The Palm Restaurant
1 Pont Street
Tel: 020 7201 0710
I really love good beef. And I really love good beef even more when I walk into a restaurant and The Rolling Stones are playing on the sound system. This makes me a very happy man. And if I’m happy then my family are happy as well. So a better start to a meal it’s hard to think of. Read on and I will shamelessly use as many Rolling Stones song titles as I can to guide you through our eating experiences at The Palm Restaurant.
We found ourselves at The Palm in Belgravia on a quest for American beef. The two boys had never tasted it and I haven’t been to the States for some time so The Palm was the way forward. To help you make your mind up they can produce a tray with all the cuts they have on offer. The boys’ eyes nearly popped out. Our youngest exclaimed “ They look like Tom and Jerry steaks Dad, they’re giant!” such was their size, this was food for giants indeed.
But I’m racing ahead – appetizers were there to ‘start me up’ so we enjoyed a variety. The best of the bunch was soup of the day a clam chowder; that was just the right side of creamy with a delicate flavour of the sea. I had a robust and earthy pâté, which came with a good red onion confit, cornichons and country bread. Smoked Scotch salmon was chosen by M and it turned out to be her ‘mother’s little helper’ tasting as it should, fresh and lightly smokey. Our youngest chose batons of Mozzarella from the children’s menu with a spicy tomato dip, ‘hot stuff’. These were excellent and a large portion, enough for two smallish children easily. There was plenty for us all to try them with the dip and it left our hands with ‘sticky fingers’.
The interior of The Palm is what I’d call laid-back East Coast American. Nice prints on the walls, wooden floors, large comfortable booths (which I adore in any restaurant or diner) and a feeling of relaxed efficiency prevailing. The service was impeccable we were looked after by Desiree a delightful Antipodean far away from home but loving London and all it has to offer although she did have a little jibe at our recent bad weather ‘you can’t always get what you want’.
OK, so the main event, our steaks arrived. While the starters are priced fairly averagely for this part of London (£6 – £12) the steaks come in at quite a bit more. But you are paying for US meat (they also have British if you prefer) so a giant 12oz filet mignon with a brandy peppercorn sauce came in at £43.90 and a New York strip steak £42.90. Now these are pretty eye watering prices but I’d say if you go there hungry and appreciate the size of them (12oz is more that twice the size of a lot of steaks served in the UK) then it is not unreasonable. And boy, are they tasty! No one was going to tell me to ‘get off my cloud’ with the taste of this meat, gorgeous. The table went quiet for a while as we all delved into our own fiefdoms of pleasure. The seven year old had a child’s steak and chips that would put many a restaurant’s adult portion to shame. But it wasn’t all carnivore heaven we softened this meat fest with some great sides. Creamed spinach was top-notch and asparagus frites with lemon garlic butter also hit the right note. They do a mean chip here, essential for steak. ‘The last time’ I had meat this good was ‘2000 light years from home’.
The invisible jukebox was still turning out the hits that pleased my ears. A provider of ‘Satisfaction’ is the best way to sum up The Palm. And talking of satisfaction I’d describe the desserts as good. The treat for M was a little (well not so little really!) bag of doughnuts sprinkled with ‘brown sugar’ or was cinnamon? Whichever it was they tasted lovely, just a bit too big to eat it them all. Cheesecake was also of Goliath proportions and well made, it is hard to beat a good baked cheesecake, ‘let’s spend the night together’. The youngster ordered and demolished (yes, it was very large) ice-cream sundae. I was feeling the strain so went for a selection of cheeses with a glass from a ‘loving cup’ or two of very pleasant Salentein Malbec 2010 thrown in for good measure.
We had managed three courses but it was a struggle, no ‘sympathy for the devil’. They offer a loyalty club so I guess that you can return on a regular basis and enjoy all those dishes you won’t have room for on your first visit. I’m not sure if I have done The Rolling Stones any real justice here but listening to those great songs through lunch I realised that being in a steak house like The Palm might be ‘only rock ‘n’ roll, but I like it’ all the same, ‘wild horses’ wouldn’t keep me away.