The culinary adventures of some gluten hating girl in London
MASH stands for ‘Modern American Steak House’, which is odd because this one’s from Denmark. The brand has a few steakhouses in native Copenhagen, and has recently opened its first London restaurant beneath Brewer Street in the depths of Soho.
Don’t be fooled by its unassuming entrance, MASH is an absolute monster of a restaurant. Toddle down its spiral staircase and you’ll be confronted with a vast art deco room that just seems to go on and on. Despite this they have managed to make the space relatively cosy, dividing it up with booths and such. Everyone loves a booth.
Starters cost £10 and include all the obvious ones (charcuterie, smoked salmon, Ceasar salad) as well as a few more adventurous choices (veal sweetbreads, foie gras terrine, MASH tartare).
We went for the veal sweetbreads, smoked salmon and tartare. Tartare is served with homemade crisps, much to little brother’s delight. There’s no table theatre, however, so if you like it how you like it you may be a little disappointed.
Veal sweetbreads were met with a barrage of abuse from the table as they were apparently not sweetbreads at all, rather minced meat and very salty to boot. I couldn’t possibly comment as I wholeheartedly refused to ever put a sweetbread in my mouth.
Smoked salmon was generous and arranged in a nice pattern which won it points, again very salty though.
For mains we obviously chose steak, namely the bone-in N.Y. Strip (American), Ribeye (Danish – Dry aged) and Fillet (Uruguay). The steaks were, I’m afraid to say, a mixed bunch. As we cut into them we began to wonder why they had bothered to ask “how would you like that cooked sir,” because it seems at MASH you will be having it how MASH would like it cooked, sir. The shades of pink and red and brown were just all wrong. The N.Y. strip was enormous but very fatty. Ribeye was better, and the fillet was fantastic melt-in-the-mouth fabulousness. Perhaps it’s the luck of the draw?
Sides (£4.50) are also a mixed bunch. The original fries are great hand cut chunky things worthy of accompanying a big steak. The chilli fries however are hideous McDonald’s style nonsense worthy only of accompanying sad, sloppy leftovers in the bin. The bone marrow is good. The onion rings are monsters you could hula hoop in if the mood took you. They also serve mash, which is ironic, right?
Only one of us made it to dessert, ordering ice cream which we all dived into when it arrived despite our protestations that we were ‘stuffed’, ‘in need of an ambulance’ ‘headed for stomach pumping’ and so on and so forth. The ice cream was divine, but it had to be really at £5 for two scoops. It’s organic too, if you’re interested.
Gluten Free? You don’t get much more gluten free friendly than steak and chips…
The Verdict: Forget the starters, go for the steak. Order sides with faultless precision. Forget the chilli fries. The restaurant is luxurious, atmosphere is fine, the steak isn’t awful, the wine list is good. But the whole thing just isn’t brilliant. And given the prices it probably should be.