Apr 30 2013

Palm, The


I have an American Express credit card and in January as a loyalty thing they sent me a voucher with £50 off if I went to eat in the American steak restaurant The Palm. The offer was valid until the 30th of April, and I totally forgot about it until the 29th of April, Monday, and as my boyfriend and I had nothing planned for the next day we booked a table for 7pm in The Palm for dinner to spend our dining card

The Palm is located in between Sloane Square and Knightsbridge and is an American steakhouse that is located in many different cities across the US, and the first and only branch in Europe (this London one) opened in 2009. The restaurant is more than 85 years old, so probably one of the oldest steak restaurants in the world. The first Palm was opened in 1926 in New York by Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi, who wanted to open a restaurant and name it afyer their hometown Parma, but a New York City clerk misunderstood their Italian accents and issued a license for “The Palm”. The restaurant is still owned and operated by members of the Bozzi and Ganzi families. Steaks originally were not part of the menu, and when people wanted a steak during the early years, John Ganzi would run to a nearby butcher shop, buy a steak, and then cook it to order, but as the requests were so frequent steaks eventually became a regular menu item.

The London restaurant as well as the others have cartoons of famous people as well as pictures of them with autographs to show that they have been to the Palm, and this tradition began in New York when instead of singing for their supper, artists paid their tab by painting an original portrait on the wall. The décor is pleasant and quite American, as you would expect and the atmosphere resembles an American steak house.

I personally love American steak houses and whenever I am in the states, I love going to a good steak house and having steak, and I much rather prefer the American steakhouses to London ones, as they just have bigger portions, huge pieces of tomatoes and seafood and various other things and just seem more exotic to me. But my issue with the Palm is that the London branch is not like an American steak house at all, it is like a bad version of an American steak house and Goodman’s and Hawksmoore are much better places to enjoy steak in London.

I did like the bread the waiter brought, and I especially liked the cracker type of bread. I would have liked to see onion bread though, that I frequently see in American steak restaurants. Just like in other steak restaurants when we arrived and could not decide which steak to have the waiter brought us a large plate of uncooked steak and explained the various cuts. We skipped the starters as none of us was feeling extremely hungry and just ordered the steak for our main course. The Palm focuses on USDA Prime aged steaks (corn fed, hand selected and aged a minimum of 35 days), and initially I wanted to go for the more expensive £42 12 ounce prime New York strip, but when the waiter told me you need to cook it medium so all the fat melts and creates a lovely flavour and I wanted my steak rare to medium, I chose the cheaper 10 ounce rump steak which was £29 and served with fries (so the added advantage was that we did not have to order fries as a side). My boyfriend did not want to eat US beef and he wanted to support home British beef and so chose the 20 ounce T Bone steak which they suggested to cook medium. To go with our steak we chose the Brandy peppercorn, Bearnaise and chimichurri sauces as well as a side of Tomato and Onion Salad which also had Danish blue cheese and aged balsamic vinegar, and Haricot Verts (or green beans) with shallots, pancetta and‎‎‎ toasted pine nuts.

I was massively disappointed with my portion. The steak was good, cooked perfectly medium/ rare, but this looked like a portion in your local average pub not like an amazing plate of food in an expensive steak resyaurant, as the steak was a small bit on the plate and it was surrounded by these average, not appealing chips. Even though I paid almost £30 for it, I felt like I was eating the poorest and lowest dish of the menu. I have taken a separate picture of the fries just to show how average they were, and if you pay so much money, you just can’t have this. My boyfriend also liked his steak, and thought it was nice, but both of us agreed that the steaks we have had in Goodman’s and Hawksmoore somehow feel better.

I did like the sides, I prefer the tomato and onion salad in Hawksmoore, as it does not have the blue cheese, which there was a lot of, and which totally overpowered the salad, but this is an American steak house touch, I have had salads like this in the states in steakhouses, and I liked the fact I could finally feel this American touch. The green beans were also great with the pancetta and pine nuts, and I enjoyed these. The three sauces that came with our steak were quite average.

Overall I had a nice meal, but I am happy I only paid £58 (with my £50 off), and I would not pay more for this meal, as it was just lacking something, and you can get cheaper and better steak and sides in Hawksmoore and Goodman. I slightly regret that I did not try their seafood selection as I love the huge seafood American steakhouses offer and it would have been great if The Palm could do that.

Date: 30/04/13
Price for 2 people with a bottle of beer and a glass of wine and service charge: £108.96 (but I only paid £58.96 due to my dining voucher)
Location: Sloane Square

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Square Meal

Maija rated: 



The Palm
1 Pont St London, SW1X 9EJ
United Kingdom
Palm, The Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 2.5