Misses the mark
This Argentinian steakhouse is located dangerously close to the stain that is Edgware Road, so much so that I find myself lining up a number of contingency options on the short walk there. On entering I am struck by how ordinary the interior of Casa Malevo is; after reading a number of shiny reviews about a gaucho inspired parrillada heaven, I feel slightly cheated. Strangely, the wow room is hidden in the basement and allotted to private dining, dominated by a chunky time-worn table with wine bottles lining the walls.
Back upstairs in our less-than-lavish surroundings the tables are squished in tight and I find myself seated with the emergency exit to one side and the coat rack behind me. Now that the scene is set, surely something equally as tasty will follow, and in this regard we are not disappointed. A salad of watermelon with goat’s cheese is exactly that and no more – who needs flourishes of taste or presentation when the combination of fruit and cheese is such an novel concept, rendering embellishment obsolete.
Moving swiftly on to mains, the 300g steak is a standard piece of meat, cooked in an acceptable manner and eaten with no qualms. The same cannot be said for the lamb chops which are clenched like buns of steel – hideously overcooked and under-rested. The grilled pepper side tastes and looks exactly like the pepper slices marinating in jars on supermarket shelves, we hope they are not but who can be sure. Garlicky chips are thick, crunchy, and incredibly moreish when doused in the meaty marrow sauce.
Desserts fare slightly better – dulce de leche coated crepes are sticky and delicious, topped with a standard ice cream. Chocolate fondant has a good ooze factor but tastes floury, whilst the accompanying raspberry sorbet is tart to the extreme. For the most part the food is unremarkable, on occasion being disappointing. Service is the same, average price per person is £35.
Tube: Marble Arch