The Grill on The Market, Farringdon, London.

After the great feed back from you all on the Jackson & Rye review, I’ve decided to make the Places to eat in London segment a reoccurring post. Up next is The Grill on the Market in Smithfield’s, Farringdon.

The first thing you notice on entering the restaurant is the music; it’s live. It creates an awesome atmosphere throughout; it’s classy yet relaxed, welcoming yet it feels exclusive.

A friend and I went mid-week and the place was still packed, a good sign for the quality of what we were about to experience. The Grill is separated on two levels, the entrance level encompassing a bar and the second, the dine-in restaurant. It’s pull of busy city workers, toasting to a successful/long day and friends, like us, sitting down for a pre-dinner cocktail. There’s also a separate private dining area that can cater for up to 20 guests.

The Grill on the Market is part of the Blackhouse chain where ‘solid, honest and simple proper food’ is the daily mantra.

We focus on no nonsense food; specialising in wholesome ingredients, mixing distinctive textures and flavours that just work together, offering a mix of innovative dishes with comfortable favourites.

Steak is their bread and butter; it’s what they are known for and know how to do it well. The restaurants prime location opposite Smithfields meat market also doesn’t go a miss.

We ate three amazing courses and drank bottle of red wine with our main, bookended by more cocktails and coffee.  For starters we had chicken satay and mussels with a side of garlic rub bread, followed by an imposing Chateaubriand.

I feel I need to give the main it’s own shout out here. JUST WOW. I only ever really have steak when I’m dining out, due to my own inability to cook it well at home. This simply cemented why I do it. I have never eaten anything like this before. You buy the Chateaubriand as a meal for two (£57.50), and it comes with two portions of home-cut chips (served in charming mini frying baskets), French beans and a Béarnaise sauce. We also had a side of garlic king prawns. The meat was superb, the chips were seasoned to perfection, the beans added a great crunch and the Béarnaise was rich and creamy.

Desert consisted of a warm chocolate fudge cake and a sticky toffee pudding, both delightful, though perhaps too rich a choice after the first two courses. We were stuffed, uncomfortably so, but it was so worth it.

Price wise, The Grill on the Market sits the higher end of the London average, but it isn’t expensive. Cocktails average around £7, a solid bottle of win for £30 while starters are £5-10 and mains range from £12 burgers to £75 Porterhouse T-bone. The steak is obviously the most expensive, but it’s granted because it’s just so damn good.

Yes, the food is simple, comfortable as they say, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t special. The quality of the produce, the amazing atmosphere and the friendly staff make an evening at The Grill well worth the price tag. This is definitely my go-to choice for the Barbican area, just a short walk for any of the local tubes.

Check out The Grill on the Market yourself here


Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.