Harden's survey result
“The simplest menu” – the only items are “great steak-frites” accompanied by their “legendary secret sauce” (though you do get a choice of dessert) – makes for a “winning formula” at the three London branches of this international French-based chain. “If steak and chips tick your boxes, this will too!”. “Time it wrong, and you’ll have to queue”.
“You know what you are getting” at this Gallic steakhouse chain whose “unique formula” delivers “excellence through simplicity” – the only menu option is “tasty” steak-frites (with unlimited seconds), garnished with their “to-die-for secret sauce”.
“Addictive steak, secret sauce and fries” (and no other menu options) is the winning formula of this “busy” Gallic grill-house chain, whose “efficient but perfunctory”, “bums-on-seats” approach adds little to the ambience. “Annoying no-reservations policy” – expect a queue.
“A very simple concept that works every time” – this Gallic steakhouse chain offers little choice – you get “a rather tasty green salad”, steak with secret sauce, “addictive fries”, and second helpings if needed; the setting is “bustling”, but “brusque-verging-on-rude” service can leave branches feeling “soulless”.
Relais de Venise L'EntrecÃ´te EC2
An instant smash-hit, this convivial Parisian-inspired steakhouse, on the site of the old Stock Exchange building, offers an excellent all-round fixed-price formula.
Rarely have the massed ranks of Britain's finest national restaurant critics talked such unadulterated tripe as they did on the launch of London's original outpost of a Parisian steakhouse, back in 2005. Very sensibly, the public took no notice at all, and the Marylebone restaurant has been a hit since day one.
The group has now launched a bigger, and even better, branch, in the heart of the City. Bigger it may be, but it's already heaving. Well, what's not to like? A tasty salad is followed by a hearty portion of steak (in two services) with 'special sauce' and unlimited frites, in a cosy, convivial and convenient setting.
And at eminently reasonable prices too. The basic all-in meal is £19 plus service. Recession or not - hey, even depression or not - that sounds to us like a pretty much perfect formula.
No booking, so get there early.
Last orders: 10 pm