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Scottish Steak Club
Tel: 0871 978 8049*
(*= Calls cost 13p per minute plus your phone company's operating charge)
Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa, Manchester, M1 2PG [map]
Steakhouse restaurant situated within the Macdonald Hotel and Spa.
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Scottish Steak Club Manchester ~ overall reviews
food
price
service
smartness
overall:
most popular dish: USDA Prime New York Strip (£29)

Scottish Steak Club Restaurant ~ our review
Is this Bovine Nirvana? (March 2014)

Trusted Reviewer " A great steak is something which despite its apparent simplicity, is almost impossible to find in this country. Sure, you can get a steak almost anywhere, on every menu in the land, and it's often cooked fairly well too. But a truly outstanding steak as with any great cuisine is a list of simple things, all done very well; great quality meat, properly aged, seasoned well, cooked properly, rested properly, served in an appealing way, is another story altogether.

When the Scottish Steak Club at the McDonald Hotel launched its new menu earlier this month, we were excited to see how close they would come to hitting the bull's-eye of meaty, bovine nirvana.

We adored the open kitchen which you walk straight past upon entry, which led to us receiving a warm welcome from chef as well as the every pleasant and helpful waiting staff, was a great start to the evening. The process of aging and storing steaks was visually described to us via the fridge containing the restaurant's offerings, with two examples of certain cuts; one before aging an one after, all stored in a nifty fridge which we were told rises and falls in temperature, leading to the meat being more succulent and concentrated in flavour. All steaks are cooked on a Josper grill, which is pretty much an indoor BBQ, being cooked on charcoal. Before you even sat down, it was clear that the Scottish Steak Club was serious about its steaks.

On the menu, starters were varied to suit all tastes, and we opted for the excellent sharing seafood platter (£16) which contained great quality salmon, mackerel and trout, all well presented on a wooden platter with accompaniments. A fantastic way to kick things off. The wide selection of breads on offer is also worthy of a mention. As far as the main course steaks go, there were the usual suspects of Fillet, Sirloin, T-Bone etc, all from the finest Scottish herds, as you'd expect based on the restaurant's name. There were also various options for other tastes such as fish and chips, salads, etc.

However, what truly grabbed our attention was the specialist steak list, which contained culinary jewels such as Argentinian Ribeye, and the real show stopper here; USDA Prime New York Strip. For those who are not familiar with American beef, the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) grade all beef which is produced in the USA on various levels, the Rolls Royce of which is USDA Prime, and represents only 2% of USA produced beef. You just don’t see this stuff in the UK, and it's not exactly common in the USA either in honesty. At £29 for a 10oz top end sirloin steak, it was indeed pricy, but then you don’t pay pennies for certain things in life, and the same steak would cost about the same in New York.

In short, this was good value, even if the Mancunian Way was our view from the window, not the Brooklyn Bridge. The steak's succulence and flavour, which was almost matched by its Argentinian Ribeye associate (£24), was outstanding. Depth of flavour second to none, all the fat marbling converted into beefy, juicy goodness. Both came with superb chips and a tomato, mushroom and cress garnish, although the latter felt like little more than a garnish to the outstanding steak.

Puddings are in a tapas style format, coming in individual, miniature servings of which you can sample as many as you like, for just £2 to £3 each. Ideal after a big steak really, with special mention going to the lemon cheesecake variety, for its added surprise, which I won't ruin.

The wine list is comprehensive, with the separate listing for Malbecs; a grape which lends its hand notably well to the flavour profile of steak, being a very nice touch, even if I did feel a little silly for moaning to my sidekick about the lack of Malbecs on the list, before cottoning on soon after. Our selection of quality 2012 Michel Torino Como Organic Malbec (£10.50 per 250ml glass) truly hit the spot, and perfectly matched the steaks. And since we dined mid-week, we managed to take advantage of the offer of buying 2 glasses, and then getting the rest of the bottle for free of charge!

The restaurant's new format is in its infancy, and whilst standards are undeniably high, there were a couple of small lapses in service speed, and we were unsure about some of the crockery used on other dishes being served at other tables. The fish and chips for example didn’t seem to fit on the table due to being served on such an elaborate multi piece platter of wood, metal and also crockery, and the room itself, whilst undoubtedly smart, did still have a very hotel like feeling to it. Still, we found little to grumble about on the whole, and left feeling superbly content, happy that we could now eat some of the best steaks, that to be frank, we've ever eaten, right here on our doorstep.

So, truly great steaks have landed in Manchester, and it’s a long time since we've tasted beef of this quality, cooked to these standards, served by such a helpful and enthusiastic team. The team have done a fantastic job in delivering what is surely Manchester's best steak house, by some way. Any avid carnivore should check it out, and even if you don’t like steak, go for a salad, or another non-beefy option. Either way, just go. The Mancunian Way is actually quite pretty at night time, even if steak isn’t your thing. ~ restaurants of manchester 18/3/14 (visited on a Tuesday evening)

food
price
service
smartness
overall

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