Meat. It may be murder for Morrissey but for much of the population the red stuff remains a culinary treat. And while bacon and sausages have their merits, there is no doubt that the prime choice for the cultivated carnivore will always be steak.
Since 2000, ‘Smiths’ of Smithfield has been serving Londoners some of the choicest cuts in the capital. Working only with British farmers and Smithfield Market – the largest meat market in the UK – Smiths is a surefire guarantee of high-quality cow. So the fact another branch has recently opened in Cannon Street should be a source of celebration in the City.
The menu is more diverse than one might imagine, offering fish, duck breast, and even a couple of vegetarian options. Starters are a strong point: the seared scallops are embraced by a rich cauliflower purée, their softness beautifully complemented by the salty bacon and warming black pudding.
But, let’s face it, you come to Smiths for the grills. Your options range from aged rib-eye to a 1kg T-bone of rare-breed Colchester beef. We opted for the sharing 28-day aged tomahawk, also from Colchester, divided into strips on the chopping board. It’s sensational – full of flavour. And there’s enough of it to prevent any potential disputes developing with one’s dining companion.
The sides also serve you well: crispy chips, generous portions of creamed spinach and garlic field mushrooms. This is one of those meals that causes belts to be loosened and trouser buttons to be undone as you sprawl in the chair, awash in post-consumption bliss.
One of the enjoyable aspects of dining at Smiths is the restaurant gets busier as the evening wears on. There is a lovely sense of life – and friends – coming together as the room fills up, and the second glass of wine becomes the third. Meat – with extra meet on the side.
99 Cannon St, EC4N 5AE; 020 7251 7950; smithsofsmithfield.co.uk