Irrationality dictates that when a restaurant opens up near your home, you will never visit it. You will blister your feet, throw money at public transport, and burn precious petrol to visit every other restaurant in the country, but you simply will not visit the restaurant down the road. Perhaps it’s rooted in a subconscious perception that good food should be “hard to find” – like a trusty barber, a compatible spouse, or a half-bedroom flat in London that costs less than one billion pounds.
This irrationality is perhaps why even a year after they had opened, I still hadn’t taken the 15 minute drive to visit Elvet Steakhouse. Outraged, Halal Chronicles took it upon himself to invite us to a dinner on Elvet’s behalf, and punished us with his unbearable company.
Encompassing the gaucho culture of Argentina, Elvet’s menu features a broad range of meaty appetisers, Argentinian and Australian steaks, burgers, grilled meats, and sinful desserts. After a warm welcome from K – the owner, and a brief catch up with our fellow bloggers, we began with the pulled beef pudding. The soft pulled beef was drenched in a creamy mushroom sauce, and sat upon a soft, yet crispy Yorkshire pudding. Though it did well to settle our appetites, both the beef and the sauce could have done with a little more intensity in their respective flavours.
Pulled beef pudding (£5.95)
The same could be said of the chicken and sirloin skewers, which were tender and well-cooked, but lacked a significant “oomph” to dazzle the tastebuds.
Grilled Chicken Skewer (£5.95)
Grilled Sirloin Skewer (£6.95)
The lamb ribs on the other hand were a sticky delight, with a rich, sweet BBQ glaze that had soaked into the tender lamb.
BBQ lamb ribs (£6.50) *Recommended*
This satisfaction was instantly superseded by the pan seared scallops, which were served with a sweet potato puree and a tomato concasse. Texturally, the scallops were flawless, with a crisp, seared exterior and a soft, tender core. Together with the rich puree and vibrant concasse, this was perhaps our favourite starter of the night.
Pan-seared scallops (£7.95) *Recommended*
Before moving on to our main courses, we were treated to a sample of a new addition to Elvet’s menu – the lamb fillet roll. This consisted of thinly-rolled lamb fillet with a crushed roast potato filling, served with a beetroot puree. Together, this combination proved to be simple and homely.
Lamb fillet roll (£14.95)
For my main course, I had opted to try Elvet’s Argentinian wagyu fillet, which had been cooked to a perfect medium-rare. However, although the steak was perfectly succulent and carried a good amount of flavour, it lacked the rich, buttery intensity that one would expect of a wagyu cut. Both Halal Chronicles and I considered this steak to be “a great steak, but not a particularly great wagyu steak”, and I’d be more inclined to try a Black Angus cut should I ever return to Elvet.
Argentinian Wagyu Fillet 250g (£55)
Steak meanwhile, had umm-ed and ahh-ed indecisively about which burger she would like to try, before conceding to K’s recommendation – the wagyu burger, which was tender, juicy, and covered in a roasted mushroom and honey glaze. Though satisfying, both S and I thought that it wouldn’t quite justify the £30 price tag, which would undoubtedly cause most patrons to reach for their pitchforks.
Wagyu burger (£30)
To round off our meal, K treated us to the signature “Elvet cheesecake”, which delivered a rich, creamy, and utterly intense dosage of dulche de leche goodness.
Elvet cheesecake (£6.50) *Recommended*
Value For Money: 3/5
Across the menu, starters cost between £5 to £8, steaks range from £20 to £55, burgers and grilled items cost around £10-£15, and desserts cost around £6. Aside from a handful of items (i.e the wagyu burger), prices are generally in line with any mid-range steakhouse in London, and the only potential shortfall in value is the fine-tuning needed on Elvet’s part to truly reach their full potential.
Given the overt nature of our visit, it is not possible to accurately comment on the service at Elvet, but staff members certainly seemed to be both courteous and efficient in their roles.
Decor / Ambience: 3.5/5
From the bare brick walls to the dark, shady lighting, Elvet does everything possible to create a classic “steakhouse ambience”, whilst maintaining a modern sense of styling. The restaurant can be found a ten minute walk away from Forest Gate station, and parking is available on adjacent roads after 6:30pm.
For a relatively new steakhouse in the home of our East London well-done-burnt-rubber-tire community, Elvet shows both promise and potential. At present, that promise and potential seems very much untapped, and with a little more refinement in the execution of various dishes, there is no reason why Elvet could not flourish further as a prominent halal steakhouse.
Disclaimer: We were invited to review Elvet Steakhouse.
Halal status: All the food served here is halal. No alcohol is served on the premises.
Address: 392 Romford Road, London E7 8DF
Telephone: 020 3601 9692