Just off Carnaby Street, an amiable bistro (on the former site of Benja, RIP), offering a top-value steak/frites formula in a tightly-packed communal setting surprisingly evocative of Old Soho.

The name nearly put us off checking out this new bistro, just off Carnaby Street. Yet another hommage à Downtown NYC? And, to make it worse, located just a few doors from the seminal bare-bricks-and-filament-bulb shrine which is Polpo.

Turns out, though, we’d missed the space in the name. Though the title is presumably intended to echo the moniker of the early-wave Gotham skyscraper, it is in fact all to do with the US cut of steak they serve (known in England as a Butler’s Steak) which, foodwise, is essentially all they do.

For a tenner a time, though, we doubt you’ll find much better meat, certainly not in the West End. You can have a small but tasty steak, with a (modest) bowl of very good chips, a (very small) salad, a (tiny) pot of béarnaise and a 250ml carafe of wine, all for under £20. No wonder this tightly-packed communal-tables space was pretty full on our early-days lunchtime visit.

Regular readers may know we’re rather bemused by the current rage for huge steakhouses serving enormous chunks of meat at prices to match. This amiable bistro – which, despite its name, conjures up something of the atmosphere of ‘Old Soho’ – seems to us to offer a great corrective.

photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

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