Gillray’s: Where you want to go for a great steak
Every good restaurant has something to be known for, a peculiar feature that makes you think “we should go there next weekend”.
Gillray’s is no exception: a prime position on the Thames with spectacular views over the Houses of Parliament, a beautiful design and a well-trained team of waiters – but above all, incredibly delicious meats.
The menu is comprehensive, with a selection of cuts ranging from the soft and juicy boneless fillet to the more textured and complex 600g T-bone steak. For those who are really hungry, there is also the 1kg Bull’s Head – which is not the head itself, but the restaurant’s flagship dish.
The Hand Chopped Steak Tartare, combined with capers and onions, was really sharp and tasty. The yolk was left lying on the top of the meat to be mixed at our own discretion and to guarantee freshness. On the other hand, the Surrey Duck Egg Salad, enriched with bacon, was surprisingly a little too ordinary considering its ingredients.
The 400g Prime Rib was tremendously gratifying, delivering four of the five characteristics that can make a masterpiece out of a steak: prime cut dry-aged (35 days), perfect temperature, juicy texture and salt flakes. The fifth missing element was the wood flavour, but it was astonishing meat nonetheless. A glass of Argentinean Malbec 2008 was a perfect pairing at a convenient price.
The Ladies Cut Fillet was more delicate and spicy; its tenderness could hardly disappoint. However, it may perhaps be a bit dull for the more adventurous diner.
Every steak comes with a selection of classic sauces including red wine & bone marrow, stilton steak butter and peppercorn.
The details offered with the mains and the side dishes are the additional elements that separate a great restaurant from a good one: the Truffle & Parmesan Chips are genius and the Baked Bone Marrow a pure delight. Dressings are single-dose: ketchup, mayonnaise and even Tabasco – classy.
It was hard to say no to a (proper, thus requiring 15 minutes) Warm Chocolate Pudding, with its intense chocolate flavour counterbalanced by the Oxford marmalade ice-cream. For those who enjoy wine with chocolate, there is also a good selection of port and sherry. However, overall, the wine list is quite uninspiring.
Gillray’s is surely a very nice environment to dine in, with a fantastic offer of steaks and delicious side dishes. When you book, make sure to ask for a river-view table; it will lift up the whole experience.
Filippo L’Astorina, The Editor
To book a table at Gillray’s Restaurant and Bar, London Marriott Hotel County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB, call 0207 902 8000 or enquire here.