Posted in Desire, Eating & Drinking on 15 October 2018 | by Amit

Wined & Dined: Simpson’s In The Strand

Surrounding the heart of theatre land between Covent Garden and The Strand is where the discerning gent will find Simpson’s in the Strand. Managed as part of The Savoy’s dining offering, this restaurant is steeped in history and tradition and features a meat-laden menu that will keep even the most carnivorous of diners sated with what’s on offer.

 

The Look, The Feel

The entrance to Simpson’s is just off The Strand, as you’d expect. It’s an inconspicuous opening to a world from another time with almost Tardis-like inner dimensions. The main lobby where you are greeted upon arrival, the comfortable cocktail bar up upstairs where one can enjoy seasonal (and classic) cocktails if you arrive early and the main dining room – or hall – given its size. Featuring age-old paintings and livery decorating the walls, it has the feel of a medieval dining hall.

 

Seating is a mixture of group booths on the outer edge, large and small tables around the centre and traditional couples tables for the more intimate of meals. Serving staff are in full uniform of colours and tones, who are very engaging with guests. Given its proximity and connection with The Savoy many of the hotel’s guests dine here too.

 

Once settled into your seat and observing the menu, you’ll understand the notion about this place being a haven for meat eaters. Animal protein of every shape and type is on the menu here, from classic British dishes to the more model staples. One of the trademarks of Simpson’s in the Stand is the roast meats – beef, pork, lamb and chicken (or turkey at Christmas) karted around the venue on a traditional serving trolley. For those that are tempted by the aromas and sight of huge slabs of roasted meats, the trolley and carver arrive at your table and begin to slice up decadent slivers of your chosen meat and serve it with all the trimmings. Of course, there is always extra meat on offer (at a cost) should you want it.

For this particular meal, our starters took a seafood theme with the dressed Dorset crab (£18) and baked Manx queen scallops (£21) to kick off proceedings. On the advice of the sommelier, we opted for paired wine per course, so a crisp white wine was to accompany our starters. Arriving to our table full of aroma and with a buttery glaze the scallops caught our attention – and that of neighbouring tables. Perfectly cooked and succulent, these were gorgeously fleshy pearls of seafood goodness. The crab salad also hit the right note for taste, with big chunks of white crab meat combined with avocado. A great start to the evening.

 

The Main Event

Having our taste buds tantalised by the starters it was time for the mains. During our menu selection, we saw the traditional roast trolley make its way up and down the venue – it certainly will tempt the discerning gent. However, on this particular occasion and with the vast meaty menu, our choice sided with the Buccleuch Estate 28 day dry aged beef Wellington (£42) and the herb crusted rack of Daphne’s lamb (£27) – paired with a South American red.

Wellington is one of those dishes that, if done well, is very good – decadent and rich with flavour. But if on the other side of the spectrum, it can be bad. Glad to report that Simpson’s in the Strand certainly know their Wellington – this was beautifully cooked, from the beef fillet through to the crisp puff pastry casing. Served with a side of rick thick gravy, all the flavours combined well to dance its way across the palate and down the hatch. Sizeable too, which is good because this is the kind of dish you do not want to end.

 

The rack of lamb continued the theme – sizeable with its presence on the plate and accompanied with its own gravy for the diner to lavish over their dish. The buttered savoy cabbage and capers that came with the lamb were the perfect companion. When a restaurant focused so heavily on the meat-eater the options seem immense and it can be bewildering if you don’t know what to go for. The service staff at Simpson’s definitely know when you insert their recommendation to a diner lost amongst the carnivorous meaty options – so just ask if you need.

After such gluttonous courses, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t have the space to fit in desert. After all, the portions where on the generous side. If one does require a sweet-toothed treat, we’d recommend the salted caramel ganache (£12) or the sticky toffee pudding (£11) as a fitting end to such a banquet.

 

The Verdict

Simpson’s in the Strand does provide the grandeur of the occasion for any diner that samples on its food. It’s the kind of venue that would serve well from a client entertainment perspective. Whilst the lure of The Savoy or theatre land just off The Strand will ensure this place is kept busy, escaping for a meal is something the discerning gent will enjoy.

 

Rating

Food: 4/5

Ambience: 4/5

Venue: 5/5

 

Contact: 100 Strand, London, WC2R 0EW – www.simpsonsinthestrand.co.uk


 
 
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