Friday, October 20The Voice of London

Miller & Carter: Restaurant Review

When the nights get longer and the temperature drops, there is nothing more satisfying than sitting back in an attractive looking steakhouse. With a rich inviting appearance and as part of a chain that dominates the UK’s dining market, Miller & Carter seems to be the answer to all steak fan’s cravings.

Words: Lyubomira Ivanova, Subeditor: Toni Hart, Photos: Lyubomira Ivanova 

Selection of Wines at Miller & Carter

It is a common thing in human nature, to do things which most of the time you are trying to avoid. Deciding to go for a dinner at a steakhouse, when the only meat I eat is fish was one of those decisions. Pleasantly surprised by the menu, which I quickly checked while we were waiting to be seated, Miller & Carter is to be trusted to fit different tastes.

The posh appearance of the venue, which to be honest is completely different to all other pubs and restaurants under M&B chain, takes me straight to Spain. Combined with the dimmed lighting and the shiny bull decorations and paintings which are all over the place, it’s hard to believe we haven’t stepped out of London. The place is more spacious than we expected and it was sparsely populated when we arrived, all of which means Londoners have good taste.

Encouraged by the waitress, who is overwhelmingly friendly, I order a large glass of white Verdelho Scribble (£6.30), which according to her is “one of the best Australian fruity, white wines”.

As always – I need extra time navigating the menu, so while we waited we were brought an iceberg wedge (£3.50) which goes with the bizarrely named “stilton and blue cheese”. Still unsure what stilton could be if not a blue cheese, I asked the waitress, who more than kindly explained it is was blue cheese dressing with a crumble cheese on top. Fabulous.

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Iceberg wedge with stilton and blue cheese 

Then followed a side of mixed salad, which had flat-leaf parsley and some house dressing sauce – all of which makes it even more comforting. Slightly sweet, with a little pot of their cumin salt which made the dish rich in flavour.

The side of chips are extra and what I particularly love about them is the way they are presented. They are brought out in a metal bucket and although quite simple, it is still inviting.

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Mixed leaf salad with flat-leaf parsley and side chips 

With a menu that has the most comprehensive list of steaks in town, it is quite hard for Mr P to forego the meat choices. They are just too good.

And yet most astonishing of all seems the 14oz rump steak (£14.50) with cracked peppercorn sauce, which apparently is the perfect accompaniment to any meaty meal. Either cooked on a grilled pan, or pan-fried the steak is rare, slightly unsalted and unfortunately almost cold. But I put down that to the fact I took some time with my choice and the waitress asked us if she needed to postpone my friend’s order so we can get our food at the same time. And yet grilled and glazed with a creamy garlic butter, it just melted in the mouth.

The onion loaf, which comes as a side to the steak is an interesting version of onion rings. Crispy and slightly sweet, they are nicely pressed in some kind of shape that makes them look weirdly attractive. A substance to go with the style.

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14oz rump steak with cracket pepercorn sauce and side onion loaf

Then follows the classic Tempura Beer Battered cod (£11.50) with some chips on the side, samphire tartare sauce and minted crushed peas. The cod is not as fascinating as it sounds when picked from the menu. There is some kind of floury taste, which is quite difficult to describe and I assume is due to the fact that they took out too early from the fry. The ratio of flour to beer is too high.

And yet the minted crushed peas are crème-de-la-crème. There is that kind of uplifting refreshment that breaks the deep-fried intensity of the rest of the plate. The side of chips, which I got with it were the classic skinny ones. Adding a bit of pepper, changed the whole taste.  

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Tempura Beer Battered cod with minted crushed peas, side chips and samphire tartare sauce

 And while desserts feel like an afterthought, we are already full enough to sample any more food. We didn’t come here for them in the first place, so we can go without the sweet thing.

While there was a little something missing, the food was absolutely bang on and we will definitely be paying them a second visit.The prices are more than affordable, not to mention that the service is on point; friendly and extremely polite. When we are given the receipt, nicely written in the bottom corner, I read: “Thank you, Zoe”.

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