Eat Here: Boxcar, MaryleboneBy Alicia Grimshaw
If you follow my escapades on social media, you’ll realise I love meat; melt-in-the-mouth beef patties, braised lamb shoulder, and, my all time favourite, steak. People talk about their death row meal, and my main would be a prime cut of steak followed by a sticky toffee pud – because warm caramel sauce is the sweet elixir of life.
Steak restaurants are now ten a penny in London, with the likes of Hawksmoor, CUT at 45 Park Lane and Goodman all cementing themselves as iconic steakhouses. But there’s always room for more, especially when top quality ingredients and classic cooking techniques are concerned. Enter Boxcar, an independent restaurant and butchery dedicated to sourcing outstanding, 100% British produce from the best farmers across the UK. If a slap-up steak dinner sends your heat racing, I think it’s about time you visited Boxcar. Here’s the all-important details:
Boxcar: The Lowdown
Nestled between a cafe and a wine merchant, Boxcar opened last year, and people have been lapping up their meaty fare ever since. Boxcar is wonderfully intimate – and there’s a real organic vibe here that so many restaurants attempt to mimic with music.
There’s an outdoor patio space which is covered against the London elements, and an indoor restaurant area complete with a large blackboard showcasing the different cuts and sizes available. Think low lighting, wooden table tops and tiled features. And yes, the tables are slightly too close together but we enjoy the intimacy. Take a date, grab a mate, or spoil your mum – this is a restaurant for all occasions.
Boxcar: The Food
The menu is short and concise, and that earns top marks in my books. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from watching re-runs of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, it’s do one thing really well and stick to it. For starters, I’d recommend the Butchers Board as you can work your way through some Great British snacks, like the Scotch egg – a perfectly poached egg, with a runny burnt orange yolk encased in a duvet of sausage meat. It’s absolute heaven for the tastebuds. The board also features tender salt beef brisket, honey mustard ham hock, celeriac remoulade, lamb scrumpet and tartare sauce, cornichons and grilled sourdough.
My companion ordered the burger for main, and hailed it as ‘remarkable’. The hunky beef patty was made from 45-day dry-aged beef, which was cooked to perfection (medium-rare). And the addition of the tart pickled onions, homemade burger sauce, and melted cheddar cheese proved to be a winning combo. Special shout out for the rosemary salted fries. – an absurdly delicious side.
I came for steak, and steak is what I ordered. The decision over which steak to have is not one to be rushed – and must be taken seriously. People differ when it comes to steak, and it’s all about getting the ratio of tender and flavour right for yourself. I always prioritise tender so I ordered the fillet, rare. Served to my liking, the butter-soft fillet was plump and juicy. And you also have the option to choose a sauce – the Béarnaise was a rich, buttery, blanket of deliciousness.
It almost felt like the Boxcar kitchen team read my death row menu request, as there was a sticky toffee pudding on the dessert menu. And oh baby, was is a belter. Warm, gooey caramel sauce covered a moist light-as-air sponge, and a dollop of clotted cream rounded off the pud nicely. I didn’t think I could squeeze anymore food into my tum, but I make exceptions when STP is concerned. Boxcar’s treacle tart was a playful take on a school lunch classic, and the tart was presented with salted caramel popcorn and popcorn ice cream. Both desserts were agonisingly gorgeous.
Boxcar: The Verdict
Mix great wines, with killer steaks and an unpretentious vibe and you’re really onto a winner. Good news, Boxcar has all thee.
For more information on Boxcar, visit their website here. 23 New Quebec St, Marylebone, London W1H 7SD