Have you ever dined at a butcher shop? I did yesterday, and I loved it.
At 7PM on the dot – which meant a frantic Uber journey to get there on time – I met with my friend Foodstinct aka my gay boyfriend at Hill & Szrok on Broadway market, a posh butcher by day, that at 6PM shuts-up shop and by 7pm is transformed into an old school cookshop. The central marble worktop becomes a shared dining table, stalls are lined up against the wall counters, and 25 covers are ready for evening service.
The head chef Alex Szrok, ex The Eagle (Farringdon) refreshes his menu every day with unfussy and honest meat based specials. The free-range and grass fed meat is sourced by his butcher business partner Richardson Hill from small English farms and comes as whole carcasses, that are carved up on site in the basement of the shop.
Foodstinct and I spent the first few minutes catching up and sipping a glass of Italian Barbera (£6) – or maybe 2, but in my defence the wine glasses are tiny, and if you dine there you are probably better off ordering a whole bottle – whilst trying to decipher the menu of the day displayed with an impossible hand writing on the board. We ordered some Tuscan salami (£6) as a little starter, which was very finely sliced and served with some – sadly almost fridge cold – sourdough bread.
Then our main arrives, a melt in your mouth Chateaubriand steak (£35), the center section of the beef tenderloin, served with a spicy and peppery mustard sauce, ordered with some fresh and crunchy blood orange and celery salad (£3), a very creamy bubble and squeak made of leeks and potatoes (£3) and some roast broccoli served with a bread and anchovy crumb (£3).
I am not a big fan of cheesecakes, apart from key lime pie, because I find them too sweet and rich, and I was convinced I wasn’t going to like the only dessert they had on the menu, Vanilla cheesecake (£4). But I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was a fluffy 3 layered affair, a crunchy buttery biscuit base, a light vanilla cheese layer, topped with a firm baked sour cream.
My dinner last night in two words: deeply satisfying. Go! Or maybe don’t go, so that I can still walk in and enjoy my dinner without queuing in the cold.