Thursday, February 18, 2010

In With The Inn Crowd


Vistors to London! When was the last time you went to an Aberdeen Steak House? Londoners! Why aren't you supporting your local Angus Steak House?

There's probably a reason. They're old-fashioned, touristy and therefore invisible. But you don't knwo what you're missing.

A few years ago I was working around the corner from one on the Strand. Of course we mocked it endlessly but we'd never, ever been there. So one day we decided we would.

Visually it was of course as you'd imagine: plush red velveteen booths, a separate bar area, all dark black wood and subtle lighting - and completely empty. But what a menu! It was so thiuck I'd thought we'd been given War & Peace with a slightly greasy cover.

However, if all you're after is a good steak and chips, peas, grilled tomatoes, crispy onion rings and whatever else goes with it then you've come to the right place.

I have to say, it's magnificent.

We went a few years ago to one in Shaftsbury Avenue before we went on a work trip to the theatre. It was such an out-of-towners thing to do, all we needed was to pay a visit to Gamages and watch the changing of the guard and it would have been like a day out in 1971. If only.

Anyway, it didn't disappoint. The menu's still as extensive. I'm sure I heard the chain was getting a modern makeover, but I think this would be a terrible mistake. Like Pizza Express you know what you're going to get and you know it's going to be okay. Why meddle? It's not a patch on those American ones like Ruth's Chris Steak House (whatever that actually means), but would you want it to be?

There's a huge nostalgia element to it. When I was younger we only ate out as a family about once a year, and that was at the Berni Inn. We weren't in with the in crowd; we were in with the Berni Inn crowd. It's not like today where families are out all the time. Sometimes there was the British Home Stores cafeteria if we were shopping in Southampton on a Saturday, and once we even had a Chinese takeaway. But the yearly trip to the Schooner Inn or the steak house was the thing. Criss-crossed griddle patterns and a ring of pineapple - you can't beat it.

But thesedays, hold the pineapple. Pineapple with meat is one the most gruesome combinations since Jordan and Alex Reid.

Anyway, who's hungry?

17 comments:

Ishouldbeworking said...

Blimey! I love a good steak, but I've never been to an Aberdeen steak house. There was one in down here until recently and it always looked pitch-dark inside, which put me off. Though I like the idea of a booth.

Five-Centres said...

I love a booth. It makes life so much more interesting.

Valentine Suicide said...

I'm in one of those booths in Soho, and it's very enjoyable.

We decided to try one of those in the West End a few years back, and I recall the meal as being fairly dire..

Dan Worth said...

Spot on. Took my bro to one for his 21st. Awesome nosh. Friends gave me a funny look when I told them but I don't care. We dined like kings!

Also, yes, PizzaExpress is great as guarenteed good level of service. Love to support independents but often shoddy service and poor quality food. Whaddya gonna choose?

Clair said...

Have you been to one of those Gaucho steak places? Ok food, but served in almost pitch black that you could be eating a tin of Kit-e-Kat and not notice.

Five-Centres said...

What I remember about the Gaucho place wasn't so much the darkness as the proliferation of animal skins. It was like eating your dinner in an abbatoir.

Mondo said...

I think the boom for steak houses was to do with a generation raised on rationing, powdered egg and wringing their pet chicken's necks, finally having money in their pockets and indulging themselves in 'fancy' food(read the same for Elvis and burgers)..

We almost went to the Leicester Square Aberdeen last month after a trip to The Beatles to Bowie expo. It seemed the right thing to do - but the prices put us off.

Luckily we're blessed with Wimpy Bars in Southend and I regularly take my two tots along..although 'lime milkshakes' are off the menu now

Suzy Norman said...

Ever ventured into Scotch Steak House?

Five-Centres said...

Aren't they all basically the same, Suzy?

Suzy Norman said...

My friend's Mum took us to one, probably Scotch, when we were about 16. I remember she was a bit overwhelmed by the London crowds, had a panic attack halfway during the meal and had to steady herself against the wall on the pavement outside. Strange afternoon.

Clair said...

I want someone to bring back The Golden Egg. Who doesn't like a nice omelette and some proper chips?

Anonymous said...

Someone deleted a variety of links from cobrashare and uploading ...

From now, we will use www.tinyurlalternative.com as our main [url=http://www.tinyurlalternative.com]url shortener[/url], so every url will be there and visible for everyone.

You can choose from many great [url=http://kfc.ms]short url[/url] names like:

kfc.ms easysharelink.info jumpme.info megauploadlink.info megavideolink.info mygamelink.info myrapidsharelink.info mytorrentlink.info myurlshortener.com mywarezlink.info urlredirect.info urlshrinker.info weblinkshortener.com youtubelink.info and many others.

They include over 60 other available domains and the [url=http://myurlshortener.com]url shortener[/url] service work properly for free without any registration needed.

So we assume it is good idea and propose you to use [url=http://urlredirect.info]url redirect[/url] service too!

Thank you.

Five-Centres said...

I agree Clair. Can't you start a campaign in your paper? And while you're at it, bring back luncheon vouchers to spend there.

BPP said...

I can't think of anyone but Londoners who would mock a restaurant chain mercilessly. Did you scoff and snort and guffaw?

Five-Centres said...

No we didn't. We loved it. It probably is only Londoners who do this though. Do they actually have restaurants outside of London, BPP?

Matthew Rudd said...

"The president had the steak and strawberry special and a cherry bee."

BPP said...

I think they opened a Chinese restaurant in Dewsbury once, FC, but the locals burnt it down thinking it was an instrument of the devil.

Labels