Restaurant review: MASH, Soho, W1
- Credit: Archant
As a rule, the Danes are not normally associated with steak. Bacon, maybe, possibly even pastries, but not really beef.
And a restaurant called the Modern American Steak House is not really where you’d go even if you wanted to track down an elusive Danish joint.
But get past these issues and head to MASH, in Soho, because it’s a treat and said to be the only place in London where you can get a Copenhagen-style sirloin.
The trademark of Danish steak is that’s it’s hung for 70 days, giving it a strong gamey, almost-venison like taste and in testament to this several huge cuts of meat are proudly displayed in the centre of the restaurant.
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But hanging cows are far from the most eye-catching aspect of place – formerly the Regent Palace Hotel, £10million has been spent restoring the interior to its Art Deco glory.
An ornate ceiling hangs over the myriad red-leather booths, and the room is punctuated by impressive pillars. The bar in particular harks back to jazz age boozing -– the kind that pretty much demands a couple of martinis – who were we to argue?
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After all that grandeur the menu is deceptively simple – a handful of starters and mains that fit on a sheet of paper (in contrast to the wine list, which is the size of a final year dissertation).
What is there is quite high-end and on the expensive side.
All starters are £10 and our foie gras terrine was rich, smooth and very satisfying.
We also had the snails, which came naked in a cumin-laden, almost Indian tasting sauce, which wasn’t a big hit.
Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer scooping the little chaps out of their shells as they swim in garlic butter.
For the main course, there are some fish options, a bit of poultry and lamb, but MASH is basically about the beef.
Aside from the aforementioned Danish cuts, there are hulking great American steaks and more delicate Uruguayan option – akin to the famous Argentinian herds. I went for a Danish rib-eye, while my girlfriend had the tender Uruguayan fillet. Both were brought out whole, sliced at the side of the table and served together in a big pot – allowing us to try a bit of each.
A lovely touch, as the dusky, strong rib-eye and the light, incredibly succulent fillet complemented each other very well. The sauces were spot on – peppercorn done just right and a flavour packed garlic and thyme jus – and the sides were good as well (although watch out for the spicy jalapenos).
All the while the waiter kept us well-lubricated with some excellent wine choices, handily available by the glass.
A creamy creme brûlée and firey brandy later and I was pretty glad there was a lift to take my stuffed carcass up the stairs.
MASH is pricey, but not eye-watering and it’s a lovely night out; everything is done very well, the staff know what they’re doing and the building is stunning. Indulge yourself.