After a bit of a pause over the past few months or so while I had a baby and have been trying to figure out this whole parenting thing, I think it’s about time I put up a new post! It therefore seems fitting that, after having had to endure over-cooked meat for eight months (the baby came early), my first post-partum post should be about steak, and pretty damn good steak at that!
Taking advantage of the fact that our little bundle of joy doesn’t yet understand what a routine is, we decided to bring him along on a date night to Macellaio RC on Northcote Road, thinking he would fall asleep on the walk there. He didn’t, but let’s not get into that.
Macellaio RC is a family of Italian restaurants (there are others in Fitzrovia, South Kensington, Exmouth Market, Union Street and Milan) that prides itself on its dry-aged beef, and quite rightly too. If you’ve ever walked along Clapham’s Northcote Road, you’ll have found it impossible not to ogle at the beautiful hunks of dry-aged meat hanging in the window. These are also displayed in a counter at the front of the restaurant, from where you can choose your preferred cut and weight, and then watch the chef trim it down for you.
The restaurant feels personal and welcoming, in the style of an Italian trattoria, with bare wooden tables huddled together and friendly service to match.
Since beef was the theme of the night, we started with a traditional steak tartare, another dish I had been deprived of all pregnancy. The beef came stacked on top of the capers, gherkins and onions, rather than being all mixed together, but it had a satisfying bite to it and a punchy flavour.
Who doesn’t love creamy, gooey cheese? The straciatella was utterly dreamy, drizzled in some seriously good olive oil. I could live off this dish alone.
The menu features an interesting selection of offal, including testicles, which we bypassed and went straight for the steak! In case the meat counter display doesn’t convince you of how seriously these guys take their meat, wait until your waiter brings you your knife, which is not placed delicately in front of you, but stabbed into the table! We were recommended to go for the rib-eye, so we followed recommendations and were served a beautiful 800g perfectly medium-rare steak. It was closer to rare than medium, and certainly the pinkest and juiciest steak I’ve had in the better part of a year! Its rich, dry-aged flavour came through nicely, as did the lovely char on the outside, therefore needing no sauces or anything adding. I am not ashamed to admit that I then picked up the bone and gnawed any remaining meat straight off it.
I was slightly disappointed by the hand-cut chips being nowhere near crispy enough, but what they lacked in texture they made up for in flavour. Meanwhile the garlic wilted spinach made us feel slightly less unhealthy!
On our first visit to Macellaio RC (for I do hope this will not be the last), we had to put the tiramisù to the test, so ignored all the other delicious sounding options on the menu. This version had crunchy biscuits running through it, contrasting against the creamy mascarpone, making it a little different to a traditional, soft tiramisù, but nonetheless a good one.
I have no doubt that Macellaio RC has a great wine list to complement its steaks, but it also does a £10 corkage charge to bring your own, which is great value if you choose, as we did, to bring along a very good bottle of grog.
Our bill came to £125 for the two of us, including one cocktail and corkage for our own bottle of wine. It’s therefore not a cheap dinner, but it was certainly worth every penny and, considering we don’t often get out for date nights these days, even more so!
124 Northcote Road
London SW11 6QU
Tel: 020 3848 4800
See website for other locations