Having too much choice isn’t a blessing it’s a curse. So a restaurant with no menu is the answer to this dilemma surely – no choice means everyone is happy or in it together, depending on how it goes. You also think the chef must be very confident in their dish if that is all they’re going to serve. Well that is exactly what is happening over at recently opened Orange Elephant; claiming on their website to be ‘Master of Steak’ that’s what they’re serving up – just steak.
The Fulham Road restaurant is sleek with long mirrors at precarious angles, wooden walls, leather banquettes , and warm lighting coming from low hanging fluted copper lights. At the end sits the open kitchen with views of the Big Green Eggs used to cook the steak and running down one side of the restaurant is a bar serving up wonderfully strong cocktails – make sure you order the apple and custard cocktail, it tastes just like its name and comes complete with Digestive biscuits around the edge – it also makes a good pudding if you can’t manage one.
For £20 you can have a starter, a steak with chips and a house sauce or if you’re not of the meat eating kind you can replace it with mac and cheese. We started with a simple salad, rocket, walnuts, balsamic and parmesan – a classic to start and hard to get wrong. The steak was a little hit and miss, mine was a good piece of tender beef which was juicy and full of flavour. My friend’s steak however had a lot of gristle which isn’t really what you hope for when all you can order is steak. Ever the meat eater they actually preferred the mac and cheese. It was wonderful, a mouthful of pure nostalgia, with stringy cheese that clung to the macaroni in the pan as you pulled the fork away and a strong flavour. Beef dripping chips were crunchy on the outside and gave way to a fluffy centre. The cheesy broccoli was a little nondescript, the sauce was rather runny and without much flavour- I’d give it a miss.
To finish we had a chocolate mousse and a round of Old Fashioneds, they’re a must. If you leave out the cheesy broccoli and get a steak without the gristle then Orange Elephant is on track. The staff were so welcoming, treating everyone like they were old friends, full of jokes and making everyone laugh, which goes a long way. Of course you’ll spend much more than £20 each once you’ve had cocktails and sides but hey it’s relaxed, it’s fun, it’s makes for a good date restaurant – just don’t have too many of the cocktails before they arrive if you want to make a good impression.