Review: Steak Tartare With Cheese? It Shouldn't Work, But Hell It Does
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Head chef Matt Bishop looks mildly annoyed. Arriving at our table armed with mini saucepans of minced steak, smoked Applewood and pickled shallots, he's realised that not only have we already been served our steak tartare, we've wolfed it down like a pair of carnivorous piggies. Oops.
Soon, he's talking animatedly about how a mate of his saw the sacrilegious spiking of tartare with cheese, somewhere in the States. A kind of deconstructed, de-cooked cheese burger, we concur that it is ingenius. The dish itself might look like a steak tartare hurled at some poor sous chef by Gordon Ramsay, but man, it's good. Has anyone tried adding brie to caviar? Dairylea to Dover sole? Let's do that too. In the name of science, like.
Butler Wharf Chop House's Meat Up menu is dished up to us apace: devilled kidneys are cooked up delectably in fino sherry, mustard and spring onions, proving the dish has a place outside of PG Wodehouse novels; generous rivulets of bone marrow run off, to form fatty puddles on crisp slices of toast (very nice, although does anyone actually love, as in love, pure bone marrow, we'd like to know?)
We start to think that the slightly silly paper bibs we've decided not to wear are not because this is a particularly messy experience, but to counter spills from any laxity in our muscles, due to the biblical floods of wine. Far be it from us to complain about being plied with too much malbec. Let's just say we were both taken aback to find that the (excellent) Chateaubriand comes with not one, but two sizeable glasses of red. Look ma, I'm double-fisting in an upscale restaurant with views of Tower Bridge!
Bishop is back to talk us through the evening's coda, an antique pud resuscitated from cookbooks dating back as far as 1672. The 'pond pudding' is steamed with a whole lemon inside it, forming a tangy, marmaladey lining. Like the appetiser — indeed half the things on the menu — it's unexpected and unexpectedly delicious. And it's got meat in it. And comes with wine. Taxi.
Meat Up menu, Butler's Wharf Chop House, £150 for two people (inc. a LOT of wine)
Last Updated 16 May 2019