Goodman, restaurant review: Far more refined than just the caveman slab-of-steak thing

Goodman, Mayfair branch, 26 Maddox Street, London W1, tel: 020 7499 3776

So there I was, standing, soaked, waiting by a locked car for a man not answering his phone. My only hope was that he'd remember we had a booking for the restaurant outside which the car was parked, and mosey back, driven by hunger.

In the modern manner, I tweeted, "I have lost my husband, whose phone has died, in the West End. If anybody sees him, please send him to wife in rain on Maddox Street." And in the modern manner, the manager of the restaurant – who didn't know I'd booked in – tweeted, "Come inside our place on Maddox Street and wait with a drink." Cute.

After a short interlude during which Words Are Exchanged, Mr M and I make it inside Goodman. This is another of those "been meaning to come here for years" places, like Bob Bob Ricard the other week. I'm leaving the so-new-I-can-still-smell-the-paint places for others right now.

Goodman is a three-venue mini-chain, and there's its brother chain Burger & Lobster, too (all in London for now, alas). They've got a reputation for bossing the steaks market. Now, if you caught Archie Bland's elegant takedown of the horror that is Angus Steakhouse (read it here: ind.pn/1j8UYvp), you'll know there are some terrible crimes against meat in London. Does paying upward of £50 for a couple of steaks guarantee anything these days?

Goodman is full of suits when we walk in. It's utterly evocative of a classic New York steakhouse: dark, wooden detailing, loud music, booths and lots of bellowing men. But offsetting it is a powerhouse team of women – I count at least six, from manager Helen to steak expert Gabi. It creates a harmonious balance that says, "Yes, we know you're a caveman at heart, but leave your spears at the door."

(Having said that, I can't believe there are many customers who could resist wanting their own monogrammed steak knife, as regulars have – and which are displayed in a cabinet at the back of the bustling room.)

I watch a tray of Flintstone-sized steaks as it is paraded around on a tray and wonder whether I'm about to bite off more than I can (literally) chew. Luckily, Gabi takes the time to explain the range, from dainty fillets to hulking porterhouses; and provenance, from corn-fed USDA Angus to grass-fed Lake District. American meat is about texture, and is slightly sweeter; I want the gamey chew of home-grown.

And like Mr and Mrs Sprat (hey, after 23 years we just know), the porterhouse to share fits the bill. At 900g, it's an undertaking (for the stomach and the wallet – it's £72), but it's my birthday dinner and I have hours to masticate. One side of the longhorn's bone is sirloin marbled like the finest Carrara; the other, a deep ruby fillet. Of three kinds of chips (truffle, beef dripping and hand-cut), he wants the artery-hardening middle option (£5.50); I'm practically on a health kick with the wedge salad with Stilton and bacon (£9) and spinach creamed with gruyère (£4.50). And like the old married couple we are, we share a tennis-ball-sized head of roasted garlic (£1.50).

Damn but it's all rather sexy food, we agree as we share everything, with only the one clash of forks over the extra-charred nubbin from the end of the sirloin.

A finer riposte to the Angus Steakhouse I can't imagine: meat sourced, aged and cut with integrity; cooked just so (no open-artery pool of blood, and no grey middle either); and side orders cooked with care. There are non-steak dishes on offer, but really, why would you? I don't think I'll be coming here often enough to merit my own knife, but for a treat. And the biggest treat is at the end – we pop down to the kitchen to meet the chef, Phil, who shows us the steak-ageing room. The size and scent of the chunks inside are a Tiffany's window for carnivores. And the Josper grill on which they're cooked – that's a foodie's Porsche.

NB: Back to those bellowing men. If you do want to see off greedy bankers and their wretched bonuses, one way to do it might be to take them to Goodman (branches in the City and Canary Wharf) and feed them a 700g rib-eye with optional extra pan-fried foie gras and truffled chips, then sit back and watch them clutch their chests, scanning the room for a defibrillator. Too much?

8/10

Goodman, Mayfair branch, 26 Maddox Street, London W1, tel: 020 7499 3776. £120 for two, with drinks

Four more foodie notes from the past week

Wright Brothers Spitalfields

Absolutely faultless, leisurely birthday lunch: bespoke seafood platter and incredible xato salad – and a lovely waiter, Andre.

George Northwood

OK, he's my hairdresser, but his new salon has cool snacks – everything from fudge to kale chips – to munch on while in his expert hands.

Spiralizer

Wanted one of these to make spaghetti out of courgettes but everywhere is sold out – it's clearly the kitchen gadget of the moment.

Jalapeños

Bumped into Simon Hopkinson, my favourite and most trusted recipe writer, on the street. He says the jalapeños in Whole Foods are the best. And if he says so…

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project