Zelman Meats (Steakhouse) – KnightsbridgeHALAL STATUS A selection of Halal meat.
Zelman Meats is located on the fifth floor of Harvey Nichols’ iconic flagship luxury department store in Knightsbridge.
Having opened a year ago, this is currently the only branch of the four that caters for Halal. Its Soho counterpart won the ‘Best Steak and Grill’ at The Harden’s London Restaurant Award this year.
Although manager Jose clarified that a Halal rack of lamb is available from time to time, the default Halal options offered include: organically-fed Chilean Wagyu (Grade A4) sirloin and rib eye; a Dirty Steak and Picanha, both sourced from Australia; and a UK-sourced 28 wet aged fillet.
But the great news is that they also offer Japanese wagyu… well, great news for non-Halal consumers that is. Much to our continued frustration and to the best of our knowledge, Halal Japanese wagyu remains as elusive as ever before.
Hats off though to the brain who conjured up the enticing idea of showcasing Zelman’s incredible cuts of marbled meat in a refrigeration display unit right outside the entrance.
With a modest capacity of 36, including 3-stools beside the alcohol bar, the restaurant offers a surprisingly humble and rustic interior which, we were told, will be given a facelift very soon.
In any case, the concept behind the menu encourages sharing in such a way as to create and enjoy a festive atmospheric feast.
As policy, all customers are asked about how they want their meat cooked on the restaurant’s Robata-style grill.
We ordered an interesting assortment of beverages ranging from mocktails and a hot and cold chai, to a non-alcoholic toddy.
The Redberry Lemonade had the taste of the fruit coming through gently enough to enjoy alongside any given steak.
Arguably the most interesting was the Chai Americano – a black coffee concoction that tasted far better hot than cold. While the sweetness of the addition of vanilla was more pronounced in the former rather than the latter, this chai did have a bitterness to it strong enough for us to recommend not having this before your food.
The Canadian Fizz had a citrus taste to it sharp enough to leave the taste buds tingling, but not much more.
As for the Fifth Floor Hot Toddy, then again this was a light lemony drink which, despite its warm soothing nature, could have done with more sweetness.
The Virgin Mojito was, however, the best of the fizzies, with a fresh zinginess that required more of the mint to balance things out.
This Wagyu Carpaccio with Himalayan Salt was part of the Specials menu; and a very different and quite delicious starter it was too. Carpaccio, for those not in the know, is a dish of raw, thinly sliced meat which, in this case, was served on a block of Himalayan Salt.
While it was drizzled in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper and fresh basil, the trick is to have it immediately before the delicate meat is adversely affected by the salt upon which it rests.
And once you do, you’ll be met with an umami mouthful of soft, salted beef, with the occasional crunch of a salt grain or three. Be sure, however, to make good use of the lemon slice, whose acidity will help cut through the saltiness.
Presented on a bed of ice crystals, these Baked Jersey Rock Oysters, drizzled in an exceptionally good, spicy vinaigrette that’s enhanced with a squeeze of the lemon, were soft and tender and salty and extremely pleasurable.
These were delicately tender and chewy in the middle, and presented atop a tangy-tarty sauce.
Heat and crunch were assured by the addition of a garnish comprising of thin slithers of red chilli, radish and spring onions.
A lovely little starter!
Slices of soft, raw tuna presented at room temperature. But don’t be put off by the peculiarly unattractive green swirls of avocado, because, taste-wise, this dish was a complexity of flavours.
Not only was the salty and slightly tangy taste running through the tartare complimented by the heat of the chillis, but the tuna itself was ever so soft and drizzled in a fragrant butter and sesame seed sauce.
Perfectly seasoned and fantastically cooked prawns that were large and succulent, and drizzled in a butter-herb sauce worth lapping up.
NOTE: Minimum order is 200g of each cut.
Just half a mouthful is all you’ll need before finding yourself endlessly chewing and savouring on those natural umami flavours so distinct of a quality cut of meat.
These were sweet, decadent (a word we don’t usually use for meat), juicy, tender morsals of meat heaven.
In fact, forget these superlatives, because this demands immediate attention; this demands to be tried!
Who would have believed that meat cooked directly on charcoal could be so good?
Only a barbecue connoisseur would have the skills to charbroil a steak and present it so attractively pink and sexy.
The charring on the outside, coupled with the evident sprinkling of the sea salt, provided a salty-cum-smoky crust that gave way to the most marvellously soft, succulent and juicy middle.
Worth every penny!
And leaving the best for last: the Chilean Wagyu (Grade A4)!
What an UNBELIEVABLE cut of meat, really!
This was as close to melt-in-your-buccal-cavity meat as you’re ever going to get, with a natural sweetness so addictive that you’d want the moment to continue ad infinitum.
Even the corner piece mesmerised the senses and tested the limits of natural law. This was as close to being the perfect proportion of fat and meat.
Forget the sauces and just enjoy this in all its raw, unadulterated glory.
Arguably one of the best, if not the best, steaks had this year!
One question: could this wagyu burger be any better?
Although it may at first appear compact in texture, such illusions are immediately dispelled once bitten into. Instead, the lightly charred, crispy exterior gives way to a super soft mouthful which, given the fatty richness of the wagyu, literally dissolves so effortlessly leaving the taste of unbridled meatiness that’ll send you into the most intense foodgasm imaginable.
Honestly, this… is… on… another level; and a definite contender for our Burger of the Year.
Kudos for offering thick, chunky triple cooked chips; although these were more on the rustic side – extremely crunchy, crispy and crusty.
One Lion did, however, consider it a little too rustic in texture.
The truffle chips were wonderfu.
Equally rustic as their naked counterpart, the combination of the musky truffle topping with the strong, heady taste of the parmesan (vegetarian in case you’re wondering) made this an addictive little side.
This was a huge chunk of crispy, charred broccoli for a side. Nonetheless, it really worked, especially with the steaks, and is something we’d recommend as a result.
The sauce, while watery in consistency, was vibrant and mildly chilli, with the broccoli drizzled in an equally delicious sweet-chilli almost fruity dressing.
These roasted sweet potatoes, crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the in, had a sour pomegranate yoghurt base interspersed with large globules of musky pumpkin seed pesto, which all combined to temper the heat generated by the slithers of red chilli.
A complex and strongly flavoured dish which, in spite of its originality, struck us as more a starter than a side.
A duo of in-house sauces that were as good as the other. The BBQ had a really sharp, vinegary kick to it, while the vibrantly yellow Sriracha Mayo was deliciously thick, with a fruity-chilli like taste to it.
There was also an Anchovies Butter sauce which, we suspect, was the watery base of the above broccoli side, except that this was far thicker. As such, it was stronger too, with the distinct fishy saltiness of the anchovies materialising first before giving way to a beautifully strong kick of chilli and heat.
While we would have preferred this softer all round, particularly the business part of the tart, the chocolate was dark and intense, and thus required the acidity of the raspberry to cut through the bitterness. We also felt that the pastry should have been thinner and more flaky in texture.
We suspect that this had, perhaps, been waiting around a while before being served.
The Lemon Tart was, we all agreed, far more interesting with the quenelle of soft, mascarpone cheese.
The lightly sweetened mascarpone helped to cut through the mild tartness of the former. Be certain though to take a nibble of the mint leaf garnish followed by a bite of the raspberry, because whether by accident or design, they worked as a sort of palate cleanser.
With a collapsed roof, this wasn’t the most attractive Chocolate Fondant you’ll ever be served. But it was soft and gooey in the middle, thanks to its semi-liquid cocoa centre, and quite light too.
Had with the creamy vanilla ice cream that rested on a bed of chocolate crumb, not only did it marry well as a whole, but turned out to be the best dessert of the trio.
TIP: Have this with the hot (not cold) Chai Americano to experience that sweet-bitter match.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
Actually, it's been a while since we had an outstandingly cooked, naked prime cut steak. In fact, the last time our mane was made to stand on end was the wagyu steak had at Chai Wu in Harrods at an unsurprisingly eyewatering £90.
In terms of taste and quality, Zelman Meats' are not only comparable, if not better, but far more affordable too, especially the Grade A4 Chilean Wagyu.
And a word or two of praise for that incredible Wagyu Burger which absolutely demands to be added as a permanent special on the menu. Simply superb!
Believe us when we tell you that there aren't many steak-oriented restaurants in London, let alone the UK, that serve Halal prime cut steaks, and we do mean prime cut here; Zelman Meats has set the bar mighty high - so much so, in fact, that they are now the benchmark!
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