Smollensky’s promises to provide the freshest ingredients possible to help make their food as tasty as possible. We recently checked out their restaurant on the Strand, and arrived with a sense of excitement, having glimpsed the menu earlier in the afternoon. As we walked downstairs into the main dining area, we were greeted by lovely, modern decor, with bare brick walls and warm lighting. A huge cocktail bar is centred at the bottom of the stairs, with the large dining area extending out behind.
Pan seared scallops
We began with the pan-seared scallops, served on a minted pea purée, with crispy pancetta. The scallops were incredibly fresh, and the purée added a smooth texture to balance against the crispy pancetta. The dish looked and tasted incredible.
Goats cheese and portobello mushroom
We also tried the goat’s cheese and portobello mushroom, served on toasted brioche with basil sauce. The dish was excellent, with a rich, buttery flavour soaking through. The brioche was soft, and was perfect for the gooey combination of cheese and mushroom.
Rack of ribs
Of course, these were mere warm-ups for the main event. The rack of ribs was huge. So big, it stretched over the entire plate (even fitting the whole dish into one picture was a challenge!). Served with some chips, coleslaw and corn, this made for quite a filling prospect. The ribs were tender, falling straight off the bone, and marinated in a thick, moreish sauce. The sides made for a nice balance against the meat, and the mash and onion rings we ordered went well with the dish. Working my way through the ribs was the real pleasure, however.
8oz fillet steak
We also opted for the 8oz fillet steak, served with fries and a house salad. The steak was cooked perfectly, and was incredibly juicy, and full of flavour. As with the ribs, the fries were nice and crisp, but were a side-show to the epic fillet.
Peanut butter cheesecake
After such epic main courses, we felt pride in somehow finding room for dessert. Smollensky’s peanut butter cheesecake, served with caramel sauce and pistachio nuts, was rich and smooth. The distinctive taste of peanut butter, which I could probably have with anything, was there in spades, and the nuts added a nice crunch to the dish.
Apple pie and ice cream
The apple pie, served with ice cream, was also a treat. The warm apple pie was surrounded by rich, smooth pastry, and when piled onto a spoon with some cold, smooth ice cream, it was lovely.
The quality of food on offer at Smollensky’s is fantastic. There’s a half-dozen items on the menu I can’t wait to go back and try (I’m looking at you Smokey Smollensky’s burger), and in such warm surroundings, it’s hardly surprising why.
Smollensky’s – The Strand
105 the Strand, 105-109 Norman House, London, WC2R 0AA