What? The other day a friend said they had a hankering to go somewhere for meat. I should mention at this point, she was referring to a restaurant, this isn’t going to be a review of the utter sausage-fest that is Infernos. With this in mind I set about looking for a restaurant that satisfies our carnivorous cravings and I settled on Boxcar. A Marylebone restaurant and butchery, that is dedicated to sourcing 100% British produce from the best farmers across the UK.
New? Relatively, it hasn’t survived its first year yet having opened in June 2017, but with the steaks and sticky toffee pudding that they’ve got going on, I can’t see how they wouldn’t.
Where? Boxcar, 23 New Quebec Street, Marylebone, W1H 7SD, www.boxcar.co.uk
The Look: Occupying a little spot on New Quebec Street, the restaurant combines industrial elements – concrete and brick walls, brass tops and tiled floors with hanging ferns, wooden panelling and minimalistic, curve furniture. There is a handful of seats outside and space for larger groups downstairs, there isn’t an open kitchen, but you can see the cuts of meat on display upstairs.
On the Menu: Steaks are the order of the day and you’ll find these chalked up on boards in the restaurant, but if you don’t fancy a steak then you’ll find the likes of beef shin, celeriac and stilton pie with smoked mash potato (which I wish they did as a side); a 45-day aged rare breed beef burger with cheese, semi-dried tomatoes and Boxcar burger sauce and for pudding treacle tart with salted caramel popcorn and popcorn ice cream. It’s proper comfort food at its finest.
What We Ate: We started with the butcher’s board to share, which ultimately is a smorgasbord of meat. You’ll find salt beef brisket, honey mustard ham hock, a particularly good scotch egg made with a pullet egg (eggs from young hens) and lamb scrumpets (lamb, deep fried in breadcrumbs) served with tartare sauce. Pile up a slice of grilled sourdough with celeriac remoulade, salt beef brisket, top with a salty cornichon and revel in the fact that you eat meat.
The main course, had to be steaks of course, two 300g ribeye steaks from Galloway Cattle in North Yorkshire. They were so tender and juicy, that we both proclaimed they were one of the best steaks we had had in a long time. If I could eat that steak every day I would… but I won’t, because no one does the Atkins diet anymore and meat-free Monday is a thing. If you want to get something green then savoy cabbage is a good choice, although we couldn’t tell where or what the Sussex crumble that came with it was. If not, then just stick to skinny fries with a dusting of bacon salt.
The other day I thought I had found the ultimate bacon sandwich at Coal Rooms, well now I have found the sticky toffee pudding to top all sticky toffee puddings, which has so far knocked every other sticky toffee pudding I’ve had out of the park. They hadn’t given it a twist of any sort, just a classic, dense, squidgy sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and plenty of clotted cream. The other pudding on the menu is a treacle tart with salted caramel popcorn and popcorn ice cream, which was a little on the sharp side with the lemon coming through strongly, but the popcorn ice cream was a great addition.
What We Drank: Probably to many people’s horror, we did not go for red wine, instead we went white choosing a bottle of 2016 Grillo, Il Folle from Sicily.
Go With: This is one for the meat eaters; sorry my plant-based pals, this one is not for you; and whilst there is a mushroom burger, the restaurant is only small, so please don’t take up valuable steak eating space – Deliciously Ella’s delis is only a four -minute walk away.
Final Word: The only way that they faltered was that the service was rather slow, although this is something I’ve been noticing a lot recently. Have the restaurants come together, colluding to slow service down? Perhaps it’s part of an initiative to make us take life at a more relaxed pace and follow in our European cousins’ footsteps. I’m all for it, I just wish I had a head’s up as I was all for getting back in time to watch an episode of The Sinner.
Boxcar: 23 New Quebec Street, Marylebone, W1H 7SD