Review of Omnino Leadenhall
I’ve never been to Argentina. I’ve romanticized it as a fairy-tale land, where gauchos sizzle dancing slices of heaven on parillia grills while the towns bathe in the smokey aroma of the steakhouses on every corner. Until I reach this very far away fairy-tale land, I’ve reconciled myself to visiting one of the many Argentine embassies spread throughout London. This time its Omnino Leadenhall.
An Argentine Steakhouse
Argentina is the spiritual home of steak and you’ll find Argentine steakhouses in almost every city that you’d want to visit. London has a fine collection of Argentine steakhouses from the upmarket Gaucho chain littered across London to family restaurants like Buenos Aires Café in Blackheath and Greenwich or La Patagonia in Camden.
It’s been too long time since I visited an Argentine steakhouse. I decided to check out Omnino Leadenhall with fellow food writer Sam the food fan and Steak Society Co Founder Will (who wrote the section of the Omnino Tasting steaks below).
Located in the basement of an office building with an unassuming entrance marked only by a frieze of a Gaucho (argentine cowboy), you could be forgiven for missing Omnino steak house entirely.
Downstairs the restaurant and bar are refined yet still understated. The restaurant was quiet, but this is pretty standard for a restaurant in the City of London even on a Friday evening (this restaurant would be most busy at lunch).
It was hard not to be excited by this menu. Beyond a wide selection of Argentine, Australian Wagyu, American USDA and European steak, Omnino had probably the best starter menu I’ve seen. I struggled to pick between Empanadas, Sword fish ceviche, King prawns, Carpaccio, Salmon tartare and sausage platters. The challenge of selecting starters was only resolved by agreeing to share three of them.
The steak choice was straight forward for me. I went for the largest steak on offer: The 500g Tira de Ancho. This is an Argentine special cut – basically it’s a rib eye steak but spiral cut. This means it’s a long and thick steak. The other two had a harder time choosing their steak and ended up going for the Omnino tasting menu, which consisted of three 100gm steaks: The Wagyu Picana, a Fillet, and churrasco rump steak.
The starters we chose were the Swordfish Ceviche, three empanadas and king Prawns. The Swordfish Ceviche came as very small portion (too small), but was tasty (without being sour) and delicate. The empanadas were also on the small side and while tasty were dry and overcooked. The prawns in contrast were generously portioned and tasted excellent.
Tira de Ancho
I departed from Argentine tradition by ordering my Tira de Ancho rare (Argentines, for god knows what reason, always have their steak well done).
The steak was presented on a large plate and covered the entire length of the plate. The steak had a medium crust, which was a nice blend of charcoal, seasoning and meat while the interior was soft, tender and mildly beefy. Overall, a pretty decent steak.
I took a-while to get through the steak. The waitress noticed and asked if I’d like my steak heated up. This was a nice, proactive touch by her. The reheated steak was even better. The crust had caramelized fully and was absolutely divine.
Omnino tasting menu
The tasting menu was presented beautifully. I couldn’t wait to try all three steaks, but I decided to eat them one by one to focus on the differences.
As I cut into the first steak (the Churrasco Rump), I noticed that my steak was medium rather than rare. However, given that this steak was quite thin it’s difficult to give it a good crust and cook it rare as well. The Churrasco rump came with a coriander sauce on top. While the sauce was excellent in it’s own right, it overpowered the taste of the steak.
The fillet had a quail egg on top, which was a really nice touch. This one was more medium than rare. The steak was tender, but as expected from a fillet didn’t have a lot of beefiness.
The last steak was the Australian Wagyu. I expected this to be the tastiest – and it was. This may be because the other two steaks did not have a strong taste. The steak was a little chewy, but it was pretty easy to eat and had a subtle beefy flavour.
The Australian Wagyu was my favourite in the tasting menu, but I would definitely recommend going for a larger steak rather than the smaller tasting steaks (this is because the steaks are too small and it’s difficult to cook them right).
Omnino Leadenhall offers quality Argentine steaks with fantastic service. Just make sure you go for the larger cuts of steak.
No missed steak
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