oak-y Port in a Storm instead.

Anything but a pour decision (especially if you take advantage of the excellent 2-for-1 cocktail offer), the Grill on the Market is one of those rare place for well done (and well priced!) steak in London.

Perfect for any time the steaks are high!

The Grill on the Market, 2-3 West Smithfield, London EC1A 9JX Book your table here

More special occasion restaurants in London

The Palomar

The Balcon at Sofitel

The Cinnamon Club

The Grill on the Market

Le Relais de Venise, Marylebone

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.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

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.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

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.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

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!)

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

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.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

And then that’s it.

All that’s left to do is sit back, relax and get your teeth sunk into the set menu.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

First, Walnut salad with French mustard dressing and fresh baguette.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

Followed by the pièce de résistance, Le Relais de Venise’s signature Steak-Frites.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

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.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

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!

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + WhiskyLe Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + WhiskyLe Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

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.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote review | Cake + Whisky

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 Venise120 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone, London W1U 2QG

Le Relais de Venise, Marylebone

7 best London restaurants for Father’s Day

I’ve never been Daddy’s little girl but I’ll still take any opportunity to spoil my parents. After all, it’s only fair after all they’ve done and are still doing for me.

Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to treat the most important man in your life (sorry BF…).

There are billions of ways you can do that of course, but my favourite way to say thank you is with a nice meal out…

 

1. You can’t go wrong with a classic: Sunday roast at Pig & Butcher

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

A local favourite for all things British and nose-to-tail, The Pig & Butcher is Islington’s hot spot when it comes to Sunday roast and the perfect place to indulge in dad’s Sunday fave (and maybe a Bloody Mary or two…).

The Pig & Butcher, 80 Liverpool Rd, London N1 0QD

Menus + bookings

2. Too much month left at the end of the money? £10 steak at Flat Iron

Flat Iron | Best London restaurants for Father's Day | Cake + Whisky

Treating dad needn’t cost an arm and leg (+ steak dinner’s a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to spoiling the old man) and Flat Iron £10 steak ticks all the boxes: juicy steak cooked to perfection, for less money that you’d pay for pizza and a free ice cream cone to top it all… what more could you possibly want?

Flat Iron, several London locations

More info

3. Personalised Pies at Mr Fogg’s Tavern

Mr Fogg's Tavern | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Mr Fogg’s Tavern’s award-winning pies are becoming personal for Father’s Day. The Victorian inspired Pub, Gin Parlour and Salon in Covent Garden will be offering exclusive personalized pies for Dad. Perfect to make it a Father’s Day to remember!

Mr Fogg’s Tavern, 58 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4EA

Mr Fogg's Tavern | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Bookings + Personalised pie orders

4. Have your pie & eat it too: Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum

Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Credit Photo: Hot and Chilli

The Athenaeum Gentlemen’s afternoon tea was designed with those who prefer savoury to sweet treats in mind. Think wild boar sausage rolls, mini steak and ale pies, cheddar and bacon scones… and single malt scotch from the whisky menu!

The Athenaeum, 116 Piccadilly, London W1J 7BJ

More info, menu + bookings

5. Football extravaganza at Bar Kick

Bar Kick | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Credit Photo: Paul Winch-Furness

Does your dad live & breathe for the Euros football competition right now? Then he’ll love Bar Kick. Not only do they show live football, but there’s also table football tables, an extensive beer menu and a reasonably-priced Euros-inspired menu! The best place to cheer on Euros 2016-host France on Father’s Day!

Bar Kick, 127 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JE

More info + bookings

6. Father’s Day Il Porco Feast at Bunga Bunga

Il Porco by House of Peroni and Bunga Bunga 8

This Father’s Day, spend your dough on Dad at Battersea’s hit Italian-inspired restaurant, bar and karaoke joint Bunga Bunga. On Sunday, 19th June enjoy Il Porco, one of London’s most authentic Italian hog roasts with all the trimmings. Grab your knife and pork this Father’s Day and tuck in!

Bunga Bunga, 37 Battersea Bridge Road, London SW11 3BA

More info + bookings

7. Dad likes the finest things in life? Whisky + chocolate masterclass at Bart’s

Bart's Chocolate + Whisky Masterclass | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Celebrate the day with Dad by sampling top notch whiskies from around the globe and indulge in specialty chocolate pairings from Chelsea’s hidden cocktail bar Barts. Barts’ world-class bar team will provide guests with an hour and a half of tip top tuition about the fine art of whiskey and chocolate pairing, talking through the tasting notes of each variety of whiskey and explaining in detail how each distinctly pairs with the rich flavours of the chocolate.

Barts, Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Avenue, London SW3 3DW

More info + bookings

 

How are you treating your dad this Father’s Day? Any fun plans?

7 best London restaurants for Father’s Day

Tasting the world at Riverside Kingston

We’re just about to slip into the weekend.

Friday’s finally here, the finish line is in sight.

The end of a long week, deserves a little celebration, don’t you think?

And when London is sunny, there only place I want to be is by the River.

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Here’s my advice: head to Waterloo station, jump on a train to Kingston and go straight for Riverside Walk.

Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

Hidden away by the river, Riverside Walk is the most dreamy of food destinations.

Amazing views of the river? Tick

Fantastic food choices? Tick

Even better cocktails? Tick, tick, tick!

Comptoir Libanais at Riverside Kingston | Cake + WhiskyRiverside Walk Kingston | Cake + Whisky

From traditional French cuisine to generous British-style brunch and mouth-watering Thai small plates, the range of restaurants cover a variety of cuisine from around the world to suit every taste and budget.

And if you simply can’t pick, there’s always the option of taking a trip around the world, restaurant-crawl style.

Which is just what we did.

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Starting at CAU for a taste of Argentina’s finest.

CAU at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

Paprika chicken & yellow pepper anticuchos skewers

CAU at Riverside Kingston | Cake + WhiskyCAU at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

Beef short rib & salsa verde

CAU at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

All nibbled on while soaking up the last of the day’s sunshine and sipping on ice-cold Grapefruit spritz.

But soon enough, the wanderlust got the best of us.

Comptoir Libanais at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

Just a few steps and we emerged in an atmosphere worthy of Marrakech’s most colourful souks at Comptoir Libanais.

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With colourful crockery and rows of spices as far as the eye can see…

Comptoir Libanais at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

Bowls full of vibrant pickles.

Comptoir Libanais at Riverside Kingston | Cake + WhiskyComptoir Libanais at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

And the most mouth-watering selection of sweet treats!

But my favourite thing at Comptoir Libanais is always the mezze.

Comptoir Libanais at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

A real feast of small dishes meant to be shared with the ones you love most!

Comptoir Libanais at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

We all digged in hungry!

Comptoir Libanais at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

Over-ordering absolutely compulsory!

A meal at Comptoir Libanais will always contribute signicantly to your 5-a-day, so there’s no need to falafel about it!

Comptoir Libanais at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky Comptoir Libanais at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

After picking up a few pantry treats (… I can see harissa prawns in my near future!), we made our way down the River for our last pit stop of the evening, Cote Brasserie.

Cote Brasserie at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

Because nobody does dessert quite like the French.

(ok, I might be a bit skewed on this one…)

Cote Brasserie at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

But then look at this perfect Crème Caramel!

Surely it prooves I have a point…

Cote Brasserie at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

Thick, creamy and perfectly balanced,I dare you to find anything better to linger over with your favourite people…

Cote Brasserie at Riverside Kingston | Cake + WhiskyCote Brasserie at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

… and one last glass of wine.

And what a wine indeed! A Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois (Domaine de Barroubio 2012) and one of the most sumptuous sweet wine I’ve had in a long time.

Cote Brasserie at Riverside Kingston | Cake + Whisky

The perfect (food) companions as you make plans for the next time you go around the world, restaurant-crawl style.

After all, there are still a few more restaurants on the sunny Riverside stretch for you to try…

Weekend plans? Sorted.

 

Find Riverside Walk here

Tasting the world at Riverside Kingston