THE POPESEYE – PUTNEY

The Hype20130111_230259

Relatively unknown (except amongst steak fiends) pair of family-run scottish steakhouses in Putney and Olympia. The vibe is no frills, and the menu is unbelievably basic: you can order whatever you like as long as it’s steak, chips, salad and red wine.

The Food20130111_210603

I have never encountered a menu in any restaurant that brings me as much joy as this one. The only options are rump, sirloin or fillet in 6, 8, 12, 20 or 30 ounces. Chips are compulsory, salad is optional. My date contemplated a 12 ouncer but quickly shifted to 20 upon receipt of a suitably withering look (there’s no point me even pretending to be ladylike when it comes to steak). When the food arrived it looked amazing. A big metal bowl of hot, perfectly crisp and fluffy chips, a simple refreshing salad lightly dressed, and two mouth-watering pieces of meat (we had a sirloin and a fillet). Dinner is accompanied by a huge tray of sauces and mustards. Most importantly, given our previous poor steak experience, the meat was absolutely delicious and cooked perfectly.

There are no starters (not even bread), but they do some great homemade desserts (if you still have space) and my clovey apple crumble was a nice way to round off the meal.

The Drink20130111_210557

Like the food menu, the wine list is red, red or red wine from a small selection of countries on a simple single A4 page. Those in the know (I went previously with my steak club) tell me it’s a really good list with a number of the £30ish bottles retailing for over £100 at some fancier London restaurants. On this occasion my date and I stuck to our usual steak companion – a Malbec, and it was perfect.

The Fun

This isn’t a well known or over hyped place and part of the reason for that is that it doesn’t look remotely special or fancy from the outside (in fact, you would never think in a million years that it was a good steak house!). The décor is basic, but it’s small and atmospheric thanks to the simple white tablecloths and candlelight – and the fact that it’s usually busy.  Don’t come to The Popeseye if you want to wow with the glitz and glam of the west end, but do come if you want a low key, romantic date with a true steak fan.

Overall Experience20130111_210608

Delicious food and delicious wine in simple surroundings with good family run service. We had a leisurely evening (we were early to arrive and the last to leave) and didn’t feel rushed at any point. This is still my favourite steak restaurant in London and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.

Go there if…

You’re a steak fan and you don’t mind how basic the amenities are (think outdoor loo at the Olympia branch…) if the meat is incredible.

Don’t go there if…

You’re a vegetarian. No seriously, there is nothing else on the menu except steak. I promise.

If you’re pretending to have been there don’t forget to mention20130111_210612

They don’t take debit or credit cards. So if you’re going to go 20oz plus (and why wouldn’t you) make sure you have a fair wedge of cash with you to avoid embarassment – the nearest cash point to both restaurants is a bit of a hike.

For more information…

Fans and fence-sitters at Cheese n Biscuits, The Steak Club and Hold the Anchovies Please although sadly no recent reviews.

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