A butcher’s counter, a grill alongside, and a few cheap aluminium tables: if you saw this set-up in any other market or shopping centre, you might walk right on by. But this is grand old Leadenhall Market, and everything basks in the maroon-and-gold glow of Horace Jones’ 19th-century design.
There are no starters: just nibbles such as marcona almonds, olives and artichokes. Our waitress recommended the minute steak or pork chop, but a quick glance at the display counter and we were snagged by the aged-looking ribeye. Its 250g came in a thin slab, yet despite our request for medium-rare, the pink was nearly gone to brown. The ‘vegetable of the day’ was a jumble of button mushroom slices. Bretby lamb and Packington pork are advertised, so we asked where the beef was from. ‘England’, came the reply. Not good enough for a meat specialist.
Service was casual and tinged with banter as befits a market environment. For dessert, there’s ice-cream or a cheese plate from the unit next door. The takeaway service (11.30am to 3pm) offers burgers, a ‘butcher’s hot dog’ and roast pork or salt beef bagels.