MASH in Piccadilly Circus
In a sea of great London restaurants, MASH – a Modern American Steak House – is a big fish in a big pond, sitting proudly on Brewer Street under bright red awnings. We walked into the dark wood foyer and down two flights of stairs, where we were shown into the impressive 1920s-styled dining room and bar.
Before our meal we enjoyed a drink at the beautifully crafted bar. Our orders were concocted by a man who most definitely could not be called a bartender, rather a mixologist. After much swilling, straining and pouring I received my Lord of Dogtown, (a glorious grapefruit mimosa-esque drink) and my guest enjoyed her Boston Tea Party, (a perfectly balanced gin, quince and elderflower concoction). The sommelier came over to give us a hand with the titanic task of choosing a wine; we gave our preferences – red, young, fruity – and he gave us exactly that in a Californian Pinot Noir.
And then the food arrived: my guest chose to start with the creamy Foie Gras Terrine, accompanied by grilled sourdough and offset by tart, lightly dressed beetroot. I opted for the Fried Veal Sweetbreads, which were wonderfully meaty and crunchy and contrasted with the acidic pickled fennel and carrots.
After a trip to the meat fridge to see the different cuts, we couldn’t wait to taste the steak. We both went for a ribeye, mine the American IBP Prime Nebraska Bone-in Ribeye and my guest’s the Danish Dry Aged Long-bone Ribeye. Sides and sauces are an optional extra, and we ordered Fries and Bone Marrow along with a Pepper Sauce, a Thyme and Garlic Jus and a Béarnaise. But once the steak arrived we realised why all the sides are extras: the steaks are so good you don’t need anything else on the plate. Perfectly cooked, meltingly soft with just enough fat crisped up, they were outstanding. The sides were great too, when we remembered they were there: rich sauces and creamy béarnaise for dipping the fat crispy chips into and the gooey bone marrow with a crunchy topping all made for perfect companions.
Feeling rather full but no less determined by the time dessert came around, we opted for the Strawberries with Meringue and Vanilla Ice Cream – everything lovable about an Eton Mess but with a grown-up feel. The Deconstructed Chocolate Cake and Bourbon Ice Cream was chocolate sponge, bourbon ice cream, chocolate cream and mint coulis. Separately, the elements were delicious, but together they tasted better than any chocolate cake I have ever had, and whoever invented bourbon ice cream is nothing short of a genius.
Overall it was an excellent evening: the restaurant is beautiful, the food is honest and the staff are knowledgeable and attentive. Go for lunch or dinner on any day of the week but save a Sunday for their “No Corkage Sundays” and take a bottle of your favorite tipple. However you choose to enjoy MASH is irrelevant – either way you’re in for a treat.
To book a table at MASH, 77 Brewer Street, London W1F 9ZN, call 0207 734 2608 or visit the restaurant’s website here.