Bankside Food Month – Macellaio RC and More
Gentle reader, you may recall that just a few weeks ago I visited Macellaio RC, an Italian steakhouse in Battersea. And, that was when I discovered there was a branch close to me, in Bankside. Of course I really wanted to visit especially when I saw an Italian friend tweeting about how good it was. Well, fate must have been watching, an invitation to find out more about Bankside Food Month appeared just as I was publishing my review of Battersea. And, one of the many events on offer was a baking course at Macellaio RC Bankside. There were plenty of other events on offer too – running to the end of October 2017 and, for the rest of the year the food scene at Bankside is burgeoning in a way that makes me, as ‘nearly local’, very happy. You can find out more on the Bankside website
Sadly the date for the interactive bakery class didn’t work for me – but I was invited along to Macellaio anyway to learn more about it and sample some of their food. It’s a very dramatic setting – the concept of the restaurant butcher on stage won’t escape anyone. And, here you’ll find fine food and drama in a very special way.
Upstairs, in the loft area, we spent some time watching the baker making traditional Ligurian cheese-stuffed focaccia. And, later on, we got to eat it too. The bakery class is over now, but there’s a similar butchery one on Tuesday 26th October, where you can learn how to select meat and what the best cuts are. You’ll be taught by the Executive Chef and Head Butcher from Macellaio. After that, you’ll sit down to enjoy a 3-course meal and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Sadly there was no butchery lesson so instead we went straight for a meal – which truly didn’t disappoint.
We started with that stuffed focaccia I mentioned earlier – a delicious, crispy dish full of stracchino.
Followed by two meatier starters. I loved the tender and beautifully flavoured beef carpaccio served with Tuscan extra virgin olive oil. Macellaio use a particular beef – the world-renowned Fassona breed – which is aged in house for 5-9 weeks. The result is quite sweet and herbacious – perfect for a carpaccio.
Both of us were less sure of the Battutu – a beef tartare topped with Gorgonzola and Modena balsamico and flame grilled at the table. The cheese just seemed to overwhelm the delicate beef tartare. But it’s very much about personal taste – and there are plenty of options on the menu for next time!
There are various cuts of meat which you order by the 100g – Fiorentina (T-Bone), Fillet and Costata. I’d learnt from last time that both the Fiorentina and the Costata are easily enough for two – they are normally 700g portions. And that when they are served your meat will have been expertly carved before presentation. So much easier!
So, we ordered a Costata and some side dishes of Spinach and Chips. We asked the chef to prepare it as he’d recommend – and so it came medium rare.
What I hadn’t realised the last time was that the serving platters are actually heavy iron and have been heated up to ensure your meat stays perfectly rested but doesn’t get cold. We both agreed that what we were served was quite sublime – the best flavoured beef I’ve had recently.
For dessert I ordered the Latte Dolce Fritto that I’d enjoyed so much at Battersea. My companion picked the Bianco al Basilico which turned out to be a delicate basil infused pannacotta.
We thoroughly enjoyed the food. And, I loved the atmosphere at Bankside Macellaio RC – the venue has a warehouse type feel, with high ceilings and a loft area and an eclectic collection of bric a brac dotted around the place.
It’s definitely somewhere I’ll go back to – as our neighbour on the next door table said, in addition to the steak dishes there are a whole range of other options which are very reasonably priced (a bowl of pasta starts at £6). Add to that an extensive wine list and friendly helpful staff and you have a winning formula.
Meanwhile, if you have space in your diary, I’d recommend taking a look at the remainder of the programme for Bankside food month. You could enjoy cocktail mixing at Hixter or Union Street Cafe or a coffee making class where you’ll learn how to brew the perfect Aeropress with Caravan. Or you could just chill and explore one of London’s best foodie destinations.
For more information about events at Bankside check their website
229 Union Street