Monday, 11 August 2014

MASH – Wagyu Destruction

The reason that brought me to this Danish Steakhouse was the 50% off all steak in July. If it wasn’t for this offer, MASH would never have made it to my Eat List. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Denmark, except NOMA tried sending me to Japan once when I asked for a table, I just don’t automatically associate the country with top-notch steaks.

The stairs spiralled to a beautiful dining room that boasted elegance and 1930s glamour; dark polished pillar, mahogany booths and plush sofa seating. It reminded me of Balthazar, but much posher and much sexier. The photos on the website and that awful white-on-red logo really don’t do this place justice. We started with a couple of cocktails; my El Prado was fruity and sweet; Alex’s All-American Martini was way too manly and Bond-like for me.

It’s not really the season for oysters but hey we were in the mood. These were fresh, clean and crisp, not the plumpest or creamiest, but good enough.

American Greater Omaha Rib eye (medium rare)
Our steaks arrived in an iron skillet on a trolley. From where I was sitting, I didn’t spot any leakage on the plate. Our server split the steaks for us on a massive wooden board, placed them back on the skillet before transferring that onto our table. Quite unnecessary to be honest.

I started with the rib-eye. At 400g it was a decent thickness, well seared and rested to lock the juice in. The steak was sweet and flavoursome from the dry-aging, plenty of meat juice from the melted grease. It was a good steak, just that I have been spoilt with even better ones; ones that were more buttery, ones that were bursting with more bovine goodness, ones with even more concentrated flavours. But – this was a good steak.

Australian Wagyu Grade 9+ Sirloin (medium)
We weren’t sure if we wanted the Wagyu after our server explained the steak was relatively thin cut, and at 200g, it had to be. Problem is, thin-cuts are pointless in a proper steakhouse with a crazy grill that rocks up to hundreds of degrees in no time. That said, at a discounted price of £37.50 for a Grade 9+ Wagyu sirloin… it’s a hard one to pass. And Alex said he hadn’t had Wagyu before (*Gasp*)… In the end we decided to give it a go.

I was kicking myself when I finally got round to this. The steak was stone cold. Ah how long did it take me to get through half a rib-eye?! I was so annoyed. Either way, the steak was even thinner than I expected, and a thin steak is simply depressing, especially when the marbled fat has dissolved away to leave the steak even flatter than it started. It was such a waste; there was no buttery, melty meat, no explosion of wagyu juice, no oozing beefy fragrance; too grainy and too much chew – nothing like a top grade Wagyu sirloin. What’s wrong with upping it to 300g so there’s a decent bite to steak?

Bone Marrow, Fries & Creamed Spinach
The bone marrow was amazing, as one would expect, as was the creamy spinach. Fries were more hard than crispy and lacked seasoning though.

It was a great evening and my stomach was killing me from laughing too hard; Alex is awesome company and I suspect the 2 bottles of quality red and another couple of cocktails had something to do with it. In terms of food, however, I wasn’t overly impressed because I have had a better US rib-eye elsewhere, say Goodman or even Hawksmoor. More importantly, I cannot, and will not, forgive what they have done to the Wagyu. Have I missed the Danish twist?

77 Brewer Street
Tel: 0207 734 2608

Mash on Urbanspoon
You may also like: CUT at 45 Park Lane, Beast, Foxlow

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