|Steak Steals the Show at The Cabin|
Turf preferred to surf at increasing popular High Road restaurant
I have long thought that what Chiswick needed was a no-frills American style steakhouse. It's easy to get a decent burger in Chiswick but where can you go to get a steak that is the mainstay of the menu? The Cabin, a steak and seafood grill, has filled that vacuum and if it keeps concentrating on the quality of its meat, then the customer base will surely grow.
I visited recently on a cold and bleak Friday. It had been dark since four o' clock and I arrived around 7 p.m. with no booking. It was a safe enough bet that I would find a table that early, but by the time I left two hours later the place was buzzing. The decor is cheerful and earthy with striped fabrics along the walls and wooden tables.
The wait for a menu and drinks took longer than it should have, especially given that our table was in the centre of the restaurant. However when our waitress arrived she was cheerful, friendly and attentive.
For starters, my companion chose crispy fried calamari rings with home made Tartar Sauce ( £6.50) which was crunchy and delicious. The starters range from £4.50 for bread and olives, to £10.50 for a shared Camembert Baked in the Box. There is an abundance of seafood among the starters with oysters, clam chowder, steamed mussels, and prawn and crayfish cocktail.
For those averse to fish there are back ribs, portobello mushrooms and salads. I had rocket and parmesan salad from the Side Orders (£3.95).
I decided to go for 12 oz Sirloin, and to make it a 'surf n turf' by taking up the option of Flamed Tiger Prawns (for an additional £ 5.50). My partner chose a Wagyu Burger (£14.90). This is one of the most popular items and The Cabin recently held a Wagyu Festival.
The burger was perfectly cooked and my steak, cooked medium, was excellent, full of flavour and very tender. The bearnaise sauce was also very good.
The prawns, however, were a bit of a disappointment. The three medium sized prawns were overcooked with a texture like cotton wool. I expected them to be fresh and juicy, and for there to be more than three on the plate. They certainly were not worth the extra £5.50. There is a half-lobster option on the surf n turf for an extra £12.50. I wonder how that would have tasted? Next time I will stick to the steak.
I had some chunky home-made chips and a side order of green beans cooked with garlic.The green beans were crunchy and an excellent accompaniment to the steak.
Other Cabin Mains include Steamed Mussels, White Wine, Garlic, Parsley, Chilli and Fresh Tomatoes Served with Fries ( £12.95); Salmon Fillet with Char Grilled Vegetables, Sautéed Potatoes ( £14.00) ; Whole Sea Bass, Marinated Roasted Fennel with Olive Oil, New Potatoes, Rocket and Pesto(£15.00)
Apart from a selection of steaks, the menu also includes two chicken dishes, a Lemon and Honey Glazed Half Chicken, Char Grilled Corn and Fries (£13.50) or a Caesar Salad (£12.50), or for vegetarians, an Aubergine Parmigiana (£11.50) or Butternut Squash salad (£10.50). Ribs, and another non-Wagyu burger are also available. If you want something spicy, a Thai Beef salad is also on offer.
The music playing was upbeat - a little loud for my taste - but I adapted. There seemed to be lots of groups and some couples. It would certainly be a jolly place for a Christmas party. The three-course Christmas menu is £27 a head, and does include steak and Wagyu burger.
I had a glass of sauvignon blanc and my companion had a Virgin Cooler - these are mostly blended fruit purees from the non-alcoholic cocktail range at £3.90. The wine list starts at around £20 and goes up to £32,50 and there is a very wide selection, along with cocktails, champagne, and liqueurs.
As the main courses were fairly substantial we decided to forego the sugar rush of dessert, although one interesting option might have been the dessert cocktail, a 'Tiramisu' of Amaretto, Kahlua, and Frangelico with cream and espresso. The desserts are priced at £5.50 and include a fairly standard selection of Apple Crumble, Cheesecake, Creme Brulee and Chocolate Brownie.
The Cabin offers a lunchtime burger menu of £7.95 and an early-evening dining menu of two courses for £12.50 which sounds like good value. The bill came to £85, including service charge. If we had taken the option of dessert it would have been around £100, a fairly standard price for a three-course meal in Chiswick.
With a lively atmosphere, friendly staff and good steak The Cabin is a welcome addition to the High Road.
December 2, 2011