Walking along the Southbank of London is always one my favourite pass times. The view of this beautiful city, at night especially is breathtaking and even better when you know this walk will end sitting before an incredible steak dinner.
Walking up towards the entrance of the London Marriott Hotel County Hall, where Gillray’s is situated was already beautiful, with a huge Christmas tree sparkling at the entrance and more festive themed decor as we passed through the hallways. We were feeling very festive and extremely excited to tuck into our meal.
We were seated in the restaurant looking out towards the magnificent view of the river and London’s skyline. As we were seated, a complimentary glass of champagne was bought over and as we looked over the menu, despite there being a huge variety of dishes to choose from our hearts were already set on the steak! After all, we would never forgive ourselves if we came to a steak restaurant and ordered anything else. Plenty options though if steak is not your first choice.
Before our starters arrived we were presented with a plate of Yorkshire puddings with a twist. These were filled with melted cheese with a creamy chive dip. This was the perfect start to the meal, incredibly light in texture and rich in flavour – we would have asked for more but we knew what was to come.
To start, my guest chose the terrine of Gloucester pork with homemade piccalilli & brioche. This came beautifully presented and had our mouths watering before we even dug in! The flavours complimented each other with the sweet vs sour of the piccalilli and brioche and the pork was rich and extremely tasty.
Whenever I see scallops on the menu, there is no turning back for me. So of course the seared divers scallops with apple & dates were chosen for my starter and I was very happy with my decision! The scallops were very high quality and quite literally flawless. They were cooked perfectly, melting on my tongue and filling my mouth with a million different flavours from all the elements of the dish.
For mains, as said of course we were going for the steaks. I usually go for the fillet but this time I wanted to be adventurous and go for something different! The sirloin cut and rib eye (both 300g of course!) were eventually decided on and I think I may now be converted! The steaks were ordered medium rare as per our request and as expected the meat was cooked just the way we liked it. The steaks were lean, juicy and full of flavour and most importantly took up half the plate! Both also cam with a rich béarnaise source, grilled tomatoes and a giant portabello mushroom which all complimented the steak beautifully .I could immediately see after the first bite why I had heard such amazing things about Gillray’s and their signature steaks! It definitely lived up to the expectations.
When it comes to sides, there is no holding back for us so obviously we opted for 4 between us – it is always almost impossible to choose less than this between two people whenever we go out. Triple cooked, truffle & rosemary chips were an absolute given, because how can you eat a steak without chips!? (Especially if they are topped with truffle). Buttered green beans, olive oil mash & roasted field mushrooms & thyme. Every side was amazing and matched our steaks incredibly but the mash for me for was the stand out dish. It it was creamy, soft and the olive oil gave it a smokey depth.
With our buttons almost popping off we had to try and squeeze in some dessert, which we always find room for in the end. I went for the special of the day which was a sticky toffee pudding served hot with vanilla ice cream. Overloading with hot sticky, toffee sauce with a soft, crumbly sponge met with the coldness of the ice cream was a great end to a fantastic meal in the heart of London. I was so fully I ALMOST could not finish the dessert but couldn’t leave knowing there was any of that deliciousness left on that plate.
The other dessert ordered was the traditional sherry trifle. Layered sponge fingers with fruit, custard and cream with a ‘pour your own’ little glass of sherry which were able to pour onto the trifle. This was a nice little touch as it meant we were in control of how strong we wanted it. The dessert was presented in a quirky glass jar with a little note of the ingredients by it which was lovely and made a fantastic photo!
Overall the whole meal was a really great British experience. Looking out onto London’s winter, while eating our fantastic meal in the cosy hotel made the perfect evening. We finished with a lovely stroll across The Westminster Bridge to walk off our dinner and look back on the hotel we had just had the most fabulous meal at.
Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar
County Hall. Westminster Bridge Road. Entrance via Marriott Hotel or Queens Walk. London, SE1 7PB