So, it’s sort of inevitable that I’ll make some sort of comparison with Hawksmoor when talking about Goodman. As far as I am concerned Hawksmoor has been the best steak house in London for such a long time that any pretender to that crown is always going to have to go into a head to head, pound for pound steak based slug-fest with the champ. Now, to put this into perspective, I love Hawksmoor, I’ve celebrated a couple of birthdays there and had my stag do there and even been treated to dinner by Dos Hermanos, so it’s pretty entrenched in my affections.
So, when Goodman opened as a pretender, I was intrigued but felt like I was cheating on a long serving and much loved girlfriend with a flashier, ritzier, younger model. You know, I needn’t have worried. Goodman reminded me of Morton’s, the chain of steak houses in the US with the hilarious table service. The waiter approaches the table with the meat board, which is fine, but then proceeds to show what’s going to be in your salad, vegetable by vegetable, “Tonight, we have onion”, he then shows table an onion with a gesture akin to a magician revealing a chosen card. OK, they didn’t do that at Goodman, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if they had.
The place has Peter Luger aspirations, and that’s all good as far as I am concerned. Having their own aging room and imported USDA grain fed beef as well as UK and Australian grass fed beef is a good thing too. The staff are lovely, cheery sorts, so no complaints there and my baked New York cheesecake was delicious, as good as any I’d had in the US.
Three black marks against Goodman. When being told about the specials the waiter didn’t specify any prices and there wasn’t a specials board in eyeshot, so I assumed that the price of the steak I ordered would be something akin to the highest price quoted on the menu. It was an amazing piece of meat I was buying and I knew it wouldn’t come cheap. When the bill came and the steak was £50, I was annoyed. I probably would have still ordered it, but at least I would have been warned and accepted the consequences of my actions. It was a serious Porterhouse, beautifully cooked.
Second black mark, no macaroni cheese on the menu. A small thing I know, but, in the pound for pound battle of the steak houses important.
Three. The bar at Hawksmoor pounds the one at Goodman, like Ali demolishing Liston.
So, no, sorry, I don’t think it’s as good as Hawksmoor. It’s a slicker, more polished product and I really wanted to love it, but you know, in this case, I’ll be sticking with the old girl for a bit longer.