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Rowley's (Restaurant)

Picture of Rowley's in St James, London

113 Jermyn Street, St James, London, SW1Y 6HJ
Cuisine: Steak House
Tel: 020 7930 2707 | Email to Rowley's | Transport: Piccadilly Circus | Write review

Rowley's Review

Top 10 things we learned about Rowley’s restaurant when we visited:

1) You’ve got to feel for the vegetarians. Onion tartlet – ‘vegetarian dish of the day’ – hides on an otherwise meat-obsessed (and rightfully so), succinct menu. As an erstwhile herbivorous dolphin-saver, I know the tribulations in eschewing the alluring texture of cow, lamb and chicken, and therefore advise veggies to stay at home with Linda McCartney, or seek sustenance in Rowley’s limitless fries or perfunctory side salad.

2) Carnivores, however, are unlikely to locate a better entrecôte steak in London - medium-rare when medium-rare is ordered (how rare!). This pre-sliced dense slab bears a huge knob of herb butter, which turns the sizzling pan a Chicago-river-on-St-Patrick’s-Day green when torched by the flame in the middle of the table. Almost as magnificent as…

3) …the fatty, chargrilled lamb cutlets; salty, crispy-edged naughtiness.

4) Unsurprisingly, the restaurant lives in a former butcher’s shop. Indeed, we sat in the window like dressed meat, passers-by jealously ogling our meaty delights.

5) The restaurant’s steak-loving clientele seem a bit pre-theatre - romantic old couples, glam girls, family groups – but have perhaps become so consumed with consuming delicious meats that they’ve forgotten the West End theatre tickets in their pockets.

6) The ninja waitress ghosts in occasionally, topping up water, inoffensively bland house wine, and slipping yet more unlimited fries onto plates.

7) It’s not all starch and protein. Starters are available too. The fishcakes, for example, are unique in that they actually contain fish. I chose the ham hock terrine purely to enjoy piccalilli in Piccadilly (had to be done; apologies), yet was still sated by the chunkiness of its flesh, a precursor to the meat feast that would then unfold.

8) Although dessert took an age to appear, the word ‘Bailey’s’ preceding the ‘bread and butter pudding’ piqued our interest; and the silky smooth panna cotta had the requisite gelatinous stability to make the brief journey from plate to willing gob. We were unsure whether fries were permitted with dessert.

9) The restaurant and its traditional, original Art Deco (probably) interior, are a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus, for those who have mastered the art of chucking stones around 90-degree corners.

10) Excuse my French (fries), but there’s no amuse bouche or fancy schmancy petit fours here. English-sourced, traditional meat is this restaurant’s raison d'être, and considering the quality and St James’ locale, the prices are succulent too.
...read more

Christian Rose-Day

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