The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

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jdaw1
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The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by jdaw1 » 21:16 Thu 09 Jun 2011

AHB and DRT and RAYC tested Davy’s new location, the Steak Exchange of 2 Exchange Square EC2A 2EH, +44 20 7256 5962.

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DRT
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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by DRT » 00:43 Fri 10 Jun 2011

A very enjoyable evening in a new venue.

Staff: Excellent
Steaks: Excellent
Venue: Excellent

We had three very good ports and one duffer. I will post TNs tomorrow.

The manager has agreed that this would be a good place to try a 14 person tasting. It would be rude not to.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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JacobH
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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by JacobH » 10:05 Fri 10 Jun 2011

How does the price to quality of venue / steaks ratio compare to that at the Crusting Pipe? Could this be a new permanent venue?
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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by jdaw1 » 11:35 Fri 10 Jun 2011

And was there reasonable non-carnivorous food?

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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by JacobH » 12:50 Fri 10 Jun 2011

jdaw1 wrote:And was there reasonable non-carnivorous food?
The non-carnivorous ‟options” are ‟Cheltenham beetroot salad with fennel, orange, kohlrabi and chicory” (£7.95) for a starter which would probably be ok if it’s fresh beetroot and ‟Garganelli pasta with arrabiata sauce and baked ricotta” (£14.50) for a main course. Assuming it isn’t so hot that you can’t taste the Port, it would probably be ok, but expensive at half the price. It’s the usual thing of steak restaurants pricing their non-stake offerings at the same price as the meat, irrespective of how much the raw ingredients cost. I imagine the pasta costs less than £1 wholesale whilst at least the steaks are about £5-6 wholesale, possibly more.

For comparison, the upmarket Italian, Sartoria, on Saville Row has a similar but slightly more pricy dish (because it should have minced beef in it) of Ravioli Piemontesi with Ricotta, spinaci, walnuts and sage for £10.

But such are the occupational hazards of vegetarianism... :evil:
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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by jdaw1 » 13:21 Fri 10 Jun 2011

JacobH wrote:their non-stake offerings
You gently suggest a resemblance between, one the one hand, regular carnivores, and on the other, vampires. Nicely done.

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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by DRT » 14:53 Fri 10 Jun 2011

We did explain to the manager that one of our friends suffers from a horrible affliction that means he has to deny himself the pleasures of eating dead cows. He was very sympathetic and offered to accept requests for leave-based foods (apparently food can be made from leaves) provided we give them notice. He suggested that for larger gatherings it would be useful if we could submit a food order a few days in advance to ensure they order enough dead cows.

I don't think this place should replace TCP as it is definitely a more expensive venue (we spent £50 each and had no starters) but it is a very nice place for a special gathering. The costs could probably be kept down by agreeing a set menu in advance.

The glasses were also excellent. Small white wine glasses with cut rims and very clean. We forgot to ask whether or not they have 500.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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AHB
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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by AHB » 10:25 Sat 11 Jun 2011

There is a set menu, priced at £18 for 2 courses and £22 for 3 courses. Eating from this menu would keep costs down to TCP levels plus about £5 per head. The location is extremely convenient for anyone using Liverpool Street and a paid in the neck for anyone using Waterloo.

Corkage was agreed as £10 per bottle provided we don't take the Michael - Sam (the manager) said that if we all ate, attended reasonably regularly and were nice people then he would be happy to keep the corkage at this rate. Sam also stressed that while they were a steak restaurant, their chefs enjoy cooking something different and would be happy to have an advance order for a meal that didn't involve meat - although I am sure that it would be priced at a la carte prices.

The choice of steaks was great. RAYC and I shared a "club sirloin" - a two rib steak carved into thick slices at the table. DRT had some other large lump of meat that was cooked a bit more. The quality of steaks was excellent. Chloe - our waitress - was charming. We were probably helped by the fact that the restaurant is still building up trade so it was quiet and the staff were quite happy to leave us at our table chuntering away for 5 hours until very gently asking if we would mind leaving so that they could lock up.

What I particularly liked about the venue was the lighting - much better than the tunnels at TCP. In addition, TCP gets very warm in the summer and the Steak Exchange has air-conditioning. I would certainly return to TSE again for a small tasting and would like to try a larger tasting there. I might give them a call and see if I can book the 14 seat table for the matrix tasting in October.

As for the ports (tasting notes will be posted later):
Cockburn 1967 was voted port of the night with 2 first place votes and one third - I thought it a little light, but was out-voted.
Taylor 1948 was second place - this had a really strange nose that didn't blow off until the next evening (when it was an amazing wine).
Graham 1991 was third place - started off with some stewed overtones but put on weight and flavour over the course of the evening.
Dalva 1970 was shot to pieces, pale orange and smelling of plastic.

Tasting notes will be posted in the TN section.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by DRT » 23:36 Sat 11 Jun 2011

I have posted my TNs.

And a belated thanks to JDAW for producing the splendid placemats at short notice and for creating the review and TN threads whilst we were enjoying these wines and he was stuck in Paris. Thank you!
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by RAYC » 08:32 Mon 13 Jun 2011

This was a great evening - I did enjoy the new venue but would not want it to act as a permanent replacement - it is definitely good to have variety though and I can see it working particularly well with small groups.

There is a nice long table that would fit 14, and my initial impression on the night was that it would be very good for a large tasting. My slight concern, on reflection, is that whilst the tunnel at TCP might be badly lit, slightly too warm, and require you to stand in a hunched position, it does afford us a segregated/self-contained area with the ability to spread out bags, decanting implements etc. without disturbing the ambience for other diners, plus I think the average large tasting is probably quite loud by the end of the evening...

Having said that, they seemed very keen to accomodate us.
Rob C.

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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by jdaw1 » 09:36 Mon 13 Jun 2011

We should measure properly the size of a table that holds seven on one side. I think each person needs at least four A4 widths, each of which is 21cm.

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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by RAYC » 10:13 Mon 13 Jun 2011

The "table" for 14 would actually be set up by placing a number of tables for 2 or 4 end-to-end. There seemed to be a decent amount of space for a large set-up, though not on the scale of the RAF club - at a guess I would have thought somewhere around 80cm per person (equivalent to TCP).
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Re: The Steak Exchange, 9 June 2011

Post by DRT » 21:24 Mon 13 Jun 2011

Something else to consider is that the only part of the SE that could accommodate 14 people is in an open, public area or the restaurant. This would not be suitable for the more focused tastings that we have, such as some of those that have been held at the RAFC. For those who were at the 1960 tasting in the Bowler, a similar event at the SE would run the same risk of invasion by other customers. That said, one of the people who attended the 1960 tasting was very pleased with the outcome of that invasion.

I think the SE would be good for small to large informal events, but is no replacement for the privacy and freedom of the RAFC or a tunnel at TCP.

Derek
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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