Gillray`s, is quite a find – a real Steak House! And more importantly, in our opinion, the best steakhouse in London.
As part of The Marriott Hotel in the old County Hall, on the Southbank, this is a must for steak lovers. Passing by some attractive feather flags, the entrance through the lavish hotel leads you through what used to be the corridors of power for the old Greater London Council. The wood panelled walls and marble inscriptions of former council leaders gave a taste of the grandeur of a great restaurant.
On entering you are met by a wonderfully bright and colourful bar – the spaces here are large, so the bar itself and the seating are well spaced with beautiful furnishings. The air of grandeur continues into the restaurant with massively high ceilings, affording wonderfully large light fittings. Most of the window tables give a view of The Thames and we were fortunate to have a view not just of The Thames but The London Eye too. On what was a lovely sunny day, London was buzzing with tourists so this was the perfect setting for Sunday lunch.
Once seated, we browsed the menu over pre-lunch drinks – a glass of the house champagne. Service was attentive and polite – exactly what I was expecting from this calibre of restaurant.
In a twist from the steak house theme, rather than bread rolls we were served large Yorkshire puddings – delicious and crispy.
My husband loves his red meat, so he was very happy with the steak menu. Aside from steaks there is a good choice of fresh fish, veal, chicken, lamb, pork and a vegetarian option.
All steaks at Gillray`s are sourced from the finest Hereford cattle on The Duke of Devonshire`s Bolton Abbey Estate in Yorkshire – so very English!
We started with the Forman`s London Cure smoked salmon and the Devonshire Crab cakes. The salmon was perfectly sliced and tasted great. The crab cake was delicious – large pieces of crab and the presentation was perfect.
Main courses were the 600g T-bone steak for my husband and the Lemon Sole fillet for myself. There are six variations on the cooking chart as to how your steak can be cooked – my steak-loving husband chose the rare option and it was cooked to perfection and tasted great. Due to the size of the steak, naturally it is on the higher price bracket – but well worth the extra cost. Served with Portobello mushrooms and baby tomatoes there really was no need for any extra`s but he did indulge in the bubble and squeak – a truly perfectly filling Sunday lunch!
The Lemon sole fillets were very good – perfectly cooked with a real fresh taste. To accompany – the Triple cooked chips and a plain green salad, my perfect lunch.
We chose the Pinot Grigio to drink with lunch and it was a good choice from a very large and varied wine list. There is a great selection of whiskies, gins, cocktails, wines, beers, a great mix of spirits and more!
I look forward to visiting the bar one evening with a girlfriend to try some of the cocktails and their bar snacks. The bar is open until midnight, so a great place to meet.
We passed on desserts, which is unusual for my husband but a true sign that his main course was truly filling and delicious. The cheese table was offered and he just couldn`t resist – a great selection of English artisan cheeses: Shropshire Blue, Rosary goat`s cheese and the Organic Ashdown Forester – served with fine slivers of artisan bread. A very `fine` cheese selection. The desserts menu looked amazing – warm chocolate pudding, sticky toffee pudding and the most wonderful English puddings – Sherry trifle, apple crumble and lemon meringue pie.
We finished off with an espresso for my husband and a glass each of the Taylor`s 20 year-old port- the perfect end to a perfect Sunday lunch!
The décor is light and amusing, with sketches from James Gillray, the famous English caricaturist lining the walls. It is a very English restaurant in a very English setting, in one of the best cities, with great food – a real steak house for real foodies and our vote for best steakhouse in London!
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