Mash, Soho

I have never associated steak with Denmark… though I know the food is meant to be exquisite there. MASH is a phenomenon and like its Scandanavian counterpart, the new Soho branch offers large steak cuts from the best cattle in the world.

I was amazed by the expansive interior when I went for lunch… located in Brewer Street’s iconic Art Deco building, the place exudes charm and charisma, inside and out. Mashed potatoes do feature as a side dish at this restaurant but the name is actually a clever abbreviation of Modern American Steak House.

Mash deserves to be recognised just as much for its cocktails as its steak… which are mixed up with top ingredients and inventive flavours. The leading barman seemed happy to be distracted by our persistent questions and was delighted to show off the best homemade combinations by giving us little tasters. The cocktails are mixed with fine and characterful spirits and liqueurs, some homemade by the creative bar staff others carefully sourced from around the globe.

After sampling numerous spirits, we took a seat in one of the diner-esque plush red leather booths and addressed the meaty menu. The waiter noticed immediately that we needed help and took us for a brief viewing of the steak varieties… cuts from Denmark, Australia, America and Uruguay are available. We opted for a dry aged Danish sirloin and Wagyu sirloin from Australia, both looked promisingly pink and juicy behind the exhibition glass.

Wine was expertly selected for us by our blonde waitress, a perky white to start (our favourite was the Kungfu Girl Reisling) and a mellow red to continue, finishing with an unusual dessert wine. We grazed on our starters: charcuterie for me and fried squid for my friend. Both very tasty, though hurried through in anticipation of the main attraction.

The steaks arrived sizzling, great hunks of meat sliced elegantly by our waiter into immaculate segments. This was ideal for sharing but unfortunately made the meat turn cold faster than desired. Alarmingly we both preferred the Danish steak, which I couldn’t believe, especially after preaching about the qualities of Wagyu meat to my guest. It was soft but dense and packed full of flavour so that it barely needed the rich peppercorn sauce that arrived alongside it. The Wagyu was delicious too, but more fatty and less addictive. Onion rings were of the plump kind, airy and tasty and the fries were nice but nothing special, and looked a little limp in their dish. Macaroni Cheese was an entirely unnecessary addition to the table, ultra rich, gooey and good but an odd accompaniment to steak.

Patting our full bellies, puddings seemed unwise, but nonetheless we ordered a couple to share: creme brulee and cheesecake with red fruit coulis. A French recipe and an American classic: both were very lovely and provided the perfect sweet tooth satisfaction.

Four hours later and we finally dragged ourselves out of Mash feeling rather Mashed! This Danish eatery offers magnificent meat and cool concoctions underground in a secretive Soho restaurant. A must try for steak and cocktail lovers.

More information here.

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