"Steaks that take up half the table"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
One of the advantages of the dining scene of a capital city is the sheer variety of restaurants available to the customer, not just in terms of cuisine, but regarding the experience offered. London has restaurants that are super posh, where your napkin will be refolded every time you move, that are cheap and cheerful, where you can spend 20 minutes filling up on a bowl of noodles, and that are oh so hip it hurts, where one look at the clientele may take you back to puberty when you were the only kid without a date/Valentine’s card/bicycle.
Then sometimes, only an unassuming venue will fit the bill, one that serves decent food - not award-winning or innovative, but simply good - and that will leave you feeling content without having the urge to start a food blog that very evening. Sometimes you need a neutral sort of place, where you might want to have a difficult conversation, or just eat undisturbed by people and things. And in the case of Comedor Grill & Bar on Upper Street, one where you can tuck into an enormous piece of beef weighing in at 700g for a mere £18.
Latin food is hot right now, and Comedor has dishes from various South American cuisines on the menu. Their take on ceviche daintily places diced pollack next to a chunk of boiled corn and sweet potato, the latter adding a pleasant sweet flavour to the sharp leche de tigre. A wonderfully stodgy goat’s cheese empanada oozes melted cheese out of crispy golden breadcrumbs. Grilled meats are their speciality, so we try the mixed grill; chicken breast is tender and has been rubbed in spice, leg of lamb and rump steak are good too, but the chorizo has the odd gristly bit.
Beef is sourced from Smithfield Market, and the churrasco – the cut mentioned above – is essentially a Porterhouse steak, but without the bone. It has a great flavour, with a nice chargrilled coating, topped with the vinegar and parsley-based chimichurri sauce. It takes up almost half the table, but the boyfriend polishes it off with glee.
Yucca chips are nice and crispy, but aioli and huancaina (chilli and cottage cheese) sauces are surprisingly mild, and the plantain is a little too soggy for our liking. A passion fruit cheesecake is perfectly adequate, neatly summing up the restaurant. A three course meal (with very generous servings) for two with wine is roughly £80.
Leila reviewed Comedor Grill & Bar on Fri 31 Aug 2012