There are some restaurants that are always going to appeal to me and that’s usually somewhere serving meat. And lots of it. I’m also a sucker for a gorgeous, wood panelled dining room. Give me old over new anytime.
So, it was a given Simpsons in The Strand would be my cup of tea. It’s been on 100 The Strand since 1828. The dining room is big and grand and clad in aged oak. There’s a carving trolley serving roast beef and lamb every day. HEAVEN.
We start with a simple classic; potted shrimp and toast (£15). It’s a Kilner jar full of loveliness; tiny brown shrimp topped with mace butter, and plenty of it. The wedge of lemon is wrapped in muslin to catch the pips. It’s all so perfect.
More adventurous is hand dived scallops (£21) as they come with a deep-black charred scallop emulsion which has a strong scent of the sea. Match that with sweet cauliflower and curried raisons and it isn’t overbearing in the slightest.
The main event has to be that trolley. I go for 28 day dry aged roast rib of Scottish beef (£35) which is carved table-side. I’m served three slices of glorious meat, perfectly rare, although you can have it more well-done if that’s your thing.
It comes with beef fat roast potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding, which although giant hasn’t dried out, and sautéed savoy cabbage. A finer roast dinner you won’t find in London. And better still, you don’t have to wait till Sunday for it. Oh, and don’t forget to order a side of cauliflower and cheese (£6.50).
We’re treated to some slices of Welsh lamb, also from the trolley (£35) where you get loin, rump and fillet. A drizzle of gravy and a splattering of punchy mint sauce and it’s absolute perfection.
If, for some reason, you’re crazy and don’t do the trolley, the ‘Simpson’s Signatures’ section of the menu sees a beef wellington (£42) which won’t disappoint. The Buccleuch Estate beef is of mighty fine quality with just enough meaty flavour thanks to its 28 day dry ageing. The pastry is magnificent too.
The only downside to all that incredible food is we leave no room for pud, however tempting the Spotted Dick is. A reason to go back then as that was one of my highlight meals of 2018. But it was always going to be, wasn’t it?
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant