The Grill On the Market – a tale of 2 visits

We went for brunch and got the steak, eggs and unlimited prosecco deal, which seemed to be good value at £15. The steak was of poor quality,  tough, chewy and gristly; and of the 3 steaks at the table not one was cooked how we had requested it. To be fair this is the cheapest steak on the menu, however I have had excellent steak at a similar price point at Sophie’s steak house in Fulham, whose steak and eggs are £15.95.  When we complained to the manager, she was quite defensive but eventually she agreed to remove the steaks from the bill after blaming their supplier for poor produce stating that they had sent them “a bad batch”. We do think that if you are a steakhouse your reputation rests on the quality of your meat and there shouldn’t be bad batches, after all they don’t reduce the prices depending on the batch.

We were asked by the manager to hold off reviewing the brunch experience until we visited them again to try their a la carte menu. We agreed, as we had heard some positive points about the restaurant from others and decided to give them the benefit of a second visit.

We returned to try items from their a la carte menu. We were too put off by our previous experience to try the steaks again so we went for fish. The blackened fish sandwich is decent with nice Cajun style spicing.The lobster was fine although they brought it with Thermidor sauce rather than the requested garlic butter. It’s £25 for a half lobster and I think for that price I would rather go to Burger and Lobster and get a whole one for £20. The chips were good, chunky and with the skin on. After that we got dessert and I ordered the rhubarb fool. What arrived was jelly topped with a mountain of whipped cream. I was expecting tart chunks of poached rhubarb to balance out the richness of the cream and sweet jelly couldn’t fulfill that function even if I could reach it under all the cream. After the second spoonful I started to feel sick so I gave up.  However the sticky toffee pudding was good with none of the burnt aftertaste that you can sometimes get. We got a different manager (Karim, a senior manager?) second time around who was much nicer and agreed to remove the rhubarb fool from the bill even though the waitress had already cleared my virtually untouched dessert.

Overall, not too impressed with a place that should have good produce as it’s opposite Smithfields market, and some dishes are over-priced for the quality of what you get.

Twitter: @GotmSmithfield

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About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from:
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