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Where's the beef? Malmaison Brasserie

New series: Because what you allow in your mouth should always be substantial

Published on May 1st 2012.


Where's the beef? Malmaison Brasserie

Where IS the beef?
The Malmaison Brasserie, William Jessops Way, Princes Dock, Liverpool L3. 0151 229 5000. 

What's the sketch?
£9.95 Thursday night deal gives you steak and chips and coleslaw. Remember coleslaw? This is crunchy and homemade. Accept nothing less.

£9.95? Where's the catch?
This is beef, sonny, not fish, although admittedly the steak used in “bargain deals” often resembles sole. The sole of your shoe, that is.

Hmm. I've been to a lot of duff steak nights in pubs.
This isn't a pub, for God's sake, this is the Mal Brasserie and they have a reputation to maintain. All their beef comes from Donald Russell grass fed cattle in Scotland. On steak night here, they won't try to pass off a rubbish rump or a tough T-bone for your tenner – instead they'll surprise you.

A full bodied Rioja to knock it back withA full bodied Rioja to knock it back with

Ohh, I like I meaty surprise, tell me more.
You will be served lesser known cuts of steak – onglet and chump, in an ample seven ounces – cuts that don't normally appear on the Mal's a la carte menu.

So, the poor relations?
On paper, maybe, bit rich in spirit.

What's the beef?
The onglet is the steak that butchers would keep for themselves and is commonly served in French bistros and brasseries for its depth of flavour: it lies next to the kidney. Now it's catching on here, although most British butchers, what's left of them, still aren't familiar with cutting it for steak, where it needs carefully trimming of all muscle and sinew to make it grill or pan ready.

There it is againThere it is againHere they have done exactly that. Both substantial cuts have a skinny ribbon of delicious fat running through and, as anyone who knows anything about food will tell you (eg those French), it's this marbling that packs the sizzling lean with flavour and moisture during cooking.



Well hung, madam?
In the event, the onglet was grainy and flavour filled, crowned by red wine and shallot butter (£1.95), but it was the chump, cooked a perfect medium rare, which was a succulent, tender marvel. Its flavour and texture were as good as we've had anywhere and, with a generous boat of bearnaise (£1.95) and an upgrade to some really good dripping-fried huge chips for a quid extra, we weren't just raising a glass to the kitchen, but to our wallets.

Remember when ribeye was snubbed, before it got all gastro-designer and expensive? Humble, people, does not mean you must grumble.

If you must you can upgrade to rump for £2 more, but, on our evidence, there really is no need.

Tarte TatinTarte TatinFancy a bit on the side?
Let's stick to the food. You can bolt on either a jacket potato and sour cream, grilled tomato and mushrooms or onion rings, for £2.95.

Ooh, sauce...
In this case pepper sauce, bearnaise, red wine/shallot butter, red wine jus, garlic butter or roquefort butter for your £1.95.

And to wash it down?
If you like, a £16.95 bottle of 2009 Dinasto Vivanco Crianza which took the flavour of the beef to a whole new high.

A very very chocolatey thingA very, very chocolatey torte thing

Cake?
A pear tarte tatin or this very rich and robust chocolate number here, for another £4.95. The total bill, with bread and olive tapenade to start, came in at just over £50 with decent wine, for two, although we could have done it for far less.

When's the beef?
This Thursday at the Mal from 6.30pm. We just so happen to have downloaded a voucher, here

Verdict
Cattle do nicely.

Next time: A special city centre burger....

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Latest Rants

Phillip Lawler

I will visit this place once the management and staff have got their act in order.

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seaman staines

Well they say that 'love comes in spurts...'

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Anonymous

Just like the swingers room

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John Bradley

This is a menu for Laconia in 1938, it doesn't look that great.…

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