There’s something impressively bloody-minded about Popeseye. Not only does it refuse to serve anything but steak and chips, but it does so in a determinedly unshowy dining room where the decor – including scarlet candles, paper tablecloths and artworks depicting massed ranks of cows – feels like a throwback to the 1970s. The restaurant seems to pride itself on being ‘no frills’, and extends this policy to payment: cards are not accepted.
The only non-beef item is a fairly half-hearted salad of mixed leaves and tomato chunks. Everything, then, rides on the quality of the grass-fed, 28-day-hung Aberdeen Angus steaks. Three cuts (sirloin, fillet and ‘Popeseye’, aka rump) are offered in sizes ranging from 6oz to 30oz, and are accompanied by a great platter of condiments including four types of mustard. And they’re of a high quality – in fact the fillet is very nice – but not of such a sublime standard, in the face of strong competition, to elevate this place above the level of quirky neighbourhood bistro.
At one time Popeseye might have been a destination restaurant (and old reviews on its website bear witness to this), but it no longer merits a special trip.