"It’s nigh on impossible to spend any time in Farringdon and not pay a visit to Smiths of Smithfield"Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
It’s nigh on impossible to spend any time in Farringdon and not pay a visit to Smiths of Smithfield. The absolute behemoth of a space takes in four floors of food and drink and, following a recent refurbishment by new owners Young’s, each floor now offers a different unique experience including all-day and eatery, luxe cocktail bar, classic British grill and top end restaurant.
The Grill was the subject of this particular visit, a second floor space overlooking Smithfield market offering classic British dishes championing the best of British meat, a superb selection of which can be seen in the fridge. Diners can choose from a 28-day aged ribeye, fillet or sirloin, or if you’re down for sharing, Scotch chateaubriand, côte de boeuf or T-bone. Not for the fainthearted, a ultimate mixed grill features lamb chops, hanger steak, butcher's sausage, smoked pork loin steak, bone marrow, roast onion, grilled tomato, beef dripping chips, fried hen's egg and watercress - so far, so meaty.
Having said that, seafood was the name of the game to start as both myself and my guest chose the irresistible sounding seared Cornish scallops, with a sprinkling off crispy smoked bacon loin crumb - adding an extra dimension of crunch - smashed new season peas and a dreamy lobster sauce.
The fillet steak ordered medium, although packed with flavour, arrived medium well - possibly a misheard request, but given she on the other side of the table didn’t speak up until it was too late we’ll never know. The rosemary fries had all but a hint of the herb to them and while the apparently ‘Diane’ sauce was deemed a delicious accompaniment it seemed a far cry from a normal Diane, given it was a sticky, dark almost plum-flavoured accompaniment. Perhaps they have their own recipe. Perhaps the chef is confused about his sauces. Either way it was unexpected. A roasted nettle-crusted Hampshire lamb rack fared a better choice of main, tender and juicy with Jersey Royals and minted peas.
The sticky toffee pudding we chose for dessert didn’t offer all that much flavour, it almost tasted a little shop-bought, but the Snickers cheesecake special certainly made up for it. It was a dream of a dessert.
Despite it being a half-empty weeknight evening service was slow, putting a bit of a dampener on the meal. Whilst we weren’t screaming its praises from the rooftops and the steak undoubtedly would have been enjoyed more were it cooked less, The Grill will no doubt continue to lure in the punters; it’s got the planning of these Great British dishes nailed, it perhaps just needs a little chivvy along with the execution.
Laurel reviewed Smiths Of Smithfield on Mon 01 Oct 2018