Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Mother of Burgers

I've learned to hate Russians

All through my whole life
If another war starts
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

With God On Our Side, Bob Dylan Copyright ©1963

Well I’ve been loving the Russians* ever since November 2008 for they own Goodman. Like Harwood Arms and Lantana, Goodman stands out and it deserves a second posting. This reminder is in gushworthy praise of Goodman’s outstanding burger and brilliant set lunch menu.

Boys come here (and dare I say the girls will eventually) for the steaks. The stakes are high! ‘Scuse the pun, but perish the thought, Goodman is so damn perfect you shouldn’t have any worries about gambling your hard-earned dosh on a meal here. I’ve been here loads (not saying how many as it’ll only incite the usual sour grapes misconceptions!) and the place has never let me down. I don’t care much for the business-like ambience but the service (under the Strauss übermeister) like the food is exemplary.

It’s because that Goodman is a steak destination (deservedly so) we all tend to forget about what else is on offer from the rest of the menu. And one of them is the Goodman Burger, it escapes most peeps' notice and ends up as a second fiddle to the usual and redoubtable cuts of beef. Came here recently with my Most Favourite Daughter (the others being less human but a smattering of vintage and still revolving turntables).

MFD started with six rocks. She loves oysters and her favourites are the Colchester Natives. I love to wind her up about how could she possibly devour those live, helpless, screamless, and bloodless creatures without the melancholic tunes of an unaccompanied cello playing in the background. MFD chose to ignore the taunt and rebutted by declaring ‘Dad, you know Theo, well, we’re now an item’. MFD is good at killing conversations. I helped myself to one of her shellfish, for a bog standard oyster it tasted fresh and encourages ‘let’s have another dozen’. The accompanying mignonette sauce was the best I’ve had and that includes Paris.

My starter from the set lunch menu of beef carpaccio and rocket. Melting slices of delicious beef that doesn’t cryogenically abuse or aggravate my dodgy but sensitive teeth (a common cock-up with beefcarps when served immediately from the freezer) and the salad was correctly dressed with the right amount of balsamic vinegar, coarse salt and olive oil. Perfect starter for lunch.

This is it. The Goodman Burger.
It comes with lettuce, pickle, tomato, onion and chips as standard plus the following extras (take it all or pick some of it) at no additional cost: sautéed mushrooms, cheddar, bacon, fried egg, and fried onions. Given that I don’t usually carry a kitchen scale the patty looked at least 8oz of pure beefy heaven. As recommended by the waiter (they love to dictate how your beef should be cooked here), the burger was cooked medium. Just to point out I did order the Full Monty (all ten items); excellent bun (Helen!) and trimmings aside the burger was in a word, hedonistic

MFD pointed out that a burger is a sandwich and it must be eaten using your hands. If it needs cutlery then it ain’t a burger.

I don’t care if I’ve been preconditioned by the fact the burger mince was probably made from off-cuts of USDA Prime, Scottish grass fed or more recently Irish Black Angus Grass Fed Barley Finished from O’Shea’s; this is the best burger I’ve tasted (I haven’t been to the States yet, the Spanish Inquisition procedure at the US Consulate dissuades me there and then). And it was cooked in a blessed Josper! Spurt, rave, spout, gush, drool, Charlize Theron or whatever…Londoners, jump for joy, the bestest burger resideth here at Goodman. 12 quid for this dish, unreal…dreamland so obviously exists for the burgerati. I rest me case.

Set Lunch mains of 225g / 8oz USDA New York Strip with chips and peppercorn sauce. My British chums (Antoine de Caunes, hi if you’re reading), flying the flag is one thing but if you’re coming here for the first time, do plump for the USDA variety and please put your bleeding prejudices aside. You can always have your Scots, Welsh, Hackney or neighbourly Irish beef anywhere else and anytime in Blighty. The hard-to-find USDA Prime tastes like the Blue Fin tuna of beef except that it’s not going to end up like the dodo (Wagyu in comparison is too boutique-like for norms like me). Anyway, nice waiter said I should have the striploin cooked medium rare.

Chips are good but I'd rather have fries with my steak or burger anyday.

Does that retouched or Paint Shopped photo lie, no it doesn’t. This little piece of steak was awe-inspiring. I’m a big fan of the Yankee steaks at Goodman (and The Palm as well, despite the stupid prices and battering reviews). Think for a moment, a New York Strip steak (350 g/12oz & a bit) from the a la carte costs £27 and that’s without chips! Therefore if two courses from the set lunch menu set me back £18 (£22 for three) then Goodman will be grimacing when they read this stir of mine. A marvellous steak frites fix.

These days I just don’t have the room for puddings or perhaps it could be down to the desperate need for a puff and leave the premises pronto. We walked on to Covent Garden and ended our meal with my favourite cuppa.

Goodman is exceedingly good value for money. I shall be despondent if you find it somewhat lacking. Currently the best burger and steakhouse in London (well until I’m swayed by some freak wind…).

First meaty review at Goodman here.

*To a degree of course as I dislike Chelski (sorry Gastro1!).

26 Maddox Street
London W1S 1HQ


Wild Boar said...

Yeap, reading foodblogs before lunchtime is a bad idea. All I have to look forward to are reheated leftovers while I'm just craving for a big juicy burger now.

It's good of them to give you the extra bits FOC.

tehbus said...

I love Goodman. Even though I am totally burgered out from last nights exertions at Byron and the "Big D", this has ignited my hunger again. And for £18 for 2 courses, very aggressive pricing. And those Jospers, a thing of beauty and technical ingenuity.

Su-Lin said...

Agree with Wild Boar! How am I going to find a hamburger like this for lunch?!

Craving the onions, cheddar and mushrooms on top please.

Gastro1 said...

Great post and I agree it is a great burger and one of the best steak joints in town.

John Cadieux the chef and David Strauss are a great team and the focus on sourcing the best of the best be it USDA Prime Grass Fed Corn finished or O'Shea's of Knightbridge Irish Black Angus Grass Fed Barley Finished beef is a rare thing in London where too many restaurants sourcing and procurement is frankly a disgrace . My preference for the Irish or Scottish from O'Sheas is really around the cereal finish - I find corn effects the taste of the meat whilst Barley seems to be more subtle - anyway they both contribute to the amazing marbling.

The other thing I love about Goodmans is they have the best IMHO Smoked Salmon in the world from Frank Henderman properly served with soda bread , cream cheese , capers and red onions.

I wonder if I have some Irish blood in me ?

BTW having been a Chelsea fan for over 30 years I can assure you our Russian benefactor is a huge improvement on Ken Bates !

Mr Noodles said...

I've had to redraft my burger post after reading this. Everyone else bangs on about Hawksmoor but this also looks rather special. Another place to add to my ever growing list (and waistline).

Monkey Gland said...

Thanks for the link.

Hit up Byron last night. Burger: Good. Never brought myself to order one at Goodman.

Greedy Diva said...

I'm trying my first Goodman burger next week - you have me drooling already. Still have not sampled a London burger to rival the states, but this looks well on track.

Unknown said...

This not-so-little girl went to Goodman and loved it! I'll just have to go and write that post soon.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: O really admire your ability to post so regularly!

And in case I forget, gong hei fatt choy in advance!

bellaphon said...

Wild Boar- You may not believe this but I only have one meal a day. Personally I can’t see how Goodman can sustain the current price of their burger.

tehbus- If we’re informed that the Big D is being phased out at Byron, then imagine it being transferred to Goodman instead and to star alongside the above burger. Now that’s an idea!

Su-Lin- Or
? Less damaging to our environment, cheaper and requisitely bloody red!

Gastro1- Thank you, FYI my next post is veggie Indian, a respite for the various members of the genus Bos. Frank Hederman’s smoked salmon is indeed memorable and if you do get the chance the MsMarmitelover cured/ Tim Hayward smoked variety is equally so. Please don’t be Irish when England plays Ireland in the Six Nations Championship (whatever the fixtures, present or future). As for Ken Bates, poor Leeds United!

Mr Noodles- I shall be giving the Hawksmoor bone marrow wonder another chance very soon!

Monkey Gland- No worries. It’s totally forgivable to ignore the burger and even the excellent Devon chops of lamb (betcha no bloggers have ordered this save I!), when you begin to notice 1kg porterhouse and 999 years dry aged Irish Black Angus Grass Fed Barley Finished Ribeye (amen, what a mouthful) on the specials board!

Greedy Diva- Oh hello and thank you for stopping. A fine blog that’s been martyred by DH and I concur. Keeping my hooves crossed that your Goodman write-up reflects favourably on mine.

Little Miss Random- Looking forward to your post about your wonderful time here. I only use a titchy laptop for my blogging, there simply isn’t enough memory to hold what I need to rabbit on and there’s the lack of photo storage as well (I know but I don’t do externals or memory sticks)! Churn, churn, churn the posts till I get index finger cramps is my philosophy!

Dad said...

Growing up, I remember not being allowed to touch (or go near) my Dad's stereo system. It was a Sansui QR 4500, a Pioneer turntable and (what I now know to be) a crappy old Goodman's twin tape deck.

When I first read this post, I ACTUALLY thought you were praising that naffest of stereo brands and thought, just for a few seconds, that Stereo Les dealt with such tosh.

It is for these thoughts that I owe you an apology.

I apologise.

And now, on with the show ....

theundergroundrestaurant said...

I met that Goodman bloke at the Dos Hermanos meal last week. Did you know he has a dirty secret?
He comes from a family of vegetarians....

thora said...

Happy New Year, Bellaphon!

bellaphon said...

Dad- LOLly. Goodman and not to mention Alba, Binatone, etc...god, gawd, bitter gourd.

MsM- Behind every being there's a great vegetarian.

Thora- Thank you and Kong Hei Fatt Choy (wishing you to be prosperous in the coming year).

Unknown said...

Hi Bellaphon,

Have been reading your blog for sometime now...really nice reviews.

If ever you want to try Indian food with a difference (locally popular indian dishes hard to find in general UK restaurants) do visit my Supperclub/home restaurant called Chowpatty Supperclub.

To book places:

or visit Facebook-

or folow me on twitter-

Chowpatty Supperclub

bellaphon said...

Padmini- Have indeed heard about Chowpatty and yes I shall a make concerted effort by visiting the location that's Limehouse.

Unknown said...

Thanks Bellaphon...indeed its lovely place is just across the canal