NB: Whilst I would really like to apologise in advance for the obscenely horrendous quality of the photos below, this post is about being merry. So we will just put it down to the fact it all ties in with the theme, shall we? What I am trying to say is…deal with it.
I am not a party animal by any stretch of the means. Whenever the clock strikes midnight, you can pretty much bet your life I have been asleep for at least two hours. Shamefully, that fact isn’t contained within the four walls of home: I can literally fall asleep anywhere. Proof?
Nevertheless, I do love a good bit of play time and hold a particular soft spot for post-work drinks. After all, nothing feels better than a mid-week jaunt…which, sadly, goes hand-in-hand with nothing feeling worse than sitting at your desk the following morning, slowly coming to the realisation that perhaps that third bottle of wine [or final cocktail, as the case may be] wasn’t entirely necessary.
In any case, I am a very handy colleague to have around indeed! Need someone to drink with? I’ll drink with you. Need a shoulder to cry on? I’ll drink with you. So long as dinner is also involved.
What I specifically mean by this is that drinking culture within the UK did initially throw me a bit of a curve ball. Truth be told, I still struggle to get my head around the fact that British people enjoy heading out for an after work drink – sans dinner. In fact, sans any food at all! Bar a bag of crisps…maybe.
Therefore, whenever I find a colleague that enjoys a collection of both dinner and drinks, it is definitely cause to cling on for dear life. Queue: Samson, my office-based Brewski Buddy. On an increasingly frequent basis, with very little rhyme or reason, either one of us will manage to convince the other it has been a tough day…which automatically provides the green light for a couple of evening wines and a bite to eat.
Our most recent example? Last Thursday, when it was Samson’s turn to pretend he had a busy day of crazy. After a pint or two at a nearby pub, we were on the prowl for food and soon found ourselves hungrily perusing the menu at Zelman Meats in Soho.
As is so often the case after a few drinks, our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs and we dove straight in enthusiastically and ordered a collection of starters to share.
Being the oyster fiend that I am, I fought to ensure a handful of Jersey Rocks (£2 each) were included in the mix.
As well as tuna tartare (£10) with avocado, soy sauce, lemon and lime.
Samson’s contribution was the tiger prawn tempura (£8) with ‘Holy Fuck’ [their words, not mine] mayo.
All were really tasty! But starting plates weren’t what we came here for…that being, a meat feast. [Well, what else was going to go with all the red wine we ordered].
…So here it is! Sliced picanha (£6 per 100g) and chateaubriand (£9 per 100g), both cooked perfectly to order. We also threw in a bit of chimichurri and béarnaise (£1 each) for good measure.
But what is the point of a steak dinner without sides? Answer: there isn’t one, because I…love…sides.
I also love anything truffle-related and immediately pounced on the black truffle and parmesan chips (£8). As good as the meat was, it was these that had my stealing little fingers coming back for more and more. So truffle-y, so good…I will be back for these alone. Probably more than once.
This can’t be the first time I have harped on about my undying need to balance a meal out with something / anything green. It just feels necessary. So last minute, I threw in a side of charred broccoli with chilli, garlic and anchovies (£5).
Like the food heroes we are, we managed to get through most of what was laid out in front of us and, as a whole, we thoroughly enjoyed everything. Whether or not the wine played any part in this, I cannot definitively say. Anyway, viewing things from a quality versus price point perspective, who is complaining? Very reasonable indeed. We finished up happy, full…and perhaps a little too merry for a mid-week adventure. Luckily for us, given the time of year (CHRISTMAS!), this was nothing short of totally acceptable. In fact, we will probably do it again next week.