Ever wondered if there’s actually a difference in taste between grass-fed and corn-fed steak? My recent dinner date has – which is exactly why he booked us a table at steak emporium Goodman to conduct a little taste test experiment.
He called ahead a week before & pre-ordered two 600g steaks of the same cut, both 40-day aged, one being British grass-fed and one being US corn-fed – this would enable as close to a true like-for-like comparison as possible. Goodman actually dry-age their meat on-site, in a temperature controlled, dehumidified environment. Tip: Should you desire a specific cut or specific aged steak, it’s best to order in advance to avoid disappointment (in fact, as i write this, i’m thinking of picking up the phone to pre-order myself a 100 day aged steak).
Inside the Mayfair venue (The City & Canary Wharf being the other two), it’s dark, woody & buzzy. There’s really nothing special about the ambience & decor, but who cares, everyone knows it’s all about the meat at Goodman.
We had a late booking at 10pm, and our waitress was a little too imposing to begin with, annoyingly super eager to take our order. So here’s a special mention to charming manager Adeline who swiftly waltzed in to saved the day – she was superb & provided a highly personal service throughout our meal. She was in fact the one who took the telephone pre-order for our cuts the week before, and had remembered all the details of our specifications as soon as she greeted us on this evening. Adeline was passionate and knowledgeable about the meat and various cuts, swiftly presenting us with uncooked samples at our table, taking her time to talk us through the different cuts, tastes and ages. She also recommended that we left it upto the chef to cook the meat as he/she saw fit according to the cut, rather than specifying as you’d normally do when ordering red meat. Her wonderful recommendation of wine to compliment our chosen meats (from an excellent selection i must add) was the finishing touch.
And so the taste test began …..
VERDICT: You really could taste the difference between the grass-fed & corn-fed. The clear winner in both our eyes was the grass-fed – juicier and of fuller flavour compared to the corn-fed. Don’t get me wrong, the corn-fed did taste good, but it had more of an earthy taste and a differing texture, which wasn’t totally to my liking.
N.B. The 3 sauces were disappointing (Bernaise, Pepper & Stilton) with some tasting nothing like their name suggested – i’d recommend going for mustard on the side for the best accompaniment.
On the other hand, I was highly impressed by Goodman’s endless list of tempting side dishes.
IMPORTANT: You musn’t leave without trying *THOSE* truffle chips – WOW – these were the crunchiest & most perfectly cooked chips i’ve probably had, and the drizzling of truffle oil is just heavenly.
We also had the ‘Green beans, sauteed with Shallots’ & the ‘Tomato & Stilton, Onions & Aged Balsamic’. N.B. Next time i’m definitely ordering the ‘Mac & Cheese, Truffle Sauce & Parmesan’ of which i caught an enviable glimpse on a neighbouring table.
Considering i’m not a fan of creme brûlée (although am a big fan of white chocolate), our ‘White Chocolate Creme Brûlée with Raspberries’ pudding was absolutely brilliant. It was also a nice surprise to find that Adeline had knocked it off our final bill, just when we thought she had done enough already :)
Dips Bites: Goodman is up there as one of my favourite spots for a satisfying steak dinner – it’s probably on par with Hawksmoor & beats Gaucho by a mile. There’s a good selection of cuts from the US & UK and a stand-out list of sides. A meal at Goodman isn’t cheap (our 600g steaks around £45 each), but then again if you’re anything like me and regard a quality steak dinner as a special treat, then it’s all good. All in all, this was a memorable meal and a successful taste test – i’ll certainly be opting for grass-fed steaks (wherever possible) from now on. Goodman – i guess i’ll see you in 100 days!http://www.goodmanrestaurants.com/home Mayfair: 24-26 Maddox Street, W1S 1QH
City: 11 Old Jewry, EC2R 8DU
Canary Wharf: 3 South Quay, E14 9RU