Monday, August 24, 2009

Goodman Restaurant, 26 Maddox Street

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.

Postscript: It appears I wasn't the only one to hit up Goodman for meaty treats this weekend: Other write ups here at LondonEater and Bellaphon.


Sara said...

Agreed that a steak house ought to have mac & cheese on the menu. Might I suggest dining-in and substituting that pricey cut of restaurant steak with an affordable cut from a local butcher? Personally, I'm a fan of in home fine-dining. This steak dish is one of my favourites, but I'm easily won by anything that's been topped with goat's cheese.

Great read, love your UK/US breakdown. laughed out loud.

Kang said...

Yes, it seems alot of us have converged on Goodman lately, you make a good point about the prices at Goodman which I have seemingly forgot to point out.

Ah, Hawksmoor still has loads of fans, and either restaurants are great for steaks.

Have you been to Maze Grill or Palm by the way? They serve USDA Primes as well, and are apparently also quite highly rated, I've yet to go to either, but Maze Grill is on my imminent list - they have a josper grill I'm told.

Hey its been a while since I last came to your site ( I read your work via newsgator on my iPhone) and I absolutely love the slick new theme. Very easy on the eyes and excellent photos where applicable too.

cookiecrumb said...

Morton's. {giggle} I can't even stand the way they fondle the raw meat, tidily bundled in its Saran Wrap condom. And when they get to the salad ingredients, I laugh out loud. I don't like them and they don't like me.
Glad you have a nice place. Cranky and I went out for hanger steaks last night, and were so glad to have an expert cook the meat. I'd bungle it. So it's worth it.

Helen said...

ooh interesting! I still haven't been as I can't afford it but I've seen reviews both good and bad for Goodman now. I would have said i was a Hawksmoor girl but then I've only been to Hawksmoor so it ain't surprising. A friend went here recently and proclaimed it better. I can't wait to go and see for myself.

Monkey Gland said...

Sara: Thanks!

Kang: Thanks for stopping by. Nope I've not tried Maze Grill or Palm but they are on the list after I've recovered from this meat fest.

Cookie: Yeah, the first time you see that table service you are so just waiting for the punchline...

Helen: It's not bad, I have to say it's bloody good and despite my preference for Hawksmoor, it's still one of the best steak houses in London. It kicks Gaucho's ass good and proper, that's for sure. Hope you enjoy it, I did!

Krista said...

Hah--guess where I ate on Friday...