#FtLionAwards 2018 – Best Steak of the Year?

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After the #FtLionAwards 2018 Best Seafood of the Year (sponsored by Chai Naasto and the newly opened Patri), we continue with the Best Steak of the Year category.

After much debate and dialogue, we’ve shortlisted the following six nominees.

And while you marvel over them, remember that not only can you also vote for your favourite on our Instagram and Facebook pages, but in doing so you’ll automatically be entered in our prize draw with the chance of winning a fantastic Celebration Set Menu for 2 at Chai Naasto’s west London branch in Hammersmith.

SHORTLIST – Best Steak of the Year

We want you to either: 1) vote for the following nominees, or 2) let us know both your favourite steak and the place you had it, all on our Facebook and/or Instagram pages.

ELVET STEAKHOUSE

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We’ve had quite a few Wagyu steaks in our time, but the one had in London Forest Gate’s Elvet Steakhouse stunned us into a state of introspective silence as we collectively masticated, marvelled, savoured, and masticated some more with abandoned euphoria, giving ourselves over to it in totality.

The ease with which the knife didn’t so much cut as glide through this thick, medium rare, and perfectly criss-crossed fillet of beautiful beef was unreal. This was tenderness personified, though with a crust which, while being wonderfully charred, was both crispy in places and with pleasant specks of salt to it. And while it came with a bowl of sweet caramelised onions, which made for an interesting accompaniment, along with a well made peppercorn sauce and some greens, this was all about the “Ariston” wagyu, that is to say, a steak you’ll be chewing on and on and on and on…!

ELVET STEAKHOUSE

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Despite already having both a mocktail and its milkshakes up for contention, Elvet Steakhouse are again quids in. With these gorgeously attractive griddle marks on an expertly cooked steak, this piece of Fillet Medallions was superbly pink, tender, soft and juicy on the inside, and cut with minimum effort. Putting aside the irrelevant condiments, this had that to-die-for umami taste so distinct of a quality cut of beef.

HANKIES

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Hankies at the Moncalm Hotel in Marble Arch has a main and dessert up for contention. However, it was this stunning ‘Gosht’ 5 Oz Ribeye that makes the cut (excuse the pun). The presentation itself, along with what at first sight appeared to us to be a tremendously cooked piece of glistening ribeye steak, got us excited even before making use of that large carving knife. This was accompanied by a cute little mortar and pestle full of a garlic, paprika and masala rub. All that was required was a liberal sprinkle of said rub, before carving the meat up appropriately, and devouring it with unabandoned glee.

What we encountered was a mouthwateringly juicy piece of ribeye perfectly cooked to medium, with crispy fatty edges. The masala succeeded in adding a light fragrant salty-cum-chilli aftertaste, which one Lion considered superfluous given the sheer quality of the steak.

ISSHO-NI

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Newcomer Issho-Ni in East London’s Shoreditch has already put up a kebab for a possible award. But when this Striploin Steak came out, we could just tell, without even needing to examine things more closely, that this was going to be a good’un. And so it turned out. Topped with yakiniku sauce, which had an almost marmalade consistency to it, these were cooked medium, and came out with a glistening sheen and some attractive charring to them. Not only were these succulent and juicy, but being striploin, they had a satisfying bite to them too, which allowed us to kick back and masticate with quiet satisfaction. The sauce itself added a rich, tangy edge to all that meaty goodness, making this a wonderful plate of steak.

THE GRILL STEAKHOUSE

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The Grill Steakhouse in Aylesbury presented this Rib Eye Steak for consideration. Given its meaty robustness and its charbroiled taste (thanks to some equally impressive griddle marks), not only did the natural umami flavour of this premium steak come through strongly (thanks again to its juicy medium to medium-rare cooking), but it was also easily the most charred of the three, with a lovely crispy exterior.

ROCKIT STEAKHOUSE

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RockIT Steakhouse in East London’s Whitechapel presented us with the most expensive steak had this year, Wagyu, for £74.99!

First, a little background info on this expensive cut of Wagyu. With the owner failing, despite his best efforts, at securing quality Halal, British wagyu beef, his next best option was transporting it up from Down Under, where the marbling score, i.e. the visual assessment of wagyu based on the distribution and texture of its fat flecks, is graded between 0 to 9. In RockIT’s case, they’ve managed to secure, we were told, a seriously impressive grade 7 wagyu.

What we got was meat heaven – an absolutely sublime piece of ultra-soft and tender cut, which, courtesy of the searing heat, was cooked in no time. Granted it’s expensive; but, if you haven’t enjoyed a prime cut of wagyu before, then basically, you haven’t had meat! In short, this ought to be on your bucket food list!

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