Smiths of Smithfield – Top Floor has steak and has London views towards St Paul’s Cathedral – together – in the one spot. Steakhouses and restaurants with views are on trend in London right now. The thing is that the steakhouses are Machiavellian-esque dungeons where a testosterone fug fills the air (or in one case, laydeez only). The restaurants with views are more about the view than, than… well, much else. Perhaps Duck & Waffle is an exception to that rule.
I’ve always known about Smiths, even have been there a few times. But, that was back in the day. I’d forgotten about it and I really wish I hadn’t had because the top floor is ideal for client lunches or team dinners. Let’s not mince about (see what I did there?) – Smiths Top Floor is seriously into its beef.
Chef Tony Moyse (who’s been there for 12 years) uses all English rare breed beef and all the meat is butchered in the kitchen – a dwindling skill these days for restaurants. The night we were there, Tony demonstrated his butchery talents by carving and sawing a side of beef breaking it down into heavenly looking cuts.
Dinner started started with a beef carpaccio and a tartar on the same plate. I like each in isolation so was curious about the combination. The carpaccio initially seemed flat, like a bresaola but evolved with each mouthful into a robust meaty flavour. The tartar had the mustard and caper sharpness just right, but I would have preferred the meat not so finely chopped and also each component of the dish on its own rather than combined.
Next was what could be described as mixed-grill. Platters of rump, sirloin and fillet were served medium-rare with both fat and skinny fries. Either of those fries with the accompanying pepper sauce were moorish and wonderfully distracting. Apparently there were also some “vegetables” – I missed those. The sirloin and fillet were tender as should be, the knife slipped through them without effort and the aged rare beef flavour predominant.
Understandably, the rump’s texture couldn’t match the sirloin or fillet. Whilst the flavour was deeper it was just too much hard work to eat. As Tony Moyse has said earlier, the rump is something that most chefs would choose for the flavour but the customers usually opt for the sirloin or fillet.
Thankfully, in a night to showcase the butchery and the beef, the dessert was beef free. A playful take on the Eton Mess called the Eton Tidy was a light and sweet accompaniment to the dishes but being “tidy” it lacked the childlike comfort found in the “mess”.
There may be better views in London now and there may even be better steakhouses, but Smiths of Smithfield’s Top Floor brings them together. Take your clients, sit on the terrace and enjoy London’s “day” of summer.
Smiths of Smithfield – 67-77 Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M 6HJ. Telephone 0207 251 7950.
We were guests of Smiths of Smithfield.