Yet, thanks to a demanding schedule, I haven’t had time to return to the Hippodrome’s Heliot Steak House since. It is a bit of a culinary tragedy.
The restaurant, named after infamous 1900s lion-loving performer Claire Heliot, is famed for its prime USDA offering but offers a diverse menu as stimulating as the casino which props it up.
That very menu’s new additions (pan-fried champagne salmon, grilled halloumi with orange, et al) seemed the perfect excuse to reserve my long-awaited return.
While the steaks are simply too good to skip, I decided to be an open-minded little food writer and start with some seafood to share. Unsurprisingly, both the theatrically-smoked tuna tartare (bathed in a delectable ponzu sauce & bonito flakes with a somewhat innocuous liquid cucumber sphere) and grilled octopus (perfectly balanced with charcoal mayonnaise & crayfish) were fantastic.
When the plates were cleared, I began to worry that my Surf & Turf would underwhelm me after two years away.
A wildly futile thought, it turns out, as my medley of rare USDA fillet, scallops, and prawns was perfect. At an insane £22, the S&T beats out every other steak at its price point – and double – in London.
Not that I didn’t steal a bite or five of The Mr’s rare rib-eye and lobster tail dipped in dry aged sauce. Or more than a forkful of his satueed field mushrooms. You don’t pass opportunities like that up.
To finish things off we almost literally jumped into a bowl of sugar with a visual spectacle Heliot have dubbed ‘Fairy Land’. The dessert is a bizarre treasure trove of chocolate coffee, raspberry lollipops, liquid gold with Baileys, and more. I didn’t get it, but I didn’t care. I have yet to find a different steak to take Heliot’s crown.