I have to say I had almost given up hope. Every time I order a steak in a restaurant I’m disappointed.
It’s either the size (ridiculously small), the way it’s been grilled (why don’t they listen?) or just the plain lack of taste (please change your butcher), altogether reminiscent of supermarket meat in neat plastic packets and totally recognisable by its pale pinkness illustrating its immaturity. I’ve just stopped thinking of a steak as an option when I look at any menu. Until now.
Opened four years ago, The Cabin in Dawes Road is one of a stable of three eateries owned by Harvey Simpson and Marcello Alessi (the others being the 333 Club at the Goat in Boots in Fulham Road and The Albany in Twickenham). Almost camouflaged from the street, you walk into a truly comfortable and welcoming restaurant and bar concealed from the outside world by its spider’s leg segmented blinds.
If you sit at the bar either Liam Cook or Ivan Mendoza, the managers, will make you a fabulous cocktail and while you wait you will, like us, be truly tempted by a little something from the bar menu.
My friend Zoe and I had two delicious glasses of wine from the extensive and well researched wine list and then decided we had to try some baby ribs (tender, smoky and sadly gone very quickly), a fillet steak tartar with a cute yolk of a quails egg to mix in (unbelievable but could have been a little feistier in its seasoning) and a house skewer of little chorizos, pieces of fillet steak, onions and peppers (perfectly spot on).
We then had to bypass the starters (a bit of a shame but there is unfortunately a limit even for me) but did look longingly at the choice of steamed mussels (go there on a Thursday for a wonderful offer of a pot of them with fries and a beer or glass of wine for £10.95, one of many amazing weekly specials), crispy calamari rings with homemade tartar sauce and grilled portobello mushrooms.
We chose a table close to the famous gynormous fish tank (very popular on Sundays for brunch with the kids) and Zoe beat me to it and ordered the Wagyu burger made from the most delicious and succulent Kobe beef, which originates from the only UK herd of traditional Japanese Wagyu cattle in North Wales. I had the Irish cote de boeuf, and found it was blissfully perfectly cooked, meltingly tender and almost too big. We shared chips (the hand-cut fresh chips winning hands down over the frozen shoestring fries) and fought over the garlic green beans. The béarnaise was awesome but the green peppercorn definitely not so, which seems odd as it’s incredibly easy to make.
What’s not so good? Well, the pudding menu is fine if you don’t care a jot about calories and lacks a bit of lustre and excitement. I would have been tempted by a skewer of grilled fruit and the salads are a bit thin on the ground to say the least. But the service is spot on and both the managers are charmingly efficient. I did promise Liam I wouldn’t mention to a soul that he is a vegetarian – hard to believe as he is so knowledgeable about the carnivorous menu.
All the meat is supplied by the local butcher, Dickenson’s, and aged for a minimum of 28 days; there is also rump steak from Scotland, English sirloin and fillet from Yorkshire and all steaks come in two sizes – 8oz and 12oz – and range from a reasonable £12.50 upwards.
They all come with a choice of chips, fries, mash or salad included in the price.
There has clearly been a lot of thought and care taken in the sourcing of such excellent quality meats and for that very reason if you haven’t yet, you should beat a path to their door. I sincerely doubt you will find a better steak anywhere in Fulham. If you do, let me know.
The Cabin Bar & Grill, 125-131 Dawes Road, SW6.
Call 020 7385 8936 or see: