When it comes to steak night, you want quality and simplicity: Wood happily excels in both. Founded by MasterChefwinner Simon Wood last year, its unpretentious brand of fine dining focuses on letting the ingredients speak for themselves. The cooking is confident, often complex, but there’s no compulsion to try and show off.
Which is why Tomahawks command a drizzle of oil, a touch of seasoning…and very little else. Meat this good and anything more would be sacrilege.
We visited recently to try the Tomahawk Tuesday offer: based on two people sharing, it costs just £25 each and includes two sides, peppercorn sauce and a humongous Tomahawk. Needless to say, the value is excellent - whether it’s a special occasion, romantic meal or you just fancy some serious steak scoffing with friends.
There’s something very relaxing about Wood. Mellow lighting, muted blues and metallics, flickering candles and the clink of glasses…all conspire to make you want to stay longer, and seeing chefs at work in the theatrical open kitchen is mesmerising to watch.
Oh, and the wine list is good too. We both plumped for Morandé Pionero, a fruity Chilean red - perfect for the meaty main to come - and decided on some starters while we nibbled on complimentary homemade bread (sourdough and pumpernickel, both lethally moreish).
Now, starters aren’t included in the Tomahawk offer, but we recommend treating yourself because we’ve never once been disappointed. Scallops with burnt cauliflower and panch phoran (a type of Indian five-spice) was an unusual combination but the subtle charring of the clams, the dabs of puree and curry mayo, and the crunchiness of the cauli worked a treat.
As did the second starter, salmon with melon and wasabi. The delicate salmon slices cured in beetroot, the refreshing yuzu-compressed melon (cantaloupe, galia and watermelon), the Japanese radish and the punchy aftertaste of wasabi was a revelation.
Talking of revelations, it was Tomahawk time... Regally presented on its own stand, with a big pot of peppercorn sauce, this 28 day dry-aged cut was the supermodel of steaks: beef rib eye served on an impressive axe-like bone, pink in the middle and charred round the edges on a Josper grill. Sourced from longstanding Midlands butcher Jack Wood, it tasted as ravishing as it looked - some feat. We chose tenderstem with black onion seeds and baby jackets as our sides but other options include heritage Vichy carrots, Waldorf salad and buttered new potatoes; all fine accompaniments.
We’d suggest ordering medium rare but, however you choose to enjoy yours - and whichever sides you choose - be prepared for a steak sensation.
Tomahawk Tuesdays is served from 12pm every Tuesday. Book online here