89 Turnmill Street
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Thu Jul 29 2010
A few weeks ago we reviewed Giant Robot, a revamp of the Match EC1 site that created a bar-restaurant akin to an Italian-American New York venue. Just around the corner, the group behind it (which also owns Milk & Honey, among others) has deepened its love affair with all things US and opened Redhook, a lunch-to-dinner joint named after a district in Brooklyn. Being in Farringdon, there’s a bar too, and the whole place has that ‘ex-industrial’ feel, with bare brick, high ceilings and big windows which, fortunately, also have a ‘New York’ feel.
Its sell of ‘seafood and steaks’ is pretty accurate – you won’t find much else on the menu save a couple of pasta dishes. There’s market fish, large fruits de mer platters, lobster and prawns. Oysters (French rocks only) are served either Rockefeller or with a fruit-based sauce enlivened with Tabasco – a couple of the half-dozen bivalves we got had shards of shell in them, though.
For mains, we went surf and turf, although on separate plates – seared scallops with chorizo, red pepper and parsley oil (£16 for five) and a Scottish ribeye (£22). As well as cuts from north of the border, Redhook cooks American steaks and even Australian wagyu. Importing expensive beef to Britain always seems a bit pointless to me, when tasty cows are something we do pretty well ourselves. But to do it this close to Smithfield meat market seems almost perverse.
The steak was good, however, cooked perfectly rare as requested, even though the Spanish Josper charcoal oven (worth £20,000, a waitress told us) wasn’t working yet – either too hot or too tepid. Either way, steaks were being chargrilled without it.
The price tag on the ribeye included an accompaniment of no more than a few watercress leaves, so sides are essential – ‘big chips’ were satisfyingly beefy and had clearly been cooked more than once for maximum crunchy-outside, soft-inside bite, but a ‘Redhook’ salad for £5 was a bit tight – amounting to no more than beans, peas and some ‘toasted’ slices of garlic.
The wine list is drawn from the Americas and Bordeaux, with a good few by the glass and carafe; meanwhile, the Milk & Honey influence is a guarantee of ambrosial cocktails. Some early reports (during the first weeks after opening) suggested the food needed a bit of work. After our visit, though, we’re pleased to say that things seem to be running a lot more smoothly. As they should at these prices.
Redhook 89 Turnmill Street
020 7065 6800
- Opening hours:
Open noon-midnight Mon-Wed; noon-1am Thur, Fri; 6pm-1am Sat
Tube: Farringdon tube/rail
Meal for two with drinks and service: around £80
- 89 Turnmill Street
- 020 7065 6800
- 89 Turnmill Street
Drinks. Cocktails. Going in a group. Hip factor