[Wilmslow, Cheshire] Miller & Carter

We went for lunch to this localish branch of the small national chain of steakhouses. And it was with some trepidation, as it’s part of the same stable that owns the dismal Toby Carvery places and the perhaps even more dismal Harvesters.

So, what appealed? Well, it was the aging of the steaks, of which more in a moment.

Before that, we nibbled on their rather excellent bread. There’s a mix of breads, olives, an oil & balsamic mix for dunking and a lovely roasted half garlic bulb which squeezed out to be smeared thickly on the bread.

As for the steaks, they make a thing of the aging of the meat – all of it is at least 30 days and there’s a 45 day rump and a 50 day ribeye. Now, in the land of steakhouses, that’s the sort of advert that’s going to get me coming through the front door.

We ordered a 30 day sirloin and the 45 day rump. They come with chips, a roasted tomato, a slice of onion bread (think onion bhaji without the spices) and a wedge of iceberg. Iceberg comes with a choice of dressing; steak comes with a choice of sauce. And this is good steak. OK, not as great as, say, Hawksmoor but still damn good – and half the price. The rump was perfect as far as I was concerned; the sirloin a little undercooked (although not by enough to send it back) and it had rested for overly long so wasn’t quite as hot as it could be.

There was ice cream for dessert. Made by the Silver Pail Dairy in County Cork, it’s damn good - both fruity and creamy. And a “special” was a toffee and date pudding which was along the lines of the ubiquituous sticky toffee pudding but was richer and, erm, stickier.

Now that prejudiced preconceptions have been overcome, it’s a place to go back to from time to time.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold