The team behind South Ken's Macellaio RC - which has long been “knocking more macho steak houses into a cocked hat” according to our reporters - launched a third restaurant in Southwark's Union Yard arches in August 2016. The new site incorporates a steakhouse and bakery.
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“Quality Italian beefsteaks” – most notably from the Piedmontese Fassone breed – are showcased in style at Genovese owner, Roberto Costa’s, “unique” steakhouse group, where at each branch you “enter through the butcher’s shop” and “you can tell the staff which cut you want”. “The well-hung rump steak is absolutely delicious” and “a great selection of Italian wines” helps make it the perfect place to kill off an evening.
“Meat! More meat! And more meat!” is the order of the day (notwithstanding a few pasta options, and Sicilian tuna in the Exmouth Market branch) from the menu of Roberto Costa’s Italian steakhouse group, which showcases “amazing cuts of beef” from Piedmont’s Fassone breed of cattle, and where the arrival of the food is dramatised by the “stabbing of a steak knife into the table”. “The wine list has some interesting choices” too, and some affordable ones at that. In summer 2018 it announced its fifth opening, in Bloomsbury.
“A wacky way of issuing cutlery (plunging the steak knives into the table!)” adds a further frisson to these “memorable venues” – “an interesting concept where the butcher’s counter sits in the middle of the restaurant”. “Steak or tuna, that’s your only choice”, but the former in particular is “superb”, “melt-in-the-mouth” Piemontese Fassone meat matched with “delicious Italian wines”. There are two ‘flies in the ointment’ – “prices are now approaching ‘rip off’ levels”, and hit unlucky and service can be “rude, arrogant and slow”.
“A must for carnivores!” – These Italian grill-houses, complete with “eccentric” butcher’s shop decor, attract adulatory reviews, primarily for their “fantastic range” of “superb” Piedmontese Fassone steaks (although their alternative line in Sardinian bluefin tuna dishes can also be “outstanding”), but also for their “zany” and “charming” service, “excellent, predominantly Italian wines” and “warm and inviting hubbub”. And yet… they don’t do it for everyone – ratings are undercut by a hardcore band of sceptics who find the whole package a disappointment. The South Kensington original was joined by an Exmouth Market branch in late 2015 (formerly Medcalf’s, RIP), and a third branch opens in Southwark’s Union Yard arches in autumn 2016.