Cow + Pig Bromley – best Sunday roasts

How often does a Sunday roast really satisfy your desires? A really great roast takes time and effort to prepare. It’s tricky to get everything ready to serve at the same time – making sure the Yorkshire puddings are perfectly risen with a crispy shell that’s soft in the middle; that you got the best cut of beef and it’s pink and not over-cooked; that the roast spuds are crispy and not under-cooked, and that the veg is neither mush nor too raw.

All too often I’m disappointed with Sunday roasts served in pubs and restaurants that don’t live up to my expectations (nostalgic memories of mum’s perfect roasts, perhaps through rose-tinted glasses…) particularly if the cuts of meat used aren’t the best.

So for me, the thought of a good old Sunday roast is often better than what you get.

Our first visit to Cow + Pig was for Sunday lunch (well, all Sunday afternoon as it turned out) a few weeks ago. As the name implies, Cow + Pig specialises in meaty dishes and there are a lot to choose from.

We were warmly greeted and seated, and started with these cocktails (white lady @ £7 and whisky sour @ £8 from the cocktail menu here) while reading the wine list and menus:
– starters and grill menus
Sunday lunch
grazing lunch and dirty dogs
the rest, salads and sides
pudding and dessert wine
after-dinner drinks menu

For starters, we shared cheese + onion doughnuts @ £3.50 (six cave-matured cheddar and onion doughnut-shaped puffs with garlic mayo – so tasty, and lighter than you might expect) and gin salmon @ £7.50 (oak-smoked gin-cured salmon, pickled cucumber and brown bread – really good but surprisingly not as exciting as the cheese and onion doughuts).

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Cheddar and onion puffs – starter @ £3.50

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Oak-smoked, gin cured salmon – starter @ £7.50

At Cow + Pig every Sunday boasts the best roast.
This bold statement appears on the Sunday lunch menu, along with “all our meats are hand-picked, locally sourced and served with lovingly made week long gravy, Covent Garden vegetables, roasted potatoes and Yorkies your nan will be proud of.”

Can you resist?

It’s a thoughtfully crafted menu that is beautifully branded, lets you know that meats and produce are carefully and locally selected, and appeals to the reader’s desire for perfect food with direct questions such as: “why not try the best you can possibly get – a roasted 500g fillet steak served with all the trimmings @ £60 to share between two”.

Why not indeed? We could think of no good reason not to try the best you can possibly get. It was K’s birthday after all.

And so we ordered rare fillet steak (perfectly pink, melt in your mouth beef) with Yorkshire puddings (exceptional Yorkies, on a par with Plum + Spilt Milk or  Crocker’s Folly), mixed roast veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, squash), crispy roast potatoes with rosemary, cauliflower cheese and gravy (gorgeous).

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Sunday fillet steak for two – roast dinner @ £30 a head

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Fillet steak with gravy

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Cauliflower cheese

To accompany ‘the best’ Sunday lunch option, we chose – as a birthday treat – a bottle of Rioja Roda I Reserva @ £75.00.

This was all very pleasing, filling and relaxing. We were served by a few different people, most of whom were outstandingly helpful, friendly and chatty and came across as knowing the menus (both food and drink) inside out, and happy (proud, even) to be working here. Good.

The restaurant design is appealing, from the clean, simple Cow + Pig logo and clearly laid out menus, to the playful pictures and cow and pig themed furnishings (cow skin chairs and wooden pig decorations). Tables are arranged spaciously and with some privacy making it a comfortable place to eat leisurely and while away a few hours (we arrived slightly early for our 1pm reservation and didn’t leave until after 4.30pm).

Cow + Pig playful pictures
Branding and humour

We attempted a sharing platter of cheese and biscuits with tasty chutney. Cheeses included: Ellie’s goats cheese from Kent, Lord London from East Sussex, Mayfield Swiss style cheese from East Sussex, Winterdale shaw cheddar from Sevenoaks, Kentish blue (gorgeous), Lancashire bomb and Baron brie from Suffolk.

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Cheese and biscuits with chutney @ £12.00 to share

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Cheese selection – includes Baron brie, Kentish blue, Winterdale shaw cheddar

Cow + Pig birthday cake and cognac
‘Happy birthday’ and cognac

I’d brought some birthday cake and candles (see the LardButty homemade recipe for apple and cinnamon cake) which I’d slipped to our waitress earlier. She brought the lit cake out, and got a rendition of Happy birthday going. Others joined in. It seemed like nothing was too much trouble.

To prolong this enjoyable afternoon a bit more, we ordered Remy Martin XO cognacs @ £12 each and coffees. A birthday afternoon well spent.

When the bill arrived, something was missing. We questioned that we hadn’t been charged for something we’d had. Maybe I shouldn’t advertise this but it was such a nice gesture: we’d been given some complimentary drinks by way of a birthday treat and a thankyou. How nice, and unexpected, was that?

This is somewhere to come for a celebration and be assured you’re in safe hands, for a reliably good meal.

It’s also a great place to come even if you’re not celebrating and splashing out. For food of this high quality, it’s reasonably priced.


We were back just over a week later. On this mid-week evening visit, I had a Gentle Ocean Breeze alcohol-free cocktail @ £2.50 (absolutely gorgeous with cucumber and elderflower and other mystery ingredients left to the barman’s creativity).

We ordered these starters: cheese and onion doughnuts (K enjoyed them so much last time, he couldn’t venture to try anything different; and you get six rings for £3.50) and salt and peppered calamari @ £7.50 (again, a big portion).

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Salt + peppered calamari rings with garlic mayo @ £7.00

We shared a bottle of Les Puits Neuf Chateauneuf-du-Pape @ £35.00 (note that there’s a good choice of wines, starting from £14.00 a bottle) and, for main course, both had the Cow + Pig plate of meat – a hugely filling plate of seven meats, chips and slaw @ £18.00 a plate (if I have this again, I’ll skip the starter).

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Cow + Pig plate of meat – with chips and slaw @ £18.00
L-R (ish): Pork belly with crackling, black pudding, burnt ends, Orchard sausage, steak, lamb chop, beef in tomato ragu

We added half a grilled lobster with garlic butter @ £15, making it surf n turf and shared this.

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Half a grilled lobster @ £15.00

On this visit, we had a window seat under a canopy of twigs and leaves:

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Interior – bringing the outside in

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The cow theme extends to the furnishings

The verdict: Best Sunday roast I’ve had in a long time. Extensive menus with an interesting twist. Great service and reasonably priced. If you like great quality meat and are handy for Bromley, give this restaurant a try. It’s one of those rare occasions where a restaurant scores five out of five in the LardButty index.

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 5 / 5
– Type: British, steakhouse
– Address: 39 East St, Bromley
– Postcode: BR1 1QQ
– Tel: 020 8464 8877
– Nearest station: Bromley North
– Website + menus: Cow + Pig website
– Photos on flickr: Cow + Pig photos
– Location: Cow + Pig map

Cow & Pig Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Smith + Wollensky London – The Strand WC2

Smith & Wollensky opens first branch of restaurant chain outside USA – in London

 

Smith & Wollensky has opened on John Adam Street, just off The Strand in central London. Having enjoyed their steaks in New York, we were keen to give this new UK branch a try. My birthday was approaching and it just happened to coincide with an OpenTable promotion: prosecco, tomahawk steak, lobster and sides @ £35.00 per person.

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Cocktails at the bar

 

Arriving early, we had a leisurely cocktail at the bar. Service was attentive and my margarita @ £14.00 was made to my taste: not blended to slush with ice, and with a salt glass rim rather than sugar. K had an Old Fashioned @ £13.00. All good.

We were taken through the sumptuously decorated restaurant and downstairs to our table in the basement restaurant, where there was a business function going on in the bar area – busy with mostly male groomed suits and – we counted – two females.

 

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Basement restaurant

 

Perhaps foolishly – given we had a mountain of main course food coming – we ordered starters: crispy squid @ £9.00 and crab cake @ £18.00 (to accompany a glass of Prosecco each). The crab cake was particularly good.

 

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Signature jumbo lump crab cake

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Crispy salt + pepper squid with mango chilli sauce

 

 

For the main course – a sharing platter of 1kg of tomahawk steak and a whole lobster tail – we chose wild mushrooms and carrots as our two sides, all at £35.00 pp. Along with some French fries @ £4.00, and a bottle of Malbec @ £42.00. The steak was rare and tender in the middle and nicely charred on the outside. The lobster was served simply, with butter.

 

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This wasn’t a cut of steak I was familiar with but I’d have it again. Unsurprisingly, after sharing 1kg of meat, we were absolutely stuffed and thought we’d eaten all the best bits. Our waiter tried to tell us that the remaining burnt bits close to the bone were also good (a bit like burnt ends?) and somehow managed to cut off a load more. He was right, it was good. But we were defeated. Too full to even consider a doggy bag.

The verdict: Excellent cocktails and steak in a classy, elegant space (the footman on the door is a good indication of the level of style – bordering on stuffy). A whole host of serving staff looked after us during our meal – some better than others, and were quite full on (a continuous stream checking if everything was ok. It still was…). Somewhere to go for a special occasion when you’re after a bit of pomp.

 

 

 

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
– Type: Steakhouse, American
– Address: The Adelphi Building 1-11 John Adam Street, London
– Postcode: WC2N 6HT
– Nearest station: Charing Cross
– Website + menus: Smith & Wollensky website
– Photos on flickr: Smith & Wollensky pics
– Location: Smith & Wollensky map

Smith & Wollensky Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Greedy Cow – Mile End

Do you prefer your burger made from camel, kangaroo or wild boar, or simply Hereford beef?

If any of those are just your thing, the good news is you don’t have to travel to the southern hemisphere to get it; just as far south as Mile End, E3 to the Greedy Cow, an award winning steak house specialising in exotic meats.


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Award winning burgers @ Greedy Cow


We came here for Sunday lunch last week and all homed in on the Greedy Burger options. I had a Mexican chicken burger with sour cream, guacamole, salsa and jalapeno peppers @ £8.65 (nice n spicy) while K and T both had an American beef burger with dry cured bacon, mature Cheddar and avocado @ £8.65.


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Mexican chicken burger


Meaty specials on the daily specials board included Cote de Boeuf with chips and steak sauce @ £28.95 or an Iberico pork burger @ £8.95. There’s also a wide variety of salads and more on the appealing menu.


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Inside restaurant – cow furnishings


Service was really attentive – and as you can see from the coffee below – it’s all in the detail.


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Branded coffee – GC – finishing touches


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Banoffee pie


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Total bill for four and two kids


All good stuff: reasonably priced, generous portions, attentive service and comfortable cow-themed surroundings.

At the Greedy Cow, greedy is good.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: British, international
~ Address: 2 Grove Road, Mile End, London
~ Postcode: E3 5AX
~ Tel: 020 8983 3304
~ Nearest tube station: Mile End
~ Website + menus: Greedy Cow website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Greedy Cow food
~ facebook page: Greedy Cow facebook page
~ Location: Greedy Cow map


Greedy Cow on Urbanspoon



		

	

The Cattle Grid Steak House – BRANCH CLOSED

Battersea burgers

We were having a drink out in Battersea on Saturday night and decided on a whim to eat at The Cattle Grid Steak House. It was about 9pm and the restaurant was full and lively, yet we were lucky enough to squeeze in on a table for two that had just become available (I’d recommend booking ahead normally though).


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Cow-themed design – inside The Cattle Grid, Battersea


Both of us were torn between choosing a burger or steak so we ordered one of each, and shared. It turned out to be a great idea.

At £19.45, the 7oz fillet steak (the ‘best naturally reared beef, dry aged’ which we had cooked rare) came with hand-cut chips and watercress, while the stilton and flat mushroom beef burger (which we had cooked medium rare) was served on its own @ £8.50, so we ordered wilted spinach @ £3.75, a baked potato @ £3.25 and a side of goat’s cheese and beetroot @ £3.25 too, along with a bottle of Vendimia rioja Spanish red wine @ £21.50.


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7oz fillet steak – cooked rare, served with chips


The fillet steak was a quality piece of beef and was beautifully cooked – chargrilled on the outside and nicely pink in the middle but it was the burger that blew us away; it was absolutely sensational (also very pink in the middle).


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Stilton + mushroom beef burger – heaven


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Wilted spinach, beetroot + goat’s cheese – side dishes


Service was really speedy and attentive, despite all of the waiting staff running around like headless chickens. The total bill for two main courses (including vegetables/ sides) and a bottle of wine came to £66.30, which included service.


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And for those living in South West London, you can order a home delivery from The Cattle Grid (both food and drinks) through their partner delivery service, MyDeliveryCab.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: British, steak house, international
~ Address: 35-37 Battersea Rise, London
~ Postcode: SW11 1HG
~ Tel: 020 7228 4690
~ Nearest station: Clapham Junction
~ Website + menus: Cattle Grid website
~ Delivery ordering: My Delivery Cab site
~ Photos on flickr: images of Cattle Grid food
~ Location: Cattle Grid Battersea map


RELATED LINKS

More nearby dining (Battersea):

~ Banana Tree
~ Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak – Indonesian / SE Asian fusion, Lavender Hill
~ Noiya – Indian restaurant on Lavender Hill


Cattle Grid Steak House on Urbanspoon



		

	

LardButty in Berlin – The Bird

The Bird in Berlin – saving the best til last

This is the one we’ve been waiting for. The big one. Our last – and hopefully special – dinner out. A little piece of America in Berlin.

The Bird may not look like much from outside but don’t let that deter you. There’s a whole happy cavern overflowing with meat and beer awaiting inside…

 

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The Bird – outside dining on a chilly eve

 
Our table is reserved and waiting for us when we enter, but only for two hours. It’s a busy restaurant and we’ll be booted out when our time’s up, so we’d best crack on, starting with a round of dark köstritzer schwarzbiers (@ €3.50 per half litre) and an entertaining read.

It’s a good menu, short and specialised: the food is serious and the tone lighthearted:

 

At least try eating the damn burger with your hands. All you uptight people with forks and knives are driving us crazy. And for God’s sake don’t order your meat well done… menu cheekiness

 
It’s all about the meat – a variety of burgers and steaks (you choose the weight and how you’d like it cooked) with the best beef being imported from the States.

Because ‘bigger steaks are better’, the advice is not to order a thin, little steak each but to share a bigger – juicier and tastier – steak with others. Our waitress was super helpful and guided us on portion sizes.

 

IMG_6482 Chicken wings

 

We share sticky chicken wings – six pieces @ €4, and a da woiks burger, medium rare with Cheddar cheese @ €13 as starters. D’s been here before and enjoys sitting opposite us, watching our faces. We’re in raptures, mumbling things about “best chips ever…” and “seriously amazing burger…”. Chip miracle

 

How they’ve made them the *best* chips ever, I don’t know. They’re really well done with a slightly crispy outside but are perfectly soggy too. They look almost burnt. But they’re not, they taste amazing. It’s a miracle – a deep-fried potato miracle. That’s all there is to it.
 
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Köstritzer schwarzbier

 

IMG_6486b_FILLET 300g fillet steak with best ever chips and spinach

 

The joy of steaks
We share two steaks – both cooked medium rare – between the three of us: a 300g fillet steak @ €54 (it’s €18 per 100g) and a 500g New York strip @ €62.50 (it’s €12.50 per 100g).

 

IMG_6487 500g New York strip with best ever chips and salad

 

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Slices of fillet and New York strip steak

 

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Da Woiks burger Cheese (stilton), mushrooms + bacon with skin-on fries

 

For those who don’t mind the wait and crush at the bar, there’s an Angry Hour – buy one get one free on beer between 6 – 8pm (only at the bar). We preferred the chill-out, table-service option – full price being €7 a litre (that’s £5.85 for 1.8 pints, not bad).

The only *slightly* disappointing thing about this restaurant is the two hour turnaround on tables (it’s advisable to book ahead as it’s very busy, even on a Sunday evening). But as it says on the menu: …we ask for your patience and understanding. If you have none, please go elsewhere, this isn’t the place for self-important whiners The tone of the menu clearly gives you an idea of the kind of place it is: special yet not taking itself too seriously. It’s down-to-earth, with no pomp and ceremony, and is easy to feel at ease here.

Oh. Did I mention the best chips ever?

 

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The Bird re-visited – May 2016

 

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: American (in Germany)
~ Address: Am Falkplatz 5, 10435 Prenzlauer Berg
~ Tel: +49 (0)30 5105 3283
~ e: info@thebirdinberlin.com (or for reservations: thebirdreservations@gmail.com)
~ Nearest station: Schönhauser Allee -S and U
~ Website: The Bird in Berlin website
~ Menus: The Bird in Berlin menu
~ Photos on flickr: images of The Bird in Berlin
~ Location: The Bird map

 

RELATED LINKS
 

More Berlin dining:
 

~ Auszeit – good for brunch in a scenic spot
~ The Bird – simply the best chips ever + amazing meat. Go! what are you waiting for?
~ Makoto – great donburi at this Japanese noodle bar
~ Oranium – sausage-fest breakfast treats
~ Porta Nova – favolose Italian restaurant in Mitte
~ Volver – Spanish tapas restaurant
~ Zitrone – good brunch spot in Kreuzberg

 

Marco Pierre White’s King’s Road Steakhouse

Marco Pierre White’s King’s Road Steakhouse & Grill is a smart little restaurant on King’s Road, Chelsea.

Friendly, welcoming staff greeted us the moment we entered and showed us to a table on the mezzanine floor. Although it’s small, the open mezzanine and light painted walls give it a spacious feel. Walls are covered in entertaining political cartoons by JAK and the white leather seats are incredibly comfy.

I’ve seen lots of cheap deals advertised for this restaurant over the past year or so – so many, that it actually deterred me from wanting to eat here (I suspiciously wondered if there was something wrong with it). After a friend suggesting trying it out, we went last night. It was all-round excellent.

The beef served here is sourced from the UK and is truly excellent quality. We had rib-eye (a cut that’s “loaded with flavour and remains tender during cooking”) steaks – really tender and tasty, served with a portobello mushroom and béarnaise sauce, along with wilted spinach (£3.25) and triple cooked chips (£3.95) side dishes.

The beetroot and goats cheese starter tasted as fabulous as it looks:
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Beetroot + goats cheese starter with walnuts @ £8.50

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Rib-eye steak @ £22.50

Given it’s a celebrity chef’s restaurant, there was no pomp and ceremony. It wasn’t at all stuffy. And, was very reasonably priced (eg. good La Place Sauvignon Blanc @ £21.95). My only minor complaint is that it was far too hot up in the mezzanine area.

Watch out for deals for this restaurant on Lastminute, TopTable, Groupon, Living Social, etc.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: British
~ Address: 386 King’s Road, London
~ Postcode: SW3 5UZ
~ Tel: 020 7351 9997
~ Nearest tube stations: Fulham Broadway, Sloane Square
~ Website: King’s Road Steakhouse website
~ Location: King’s Road Steakhouse map

Kings Road Steakhouse & Grill on Urbanspoon

Smith + Wollensky – steak perfection, New York

Smith & Wollensky on Urbanspoon

“One of the most trafficked restaurants in New York and among the most celebrated steakhouses in the world” – so says Smith + Wollensky’s website.

I was delighted to eat here on this visit to New York (my attempt failed last time – unsurprisingly – with a vegetarian friend!). And even more delighted that it fulfilled my expectations after a three year build-up. Hopefully, the photo below (courtesy of theanorak) shows the quality of the steak cuts and preparation. Outstanding.

Lardbutty restaurant of the week: Smith & Wollensky
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Fillet and sirloin steak

While Smith & Wollensky might fall into the premium restaurant bracket, it feels very comfortably down to earth with it’s cosy bars and friendly, efficient service.

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Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: American / steak-house
~ Menu: Smith + Wollensky menus
~ Address: 797 Third Avenue, New York
~ Post/zip code: New York 10022
~ Website: Smith + Wollensky NYC website
~ Location: Smith + Wollensky NYC map