Having heard great things about both their steak and their burgers, I was delighted to join fellow food bloggers Luiz, Catty, Aaron, Mr Noodles and Uyen for an evening at Goodman, the New York style steak house tucked away in Maddox Street, near Oxford Circus.
The decor hits a nice balance between relaxed informal and attractive but personally, I found it a tad too dark. And it has poor acoustics – noise bounced off the walls and ceilings so much it wasn’t buzzing so much as roaring and I found it hard to hear either the waiting staff or my dining companions.
It took only a few moments for consensus to be reached – of course we were having starters first! Deciding between steak and burgers was a far more agonising dilemma – the table split 4:2 in favour of burgers!
My starter of tiger prawn tempura, avocado, mango and cajun mayo (£11) was tasty though not outstanding. The batter was crispy though quite heavy, with a nice spicing and big juicy prawns inside. The salad and dressing worked well with it.
The seafood risotto, tiger prawn and salmon, lobster butter and chive (£9) was disappointing. Heavy, claggy and so creamy it was verging on unpleasant – I assume extra cream was added rather than allowing the natural creaminess of the starchy rice to do it’s magic. Even more galling when one of the waiting staff, on asking how our starters were, agreed it was the weakest on the menu and that it was being taken off the menu when it next changed. If you don’t think it’s good enough, take it off now – don’t charge customers good money for it!
For once I managed to resist my normal addiction to anything foie gras but two of the table ordered the paté, chicken liver and foie gras, onion jam and toasted brioche (£7.5).
The star of the show was Aaron’s sweet herring, traditional Russian presentation with hot mustard (£7) which was, luckily for him, a generous enough portion that all of us could try it without leaving him too bereft! A perfect balance between sweet and sour in the moist pieces of fish and a nice array of accompaniments too. Really, really good and I’ll definitely order this next time I visit.
Having visited previously, for the steak, some of the gang were keen to compare the Goodman burger to Hawksmoor and Byron offerings. But, I’d not been to Goodman before and, as our waiter took us through the available cuts, Mr Noodles and I were easily sold on steak. We both ordered the rib-eye. My only disappointment here is that the smallest cuts for virtually all their steaks are much larger than I’d like – the smallest rib-eye available was 400 grams! Why not offer a few at 200 grams and 300 grams?
The burger, which came with chips (£12) was very well received. Garnished with lettuce, pickle, tomato and onion it was a fine specimen. I’m not sure where the burger eaters are classifying it, in the great burger ranking table, but it was damn tasty.
The rib-eye steak was good too. And so it should be for £29 (without sides, we paid an extra £4 for each side dish of chips and vegetables). Both of us ordered our steaks medium rare but found the cooking very inconsistent with one end medium to medium well and the other nearer to rare. Luckily the quality of the steak was good enough to overcome this, but it wasn’t ideal. The chips were excellent – golden and crispy without and soft and fluffy within. The béarnaise was good rather than excellent; I usually finish what I’m given and am clamouring for more but ate only a little of this one.
I had absolutely no space for dessert (though of course, I had a taste of each when they arrived) but the table did order one each of the baked New York cheesecake with a berry compote (£6.5) and the frozen caramel parfait with Maldon sea salt and milk chocolate (£6.5). The cheesecake was nothing special, a so-so rendition at best. The caramel, sea salt and chocolate parfait went down much better; a nice balance of flavours deftly combined.
It was a lovely evening, chatting to fellow food bloggers, and sharing some great food. Whether I’d appreciate the very noisy environment for a quieter tête-à-tête, I think not. The bill was about £50 each (our resident accountant made sure us steak eaters weren’t subsidised by the burger gang) which is a touch on the high side, really, even taking into account the central location.