I’m not a big lover of steak, red meat and I have a rather weird and somewhat stormy relationship. I’ve sometimes found it much too heavy and most steak houses struggle to get the rare-medium-well done balance just right. Medium rare? oh dear. That being said, Le Relais de Venise is in a class of its own because I damn near lick my cutlery every time I dine there. They make a mean steak. Delicious and appetising and tasty and mouth-watering and all those other emotions food can conjure up. Even make you dance on the spot because its just so delicious.
Le Relais de Venise has just one main menu; steak and frites, there are dessert and wine options, but its famous for its singular menu of steak and chips so you know what you getting even before you set off, and set off early because the queue goes around the block, everyday they are open, and it can sometimes take up to 40 minutes before you get a table, but I promise you, you will not regret it. This is quite possibly the BEST STEAK restaurant in London…maybe that’s not my call, since I am not a red meat connoisseur, but you will be hard pressed to find anywhere that’s just as good. Ask around. The main meal is served over two helpings, despite being just one menu, the steak is slathered in their secret green sauce which is highly addictive and delicious but not all that attractive, the fries are so well done, moreish and perfect. When it comes to dessert and wine, you expect nothing but excellence from the French and this does not disappoint but we are really just here for the steak.
Whilst the food is splendid and unparalleled, the service could be better; its just bloody typical isn’t it? The wait staff are impatient, maybe because of their long queues but that’s no excuse, service should come first; especially in an industry the mostly relies on customer service to earn its keep. They get you in, not much niceties observed and it can sometimes feel like you’re being timed but that’s just down to the queue; they are as eager to get you out and get others in, I suppose. It is what it is so let’s just eat.
For £21 you get a green salad with mustard vinaigrette and walnuts, and two helpings of steak. Desserts start from around a fiver, the profiteroles au chocolat is simply too divine, if you have room for it. But all in all, you cannot go wrong here.
Side note; the steak comes in blue, rare, medium or well done…ask for medium rare at your risk, it will get you a once over.
Le Relais de Venise; 120 Marylebone Lane London. No reservations however arrive at 6pm and you’ll probably be seated within ten minutes.