It had been a long time since I’d seen my friend Rob, and luckily he was in town so we did what we always do and picked a place to gorge ourselves silly. This time, we selected Macellaio RC which I’m told means “the butcher” in Italian. It’s definitely an apt name as the front window is a dry aging cabinet and the first thing you see when you walk in is a display of meat and a butcher going to town on a beautiful forerib. Yep, the steaks are butchered to order and that display pretty much sums up what you are in for.
Food: ★★★★★ Service: ★★★★★ Atmosphere: ★★★★☆ Value: ★★★★☆ Overall: ★★★★☆
There isn’t a bar to speak of so you are better off looking for somewhere nearby to catch up for a drink. Janis’s bar (quite an odd place but enjoyable nonetheless) is halfway between South Ken tube station and Macellaio which puts it as a solid contender but there are plenty of places to choose from.
What to eat?
Meat! Glorious meat! The menu is very very very meat heavy so don’t bring your salad-loving friends here. In fact, the framed review over our table by Marina O’Loughlin had in the tag line “Up yours, veggies!” which is a fair, if not PC, assessment.
We started with the Italian version of steak tartare. The difference between this and the traditional French version is largely in the flavouring with the Italian being quite delicate and highlighting the flavour of the meat while I find the French style to be quite more potent with the spiciness of the horseradish. The meat (from cows in Italy nonetheless) had a beautiful slightly grassy flavour and I devoured every last crumb of beef.
For our main, we opted to share a 800g “Costata” beef rib which is where we went wrong. It wasn’t the choice of the rib (it was cooked absolutely perfectly with a seared dark crust yet with an interior of the most arousing shade of red) but rather our mistake was in thinking a mere 800g would be enough. I could have easily taken down the whole thing alone – it was that good – and I’m aiming to go back for a larger slice next time.
I can’t think of words that could describe the intensity yet delicate nature of each bite. Quite simply, it was the best steak I’ve ever eaten in London and quite possibly ever at all (Wolfgang’s in NY poses a challenge with its ribeye). I’m sorry Becky, there may actually be two loves in my life now.
The wine list is extensive and very Italian. Luckily, the sommelier is a very engaged Italian who is happy to give some recommendations and pour a few tasters to make sure you end up with a wine that makes you happy. A large number of wines can be ordered by the glass or 500ml carafe if a full bottle seems a bit daunting.
We ended up with a wine called “Terre” which was full bodied and slightly spicy – great pairing with the meat without overpowering it. I wish I had a picture of the bottle but sadly we opted for a carafe (it was a Sunday night after all) so I didn’t get a chance.
Worth the dosh?
Yes. It’s not a cheap meal but relative to other steakhouses in London (ie Goodman, Hawksmoor, MASH, Smith & Wollensky) it’s a bit cheaper. The beef rib rang in at £54/kg so our meal (including a couple of sides) and wine came up to £111 together or say £55pp. That’s not too bad for a filling and spankingly good meal.
They’ve just opened a location in Bermondsey with a 50% soft launch offer so get over there soon!