For the first time in 5 years, my dad came to visit.
He’s a rather traditional man. A man of ties, ‘proper’ (wholesome) food, and fine wine.
So where better to take him for his first meal on British soil than MASH?
An “American steakhouse with a Danish twist” – it had the Petersen name all over it.
So off we went. My dad, brother, boyfriend & I, for a celebratory catch-up.
The first thing I must make mention of was the ambience. Although the place is enormous (with capacity for 350 covers), considering it was a Friday night, it was dead. And dark. We may have been particularly unlucky with the area in which we were seated, but it had a real ‘Gentleman’s club’ dim/smoky/dingy feel to it.
Service started on a bad note with our waiter abrupt and borderline rude, but improved markedly throughout the evening.
Although the barmen do deserve due credit for their skillful G&T (£9.00) abilities.
Thankfully we were fully consumed with chatting & swapping stories to pay too much attention to any of this; it’s only upon reflection that I’m left with a slightly sour taste in my mouth.
A basket of bread was offered & enjoyed (the butter was particularly good; I’d put my money on it being Lurpak, instantaneously explaining why the Danes around the table loved it so much), although I do believe that variety is the spice of life, and it would perhaps have been nice to have a selection of breads to choose from.
Dad had his favourite, pan fried foie gras (£9.50), which was really very good. Smooth, rich and buttery, although if I’m to be hyper critical it was served a little on the cooler side of things.
My brother, Michael & I all went for the tuna tartare with avocado (£9.50), with the fish notably fresh and of a very high quality, but in desperate need of seasoning, and sitting atop a generous portion of bland avocado.
Don’t get me wrong, it was fine, but when you make a much tastier version at home, and can have triple the portion for the same price, it’s understandable that we were rather underwhelmed by MASH’s serving.
For mains, my brother ordered the MASH Burger with chili fries (which he exchanged for mac & cheese) (£17.00).
Sat in what is acclaimed to be one of London’s best steakhouses, and with him being the tender age of 12, my initial reaction to his food choice was something horrifically patronising along the lines of “awww, how sweet”.
Well, if only I’d had his good sense & fortune. The burger was sensational. Easily in the top 3 burgers I’ve ever tasted.
Filled to the rafters with allllll the goodies, it was a thing of beauty. Thank God he couldn’t finish it!
The mac & cheese, unfortunately, did not receive such rave reviews. Again, it was bland and in severe need of seasoning (a recurring theme).
Naturally, the rest of us ‘intelligent adults’ opted for steak with all the trimmings.
Michael & I had the 300g Danish dry-aged rib-eye (£35.00 each), which was very flavoursome, but unfortunately consisted of 40% unrendered inedible fat, resulting in a large pile of yellow left on the plate.
^ Pretty much just the top right 2/3rds which could actually be chewed & swallowed.
Dad had the 200g Uruguay fillet (£29.00), which cut like butter and was cooked to perfection, but lacked flavour.
We shared a bunch of sides (£4.50 each) & sauces (£2.50 each).
The chips were OK, but a little dense & stodgy, a bit like an oven chip.
Saddened by the lack of mushrooms and choice of hot greens on the menu, I settled for the mixed tomato salad, which was simply that, and didn’t have a scratch on Jean Jacques’ epic serving.
The creamy spinach should be renamed ‘cheesy spinach’, with a thick layer of solidified cheese covering a limp & wet spinach base.
With the food alone, without dessert, costing over £50 per person, it’s fair to say that my overall experience of MASH was a poor one, particularly when compared to the incredible value, delicious meal that Michael & I enjoyed at Tango restaurante just the week before.
If you’re looking for the best steak dinner in London, I would recommend Goodman by leaps & bounds, followed by Hawksmoor, M and Gaucho.
It’s safe to say that I will not be returning to MASH anytime soon. Except maybe for a quick burger pit-stop.