Looking to plan a dinner & theatre date in London West End? There are plenty of halal-friendly options in Soho to get you covered. But if you specifically fancy steak dinner, here’s one that ticks the boxes on paper for your theatre date night. Sandwiched in between Sondheim Theatre (where Les Miserables is playing) and Gielgud Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, Macellaio RC Soho couldn’t be a better location for the occasion.
If you frequent London West End, at some point, you would’ve walked past Macellaio RC Soho. The Italian steakhouse prides itself in the art of meat dry-ageing and you would’ve noticed its proud display of glass fridges with all sorts of meat cuts in there. The restaurant has been at this prime location for a number of years now but they’ve recently decided to start introducing halal steak options to the menu and opening up the market to halal diners!
Macellaio RC London: Italian Steakhouse & the Theatre of Meat
Macellaio RC has multiple branches across London including Soho, South Kensington, Fitzrovia, Battersea, and Exmouth Market. The restaurant prides itself in not just high-quality meats, but also an in-house butchery and “hand-crafted dining theatre”. Currently, only the Soho and South Kensington branches are offering halal options on their menu.
It is no surprise that the restaurant was quite busy and bustling when we visited on a Friday evening for an early dinner. Macellaio RC spans two floors and we were seated upstairs at the mezzanine. Wooden tones dominate the restaurant interiors, with a bit of an old-school & timeless Italian trattoria vibe to it.
In terms of menu options, there are only two halal steak cuts available at the moment – the T-bone and Costata steak (ribeye). As mentioned, this is currently only available at the Soho and South Kensington branches. Alcohol is served at the restaurant.
Oysters (£4.50 each)
To start, we had some fresh Maldon oysters nicely served over a bed of ice. They’re not particularly huge in size but, as expected with the Maldon breed, these oysters were reasonably meaty to taste. There’s a natural saltiness to them and the flavours worked well with a squeeze of lemon plus a drizzle of Tobasco. It wasn’t the best oysters ever but certainly decent ones.
Halal Costata Ribeye Steak (£9 per 100g)
We were originally eyeing the T-bone steak but it was, unfortunately, out of stock on the day of our visit. So we settled with the only other alternative option – the halal Costata steak, i.e. ribeye. There is a minimum order for the steaks, which is 750g and that was certainly enough to share between the two of us. Macellaio prides itself that all steaks had been dry-aged for 4-9 weeks to maximise flavours. Whilst it’s definitely not of shabby quality, the steak wasn’t outstanding either. It was a tad bit dry to taste and missing a rich buttery flavour. For the price paid, we expected better.
Truffle Butter (£2)
In terms of sauces to go with the steak, the Truffle Butter is the only one we could get. There are only three options on the menu and one contains alcohol, while the other is made with bone marrow that isn’t halal. So that leaves with just this one option. As you can see from the photo, the truffle butter came served a bit dry and broken up. Luckily, the flavour was decent, at least. It wasn’t anything particularly wowing but it was, overall, aromatic, and it was definitely much needed to enhance the steak.
Hand-cut Chips (£7)
The steak may be on the mediocre end but these chips were anything but that. For sides, we opted for some hand-cut chips and we both agreed that these were some of the best ones we’ve had at restaurants! They’re incredibly well-seasoned, with the perfectly double-fried crispiness on the outside and soft fluffy texture on the inside.
Mac & Cheese (£9.5)
Unfortunately, the same praise can’t be made for the Mac & Cheese. That baked golden cheesy top was a welcoming sight to start, but beneath it was a rather sloppy mac & cheese. The pasta itself was overcooked and the bechamel was lacking richness in both texture and flavour. It lacked flavour depth and, more importantly, missing a moreish cheesy touch within the sauce.
There may not be a dedicated mocktail selection on Macellaio’s menu but you can ask for a custom one to be made. For this instance, my other half had asked for something tangy and with passionfruit, and they happily whipped one up for him. Whilst generally nice & refreshing, the drink was certainly not worth £13. As you can see, it wasn’t a huge glass either so it’s definitely not the best value for money.
Restaurant Review Summary
It’s always great to see restaurants start catering halal options, especially for the likes of steakhouses and other western cuisines. I can’t say we’re particularly impressed with the food but we can both agree that the location of Macellaio RC Soho was faultless and it’s got a nice ambience to the place. With steak being the headline of the restaurant and its longstanding popularity, I couldn’t help but wonder if the T-bone steak would’ve fared better than the ribeye we had. I certainly would like to think they can present better steaks that are fully reflective of their price point and we were just a little unlucky on this visit. It’s still a good addition to London West End and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this restaurant!
Halal menu available.
Nearest station: Picadilly Circus