You know, it really has been a while since I’ve had a piece of steak which I’ve longed for days after. I’ve had terrific steaks in my time, legendary ones in fact – but the latter part of 2016 not so much. Yet in January 2017, all of that changed after I discovered Zelman Meats. A meat loving restaurant with an ethos on their website that I only just discovered – now it all makes so much more sense.
Located on the Fifth Floor of Harvey Nichols, Zelman Meats says they are a restaurant who offers “low-lit, comfortable places with great tunes and decent people so you can get the most out of your brisket/Syrah/1936 beer!”. I couldn’t think of a more enticing ethos, because I love my restaurants simple and my food big in flavour. Even before we started eating, this relatively simple looking Negroni cocktail was packed with so much love from behind the bar and a strong punchy flavour.
One dish I really adored was the tiger prawn tempura, which we shared as a starter. Plump prawns, an astonishingly good light tempura batter and a sweet Japanese mayo sauce (at a guess). Extra slices of spring onions, chilli and coriander meant for a dish we wish we’d ordered two of because you simply won’t want to share. Simple, but perfectly crafted.
Unfortunately Zelman Meats at Harvey Nichols isn’t the busiest of restaurants, so atmosphere can be lacking at times – but you only notice that when you arrive. Shortly after you’re fixated on the menu, flavours and fantastic service. They really make you feel at home here and the side of sweet potatoes was rather legendary too. Sweet, mushy and covered in a pomegranate yogurt sauce, pumpkin seed pesto, chilli and a little extra spice. It paired perfectly with the first of our meats, the sliced picanha. A medium-rare cooked full flavoured steak – it’s the stuff of dreams and a bargain priced at £7 per 100g.
But believe it or not it got even better still with a sublime piece of succulent short rib. Smoked overnight and covered in a rich and sweet BBQ sauce. It’s one of those dishes you need to order lots of and then take extra home with you after. Pair it was the side of whole charred broccoli, smothered in an anchovy, garlic and chilli butter sauce.
We had absolutely no room for dessert in the slightest, but the team here somehow convinced us otherwise and I’m so glad they did. A special of the day was this picture perfect panna cotta. Laced with vanilla pods and topped with sweet rhubarb and a gingerbread crumble. Better still was the signature caramelised pineapple. Whole roasted pineapple, thick caramel sauce and fantastic vanilla ice cream, which I’m assuming was home-made because it was absolutely fantastic.
Having visited Zelman Meats at Harvey Nichols twice now, I can’t stress just how good it is. Yes the restaurant may be lacking in a little atmosphere, but it makes that up with fashionista people watching. The food is what makes this place a destination restaurant after-all. It’s simple cooking, perfected to perfection. Never a dull dish, never lacking in flavour and never leaving your credit card in shock. Would we come back? Yes – we’re already returning on Valentines Day.