My first visit to Heliot Restaurant inside the Hippodrome casino in Leicester Square was a rather disappointing one; service was great but the food left a lot to be desired. When I heard that the restaurant had been taken over by the One Group (they own STK at the Me Hotel) and re-named Heliot Steakhouse I thought it could only be a good thing. As I love a bit of beef, I’d have been stupid to turn down the invite by their PR to test out the new menu.
The dining room was very much the same as before; two fairly narrow balconies overlooking the casino with a soundtrack playing in the background that you might expect to hear at a wedding disco. But it was a comfortable place to sit and there was plenty to look at.
Some bread got things off to a great start; mini white baguettes and mini raisin rolls both served warm were devoured in seconds. The butter was seriously salty – I hate un-salted butter!
To start I opted for the six tempura fried oysters with homemade tartare sauce (£9). The tempura batter was light and grease free with a crisp exterior and the oysters remained plump and juicy. The tangy tartare sauce beneath them was particularly good.
My gentleman companion’s beef carpaccio with rocket, Parmesan and aged balsamic (£7.50) was great but we could have done with more of the beef as it was so delicious. The balsamic had been made into a sticky jelly type concoction and was most unusual but it really worked.
Mains really took things up a gear. I opted for the 500g rib on the bone (£28.50) which was absolutely divine. The majorly thick cut of meat was cooked perfectly medium rare as requested and was every bit as tender as I could have wished for. The little pot of bearnaise sauce (£1.95) was heavenly and the perfect accompaniment for the succulent beef.
My gentleman companion went for the surf and turf (£29.50) which featured a fillet steak, grilled prawns and scallops. The fillet steak (pre sliced) had a charred blackened exterior which encased soft, tender and very pink meat. The prawns were huge and cooked perfectly as were the scallops and both had a smoky flavour from the grill. Both mains were faultless in every single way – we loved everything about them!
We barely had room for sides but somehow managed to squeeze them in. Sautéed spinach (£3.50) was fine but lacked seasoning and could have done with some garlic or chilli. The house fries (£3.50) were great and served just how I like ’em; crispy with the odd soggy one and aggressively seasoned.
We couldn’t resist ordering the “Millionaire’s mac & cheese” (£12). It ain’t cheap but you certainly get a lot of truffle for your money; there’s shavings of the stuff on top and plenty of truffle oil inside too. The poached duck egg on top added to the cheesy goo-fest making this officially the richest side dish I’ve ever eaten!
For dessert, the hot chocolate pudding (£6) could have done with a splash of cream to offset all that rich chocolate sauce, however the sponge was nice and light. It was served alongside a mini milk bottle filled with a moreish chocolate milkshake which was a nice touch.
The English strawberry pavlova (£6) was mahoosive yet slipped down very easily as the meringue was so light. I never tire of a good pavlova and this was exactly that.
During our Monday night visit Heliot Steakhouse was quite empty which seemed a shame as the food was delicious and the service was absolutely faultless – it deserved to be busier. The quality of the meat and the cooking was spot on, which combined with the friendly service, made for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.