London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Grill on the Market


The area around Smithfield has always been associated with the legendary market where butchers and restaurants have sourced their meat for years. The surrounding area is home to many well-renowned restaurants specialising in steaks and grills, including Smiths of Smithfield and one of Gaucho’s outposts. We visited The Grill on the Market, which stands on the site of the old Smithfield Bar and Grill, another old carnivore-friendly site, and although the restaurant has had a modern facelift, the menu remains reassuringly similar. In this part of London the steak is king and the whole menu is built around it. Anything else would be heresy.

The front of the restaurant is home to a large bar area, which during our visit was packed with Christmas parties and a lively atmosphere. We took in the festive ambience with a drink at the bar while our table was prepared, giving us chance to appreciate the wide variety of beers available to whet our appetite.

We started off with some garlic rub bread while we perused the menu; two halves of lightly-toasted ciabatta with half a bulb of roasted garlic to smear across it (no vampires would be coming near us.) We then chose the Blackhouse sharing plate, consisting of fish cakes, salt and pepper chicken skewers, crispy calamari, and duck spring rolls. A personal highlight was the chicken skewer, moist and full of flavour and setting us up for a meaty main course.

When it came to mains, we felt it would be a crime to come to the Grill on the Market and not try the steak, so we opted for the rump: a chunky, well-marbled cut. As you’d expect from meat experts, the cooking was spot on, seared on the outside and ruby red and juicy in the middle. Combined with sides of French beans with shallots and garlic and chips, it was a classic meal done well. We also tucked into the seared yellow fin tuna loin marinaded in soy and ginger; the perfect alternative if red meat isn’t your thing. Don’t fill up too much on your main course though, the desserts here are equally as tempting. We rounded of our meal with a huge slab of red velvet cake and a rich, indulgent chocolate and black cherry torte.

Prices at The Grill on the Market are not extortionate and compare favourably with other steak restaurants in the area, but in January there will be even better value as Blackhouse members will receive 50% off the food bill. Available between 2 – 31 January, all you need to do is go to, register your details and await your discount card. Simple.  And with excellent service and food, we’ll certainly be back.

2-3 West Smithfield, EC1A 9JX

Average price of main course: £16.50
Average price of glass of wine: £6.50
Food and drink: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Service: 5/5


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