Steak and Co. gets a no

Eating out can be a nightmare for anyone with food allergies or intolerances. The amount of trust you have to put in someone cooking up a meal in what is most likely a gluten infested kitchen is something I don’t ever think will get easier. There have been times over the years when I have paid more than anyone at my table to have a main meal, as sandwiches or wheat laden gravy dishes were off the cards. I have had a waiter arrive at my table holding a plate full of pasta smothered in cheese, despite me telling them I could in no way eat this sort of meal. And then there have been times in cafes when my soya milk was actually cow’s milk, leaving me feeling ill for ages after. I guess eating out is in a way like playing Russian roulette.

On a recent trip to London, I stopped off at a steak house called Steak & Co. Granted, I get sick of eating steak all the time when out and about as it’s the only thing that seems to be available with non-gluten containing ingredients, but I was in a hurry to find somewhere to eat and the restaurant actually looked quite appealing.

Upon taking a seat I was greeted by a waiter who I asked about a gluten free menu, to which I was told they didn’t have one which is very common in food establishments. However, when I asked for an allergy listing for the dishes on offer, they looked at me like I’d just asked to see a monkey riding a motorbike. The waiter then told me ‘I’m sure you probably know what you can and can’t eat’ in a polite but very unhelpful way.

Obviously I opted for the safe option and chose the fillet steak, with no sauce, no butter and no chips as these all contained wheat and dairy. Me and my friend assumed that being a steak house, chips would be included as a side dish, but no they cost no less than £2.50, and my jacket potato cost £3.50. I commented to my friend on how if I was the chef I would be embarrassed to send out a steak on its own with not even chips to accompany it. The best bit was, nearly £22 for a steak and you had to cook it yourself on the grill plates which were presented, a nice little touch for some but I don’t think it really satisfies the whole ‘let’s go out to eat dear to save cooking tonight.’

I admit, upon looking at their menu there were some really appealing dishes on offer which I would have loved to have tasted, and for normal eaters I’m sure this place would be a foodie’s heaven if looking for a typical grill house. Unfortunately, due to the staff’s lack of knowledge on food allergies and very limited options available for special diets, I can’t say I’d recommend Steak & Co to many people.


Miller and Carter succulent steak

I think most gluten free people have experienced going into a restaurant, looking down the menu and realising there is absolutely nothing they can eat. I’ve been there many times, especially when friends decide to take a spontaneous trip out to eat and I haven’t had the chance to have a look at what dishes are on offer beforehand. But there is one meal I always seem to fall back on in situations such as these, steak and chips! I grant you, I love steak, but when I go to often smaller or your average chain carvery and can’t eat much off the menu, I do get a bit tired of always having to order steak.

Millers & Carter steakhouse however, is a whole new kettle of fish. Obviously being a steakhouse, steak and chips is their baby, and in my opinion they serve the best I’ve ever tasted throughout the UK so far – the only steak better was served to me in the USA, but as they’re the father of steak and I’m sure my meat had literally just come off the cow, it would be unfair to compare.

The staff are always really friendly to me and understanding of my needs, in fact as I am also lactose intolerant, I have been known in the past to take in my own butter and spread it across my plate. But, as the dishes are not over complicated it’s not hard for them to accommodate the needs of a gluten free person like myself.

They serve a variety of other dishes including sea bass, which I am really, really wanting to try one day if I ever get to a steakhouse and don’t want steak, as well as chicken, gammon, pasta and a small selection of vegetarian dishes.

If eating before 5pm Friday and Saturday or 6:30pm Monday to Thursday, the restaurant has a very reasonably priced lunch and early menu with a tempting selection of dishes. However, if ordering from the main menu, expect to be presented with an iceburg lettuce wedge stuffed with a mouth-watering topping of your choice, whilst also being given the option of which delicious sauce to smother your steak in. Personally, I don’t think you can beat the red wine sauce which blends in gorgeously with my medium rare cooked steak.

Yes the steaks do go up in price when you order off the main menu, but I believe you have to pay a bit for a really decent quality steak, and compared to what I have been charged before at certain restaurants where their steak is nowhere near as tender, I think it’s worth every penny at Millers & Carter

This time round, I ordered the 8oz fillet steak with the bacon and honey mustard sauce on the lettuce wedge, as all is gluten and dairy free. Served with chips and fried onions, the steak was cooked to perfection and filled me right up.

I think the main point is though, gluten free and non-gluten free people will love this place. And if unlike me you can tolerate a bit of pudding such as a good old crème brulee, I would strongly recommend making just a little bit more room in your tum!