A mere few weeks after Beast, I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of another scion of the Goodman family. Tucked away on St. Anne's Court, Zelman Meats represents the more carnivorous reincarnation of Rex & Mariano. Still in its opening month, it's already attracted a following among the foodie crowd - and for good reason.
The seating of four ravenous ladies around one table - Yee, Steph, Danni and myself - led to the somewhat fateful decision to order almost everything on the menu. Cue a table absolutely groaning with protein and well-crafted cocktails. Exactly what the doctor ordered for a school night.
To start: Rex and Mariano's greatest hits, compiled into a medley of cracking starters: the famously sweet Sicilian gamberi rossi, cooked and raw oysters and a caprese salad topped with burrata.
Doing backstroke in olive oil and lemon juice, I could see why these were a hit in the days of R&M.
Not all oysters are created equal. These baked critters, hot to the touch and topped with 'Holy F**k' sauce and crispy breadcrumbs, were particularly special.
Next came the big guns. A litany of sides, and more meat than you could shake a stick at.
A special shout out must go to the luxurious truffle chips, topped with generous shavings of black truffle. I was also a fan of the smooth mash and salad - the latter absolutely needed to combat the inevitable meat sweats.
But let's be honest. Meat like this is honestly worth sweating over. This heavenly short-rib is the sort of hunk you'd like to strike up a relationship with. Smoky and tender, the meat falls off the bone in a way that would bring a tear to the eye of any self-respecting carnivore.
Slow-roasted, barbecued picanha. This had the right colour but was resoundingly eclipsed by the mighty short-rib. I did hear diners on other tables murmuring appreciatively over these, so it could be that our table just got the runt of the litter - or perhaps we're just short rib gals.
Yup. Definitely short rib gals. Things got a little medieval at this stage of the evening. All we needed to complete the experience were hounds lying on the rushes at our feet, eagerly awaiting our bones and scraps...
...or dessert. Dessert works equally well. I believe the Zelman Meats menu changes up regularly where it comes to pud. The night we went we were treated to a homely apple pie with an indulgent dollop of cream and vanilla ice cream. Lipsmackingly good, and a perfectly American way to round off a meal of Desperate Dan proportions.
With a cool refurb, and, more importantly, a menu with great value, Zelman Meats is sure to be a strong contender on the Soho food scene. The Goodman restaurants know what they do best, and that's why their patrons return time and time again. What I particularly like is that for one night, Zelman's diners are citizens of the world. You step in from the bustle of a typical London passage, greeted by modern Mexican art, slide into French bistro-like banquette seats, and order food that is unfettered in terms of location. I started out on the coast of Sicily with gamberi rossi and burrata and ended up on a dusty cattle ranch in Texas, having just polished off a short rib and apple pie. And there was absolutely nothing strange about that. ZM, I'll be back for more.
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to dine as a guest of Zelman Meats on this occasion. My opinions, as always, remain my own.