For me, Beast is the most exciting restaurant from the extraordinarily successful Goodman Restaurant Group who are responsible for Burger and Lobster and their namesake steak restaurant.
It would be fair to say that Goodman know their meat and seafood, but how well do you know your king crab or Nebraskan rib-eye steak? Like you, I expect, I hadn’t tried either but after hearing reports from friends about their feast at Beast, I decided to head down and see what everyone is raving about.
Having finally found the entrance, which is discreetly tucked away behind Oxford Street, on Chapel Place, W1, quickly realised that such discretion wasn’t afforded to the interior.
Entering at street level, I am met with a huge sculpture of a bear, the Beast insignia. Descending to the basement in a red lit lift, the doors open and I am greeted with a glass wall, behind which hung cross sections of Nebraskan cows and enormous monsters of the sea. Whilst they resembled crabs, they were HUGE.
Moving towards the bar I am completely taken aback by the display of fine wines on offer. I had read Jay Rayner’s description of the “glass-fronted wine cabinets bulging with Montrachet and Pomerol, priced in four figures for men with teeny-weeny penises” and whilst I wasn’t planning on spending four figures and lack the aforementioned appendage, I was suitably impressed.
However whilst you can avoid the last page of the wine list, you cannot avoid spending an absolute fortune at Beast. The experience is a minimum of £75 a head for food alone, meaning that should you only have one glass of wine with dinner (a near impossibility) then you are already over £100/head including service, which I should mention is first class.
If you are able to forget about your poor credit card for the duration of the experience, you will have a truly unforgettable feasting experience. The king crab is sweet with a texture like succulent, soft lobster and the rib-eye is deeply flavoured and remarkably tender. Served with platters of side orders from roast beetroot to braised cabbage, by the time the puddings arrive you are ready to wave the white flag.
The atmosphere is a real buzz. Eating at feasting tables, shared with 40 others is also quite novel – there is plenty of space. The candlelit room feels very special indeed and the kitchen is open and bustling.
Aside from the price tag and leaving looking like an overdue mother-to-be, I don’t think I have a single negative word to say about Beast. Save up and go; its an experience to remember!