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Thursday, 22 September 2011

London Restaurant Reviews – Moo Grill


Those who like me have worked in the City for a few years know how exciting it is to find a decent lunch spot, especially where every other food shop seems to be part of a sandwich or pizza restaurant chain. I am lucky to work close to some great independent places like the Vietnamese City Càphê (my number 1 favourite) or Bar Battu, but just around the corner I have now found another gem – Moo Grill.


I first came across Moo Grill via my friend Rachel McCormack of Catalan Cooking. More recently, having been asked to write my top 7 South American restaurant recommendations for the Vamos Guide (JungleDrumsOnline), I decided to pay Moo Grill another well deserved visit.


Moo Grill specialises in Lomitos – the king of steak sandwiches in its native Argentina, - is certainly not intended for the faint-hearted. Even the basic ones will have a slab of lomo steak, tomato, lettuce, onion, chimichurri sauce, mayonnaise and a fried egg (!). Oh, and some ham too, and melted cheese, loads of melted cheese.


The main challenge of eating a lomito is to hold all these delicious ingredients together between two pieces of bread without having them drip down your elbow within 30 seconds


At Moo Grill, in addition to beef, lomitos also come with chicken, chorizo or aubergine.  They are served “simple” (with tomato and lettuce around £5), “completo” (plus ham, cheese and egg at about £6.50) and “al plato” (all of these ingredients served breadless on a plate with chips for about £6).


On my visit I tried the “Milanesa Completo”, a deliciously tender piece of steak, breadcrumbed and fried, served with ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce, egg and chimichurri sauce @ £6.60. As if that wasn’t enough, I also had some chips on the side. Truth be told, I did not manage to finish it!

I also got to try what I can only describe as one of the best beef empanadas I have ever had – now that is a big statement to make but it is no exaggeration – it was totally scrumptious. The owner’s mum, the lucky Jose Luiz de Alzaa, makes them from a well guarded family recipe. Empanadas are also filled with humita (creamy sweetcorn) or ham and cheese and are all priced at £1.80.

There are other items on the short food menu including Prime Argentine Ribeye steak with chips and egg for £14.50, and omelettes (plain, ham & cheese or mushroom & tomatoes) at £3.

The wine list is predominantly Argentinian with a few Spanish, Chilean and Australian options. It is not an extensive menu, and there are only one or two options below £20. The two times I visited, I had the Argentinian Torrontes by Tapiz, priced at £19.70 per bottle. Commendably, all wines are served by the glass, and small or large glasses can be ordered.



Cost: Lomito Completo £6.60, Chips £1.50, Beef Empanada £1.80, Glass of Torrontes £3.60 = total £13.50. Excellent VFM.

Likes: Lomito and beef empanada are a must on any visit. Small, intimate restaurant with friendly service. City location.

Dislikes: the paucity of affordable wine choices.

Verdict: one of the most interesting lunch spots in the City, Moo Grill serves excellent Argentinian Lomito and empanadas at reasonable prices. Friendly service. Highly recommended.

Moo! Grill on Urbanspoon

9 comments:

  1. Surprising on the wine prices, they seem out of sync with the affordable food prices.

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  2. Walked past this place a number of times - it is not far from my office. Didn't realise such amazing meat sandwiches and empanadas (yum!) were on offer! Thought it was just a tapas place and god knows there are plenty of mediocre ones in London ... now will pop along to Moo Grill for my next lunch treat on pay day :o) Meet you for lunch one of these days, Luiz? Louise x

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  3. Luiz - as a fellow city worker I totally know what you mean. I second your choice of City Caphe but this sounds great as well and those empanadas look delicious!

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  4. Hey Luiz - that looks great. And just round the corner from the office too :-)

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  5. This looks great. They don't quite have the likes of Moo grill in sunny Brentford, I'm afraid.

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  6. Fantastic find! I NEED to take my boyfriend here...he would love it :-) Those empanadas look gorgeous - beautifully neat and lots of lovely filling. Will definitely try the humita ones when I go too.

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  7. I went for lunch yesterday and I can tell that the "meat" empanadas are amaaaziiing!! Followed by "milanesa de lomito" complete!! Definitly one of my favourite places around the office!! =)

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  8. Today The queue at city cafe was mental so having read this last night went to bar bhattu.. Loved it!

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  9. That's right around the corner from the lab! I'll have to pop in for lunch next time I'm experimenting!

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