By Paola Bassanese
As the Germans strike off a precious beef-related word from their dictionary (Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz to be precise, aka regulating the testing of beef – as mentioned in a Telegraph article) my own beef vocabulary was enriched by a fabulous dining experience at Smiths of Smithfield‘s top floor restaurant.
A flock of food bloggers huddled under the expert wing of Executive Chef and beef maestro Tony Moyse, the meat rockstar who gave a demonstration on beef cuts and butchering, iPhones all around capturing his every move. He was definitely iPapped within an inch of his life while aptly carving meat and sawing bone like a hypnotic orchestra conductor.
He sectioned a 35kgs piece of Devon beef into sirloins, rumps, ribs and explained that normally the beef is aged for 30 days on the bone. Rare breed beef is selected from different parts of the country and butchered inhouse.
Wine expert David Gleave of Liberty Wines received a more civilised treatment from us foodies as at that point, after the demonstration by Tony, we were all sitting down at our tables. David explained food and wine pairing and it was interesting to learn how the acidity in the wine helps to break down the protein in the meat and cleanse the palate.
My tastebuds were totally titillated as I enjoyed a selection of canapes, starter, different beef cuts as main and a dessert with carefully selected wines to accompany each dish.
Here’s my highlights:
- succulent oysters, the evening’s wildcard
- potato and leek veloute shots
- Rhug chicken livers (melt in the mouth and delicious)
- South Devon beef carpaccio and tartare were my absolute favourite elements of the meal, delicately flavoured and the carpaccio so tender it glided in the mouth. This dish is ideal in summer as it’s fresh and light, I would say a veal carpaccio would also work well
- bone marrow butter to accompany the beef main (of the three selections of cuts, the fillet was my favourite, it was just as buttery as butter), so intensely flavoured but without taking anything away from the beef
- the dessert wines
- learning about Britain’s very own sparkling wine Nyetimber, a worthy opponent to Champagne and Cava and award-winning no less
The beef for the main came from South Devon, North Wales and Warwickshire.
Location-wise, Smiths’ top floor restaurant is stunning and on a sunny day/evening the roof terrace is the perfect place for a relaxed meal.
If you are following a high-protein diet like Dukan or paleo (see paleo diet blog), this is the place for you.
Smiths of Smithfield is at 66-67 Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6HJ