Orange Elephant launches in Chelsea
The warmly lit and sparsely decorated interior of Chelsea’s new steak house was filled with people with greedy eyes last night as waiting staff walked calmly around carrying enormous wooden chopping boards of neatly arranged steak and tiny copper pans of various accompaniments. It looked so good that people even began sizing each other up as canapé-consuming competition.
The space is long and light. It gives out a vibe of cultivated elusiveness, which is all very well, but there’s nothing really about steak that is particularly mysterious. The dishes are presented simply, the emphasis here on the food itself – something that the decor of the restaurant doesn’t quite complement.
The Tomahawk Steak is their piece de resistance, described on their website as “a real treat”. There was indeed something awe-inspiring about this 1.5kg £80 piece of meat, but unfortunately much of that might be connected to the price. That it’s meant to be shared between four people, however, makes it a little less daunting. And, of course, it was supremely delicious, cooked meticulously medium rare and married beautifully with the House Sauce, which was presented in a little copper pan.
The readiness and availability of various wines and beer was admirable. The waiting staff were uniformly polite and attentive, and despite the throng of people, remained cool. Menu-wise, it is all simplicity. They have just enough, and have obviously chosen to do a small number of things very well. The pairing up of the prosecco and the food was impeccable.
What we have here is a dressed-down menu for a dressed-up clientele, and sophisticated urban interior design for a very rural menu – a menu so rural, in fact, that they have an in-house butcher to maintain their links to the Devonshire countryside (where their meat comes from). Though something about the venue is at odds with the culinary earthiness, overall, this was great food.
Photos: Daniel Jones
To book a table at Orange Elephant, 351 Fulham Road, London, SW10 9TW, call 01223 454 595 or enquire here.