I judge people who eat their steaks well done. Even medium actually. For me a steak should be served medium rare at the most, and nice and pink in the middle. Let’s not be squeamish sissies about this, a cow has given its life so you can eat it, so get the job done properly.
And Maze Grill is doing the job properly.
A spin-off of Gordon Ramsay’s Maze, Maze Grill takes all the best elements of it’s older sister and brings them to a more accessible, neighbourhood domain. There’s impeccable service, a great wine list and premium sushi and sashimi with the added joy of steak.
There are currently two Maze Grills, one in Chelsea just off Fulham Road and the other is in Mayfair in between Claridge’s and La Gavroche. There’s a third member of the family due to open any day soon on Royal Hospital Road (also Chelsea). They are all modelled on the finest New York steak restaurants and their speciality is rare-breed steaks.
I popped along last week to check out Maze Grill Park Walk, and as soon as I entered I was presented with a Chapel Down sparkling rosé. And once my dining companions arrived, we were served the chef’s selection of the menu.
To start we had tuna devilled eggs with a nori and dill garnish. These were richly delicious – one was more than enough. We also had smashed avocado with sweet potato chips. This was essentially very fragrant guacamole – the fragrance coming from the coriander that it was laced with. Coriander isn’t for everyone, but I really enjoyed the depth of flavour.
After the “small plates” we moved on to sushi, which were our starter, but you could just as easily have a couple of dishes to yourself as a main course.
First up was salmon nashi, which was salmon with nashi pear, red chilli, crispy rice and ponzu.
Then we were treated to scallops yuzu, which compromised scallops, salmon caviar, shiso ponzu and frozen yuzu. The dish is brought to the table without the yuzu, which is then grated from a giant bar at the table. This was my favourite of the sashimi dishes. I think? Really hard to choose as they were all pretty spot on.
Last of the fish was a platter of tuna sashimi surrounded by California rolls, which were topped by a generous mound of snow crab. California rolls to the uninitiated are snow crab, avocado, tobiko and these ones had a ‘tempura crunch’.
After the sushi we needed a while to recover, and while we did the manager took us through the cuts of meat on offer at Maze Grill. This massive T-bone steak is a British native breed sourced from a farm on the Lake District. There is also US prime steaks and the much sought-after wagyu on offer (did you know Kobe and wagyu beef are the same thing – and no, they’re generally not fed beer or massaged anymore, as there’s no evidence this improves the beef).
All Maze Grill’s steaks are dry aged in huge glass-fronted airers, which are constructed with Himalayan salt bricks. The salt helps draw the moisture out of the beef.
All the steak chat had whetted our appetite for the stuff, so we settled down for some meaty goodness. We were served huge platters, which had perfectly cooked T-bone steak, as well as pork loins and lamb chops plus sliders. Look at it all!
We also had some sides. The shaved cauliflower salad – vegetable of the moment – was delicious. It was sliced wafer thin and then dressed with a pureed cauliflower, parmesan and dill dressing. There was also a kale and nori salad. Confession: I dislike nori, so this wasn’t for me, but if you like nori then it’ll knock your socks off.
Last side was the obligatory triple-cooked chips, which were hearty chips and definitely not fries. They were perfectly crisp on the outside and really fluffy and light inside. The dream!
Feeling heartily stuffed and suffering from the first prickles of the meat sweats, we did the sensible thing and got a truckload of dessert.
The strawberry and brown sugar Eaton mess was incredibly rich, as you’d expect. I really liked the unusual texture of the brown sugar though. If I wasn’t so stuffed and didn’t have fitting into a wedding dress to think about, I’d definitely eat a whole bowl of this.
Frozen lime yoghurt with toasted meringue doesn’t sound much, does it? However I cannot rave enough about how delicious it is, especially after a meal of rich, red meat. The lime yoghurt was pleasingly sour and the meringue was spread on the side of the bowl to scrap off. It was a lot like a deconstructed Key lime pie.
Maze Grill’s signature dessert is monkey bread with pecans and vanilla ice cream. Monkey bread is essentially a Swedish cinnamon bun, baked in a pan with loads of syrup. It is totally incredible, although this portion was meant for two and we all agreed that trying to share it between two would’ve created a row.
The chocolate cake with creme fraiche was fudgy and very brownie-like. Who doesn’t like chocolate cake?! Sickos, that’s who.
Lastly, and maybe my favourite, was the vanilla set custard and rhubarb. This was creme brulee by any other name, but with some poached rhubarb piggy backing it. It was so moreish and perfectly set, with a thin, delicate crust. And we know how much I love rhubarb. Oh you don’t? Well it’s my absolute favourite.
I really enjoyed my meal at Maze Grill. It is a lovely venue, and perfect for dates or perhaps a family celebration as it’s not a budget option. But if you go here and order your steak well done then we can no longer be friends.
Maze Grill, 11 Park Walk, London SW10 0AJ
Nearest tube: South Kensington (12-minute walk)
I received a complimentary meal from Maze Grill, but my opinions remain impartial.