Yesterday morning Richard Vines tweeted about a soft opening at the new Goodman City branch offering 50% off food. I adore Goodman's restaurant in Mayfair and this is without ever having eaten a steak there, their burgers are enough for instant infatuation for me, so when the opportunity arose for 50% off I jumped to it. 50% offers abound - sure - but I normally think of them as a sign a restaurant isn't doing as well as it could and this certainly doesn't apply to Goodman. I rallied some troops and a table for 8.15 was booked.
The interior of the new branch is much like the original, albeit with a bit more of an industrial feel with the exposed pipes near the ceiling. There's the dark leather, dark wood, some booths and a bar. One welcome addition though is the huge window to the meat aging room. A dining room table sized opening into a world of stainless steel shelves and vast lumps of beef in varying stages of controlled decay. Our waitress said it reminded her of Damien Hurst but for me it was like some huge food porn cinema screen stuck on pause. I was transfixed.
When dining with others the grass isn't always greener, I don't always have food envy, but I do always want to try everything. The Asian way of dishes in the middle of the table is far better suited to my inquisitive (greedy?) nature and whilst it can't be used for everything one western meal that it works perfectly for is steak, assuming the restaurant in question is like Goodman (or Hawksmoor) and has enough variety to get a good spread going.
We did just that ordering a Wagyu ribeye (300gr), 2 x USDA Ribeye (400gr), a USDA sirloin (350gr) and a USDA on the bone sirloin (650gr), aiming to stick it in the middle so everyone could try the different cuts. Everything was ordered around medium-rare to let the marbling melt down nicely. We had wanted to try the grass fed Belted Galloway - as recommended to me by the Goodman grill-man himself - but alas our procrastination in ordering led to them being sold out, a 650gr on the bone rib would have been perfect too.
The wagyu was a melt in the mouth delight, the meat was tender but the most amazing thing for me wasn't the effects of the intramuscular marbling - as gorgeous as it was - but the intermuscular fat. This was the softest, most tender fat I've eaten, collapsing under the teeth and probably so soft (alas I didn't try it) to suck through the teeth. I enjoyed the sirloin, especially the dry aged on the bone, but for me the star was the rib-eye, having the perfect combination of juicy fat and meaty chew, not to mention the perfectly seasoned and charred outside common to them all. It's hard to put in to words just how good a steak these guys turn out though and I think a picture says far more anyway.
Accounting for the bone we probably ordered dead on 2kg of meat between 5. I'm guessing the ladies probably managed 250gr each which left the men at the table 500gr each. Nothing compared to some but with starters and sides I was well stuffed by the end, the last 150gr going down a lot slower than than the first 350.
With the 50% off food our bill of 3 starters, steak, a few sides, 2 puds and some dessert wine was a very good value £43 each. Without the soft opening it would have been nearer £70 but even then I'd definitely have felt I got my money's worth and will be returning in the not too distant future to try their grass fed offerings at full price.
I've now had steaks at both Goodman and Hawksmoor and would find it hard to call a favourite, they're both so very good at what they do. The burger has only been tried at Goodman though and it would be unfair on them, and myself, if I didn't give Hawksmoor's burger a go too. That will have to wait to the new Covent Garden branch though as a midweek lunch in the City is a no go for me.