Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar, SE1

Gilrays 223x300 Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar, SE1With everything from world renowned art exhibitions to regular food markets and the London Eye (or whatever they’re calling it these days!), Southbank is not only one of London’s most picturesque destinations but also one of the Capital’s most exciting.  Unsurprisingly, a burgeoning dining scene has also emerged to cater for hungry local and foreign tourists.

Without any obvious signage it’s not as easy to spot, but look a little harder and you’ll find the gem that is Gillray’s – a restaurant and bar created to offer a traditional English dining experience.   It’s no coincidence then, that Gillray’s offers fantastic views across the Thames of some of London’s most iconic buildings, including the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

The design is sophisticated but unpretentious, playing on the eccentric but charming details of classic lighting and furniture pieces, such as Chesterfield sofas and crystal chandeliers.  The bar is worth visiting on its own, with its extensive collection of gin and cocktails that take their cue from historical drinks trends.

Head to the restaurant and the British ethos continues.   The meal gets off to a great start before we’ve even had a chance to order with a complementary offering of giant cheesy Yorkshire puddings.   Delve into the starters and you’ll find delicious classics such as Scallops with black pudding and Devonshire crab cakes.

Whilst other dishes are available, mains are all about their beautifully cooked steaks.   Going against the trend for US steaks that feature in so many steakhouses, Gillray’s has decided upon a menu based exclusively on British cattle.  All the regular cuts are available, although diners can still have an American style experience by ordering the 1kg ‘Bulls Head’ steak, comprising of a butterfly cut, double rib steak served bone-in.  A host of tempting accompaniments to your steak are also available, including Baked bone marrow and Oyster fritters.

If you’ve somehow still got room for dessert after the mammoth meat feast then don’t expect Gillray’s to offer your waistline a respite.  The menu of unashamedly indulgent puddings includes stodgy Cabinet Pudding and rich Chocolate cake, although best of all is their now famous Sherry trifle.

Food: 4/5
Venue: 4/5
Value: 3/5

Cuisine type: Steakhouse
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £100
Wine: £7.50
Cocktails: £10

Gillrays’ Steakhouse & Bar
London Marriott Hotel County Hall
Westminster Bridge Road
London, SE1 7PB
Tel: 020 7902 8000
http://gillrays.com