The Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square is an institution. Most recently I visited for my work's Christmas party and it's the perfect location for indulgence. But did you know that the venue also holds a theatre and a variety of restaurants? I've been to one of their late night West End performances before (which was really fun) and last weekend I had the chance to try out their award-winning steak restaurant Heliot Steakhouse.
First of all let me apologies for the quality of my photos in this post. It's not what you're used to, but the lighting was, understandably, very dim in the restaurant which while adding to the casino atmosphere wasn't ideal for my camera. Just trust me when I say that the food looked even more beautiful and delectable than it does on the below photos.
Before we ordered our food we had a cheeky cocktail (a deliciously summer strawberry Prosecco for me and a fun fruity one for my friend) and we were treated to a bread board with a gorgeously flavoured butter that did not only have a hint of spices running through it, but also the zestiness of a citrus fruit; lovely.
For my starter I opted for the Goat Cheese Lollipops With Lemon Curd and Wild Rocket, and oh my this has to be one of the most perfect and interesting dishes I've ever had the joy to try. I love goat cheese but sometimes it's a tad too strong for my liking, however these crispy balls were soft and ever so gently flavoured and would've been a delight on their own already, but combined with the tangy lemon curd it added a whole new level of flavour. It's not a combination I've ever tried before, or even heard of, but it's so perfect that now I don't want to eat it any other way. The four lollipops were also big, making this a very generous starter and one I couldn't get enough of.
My friend choose the Prawn Cocktail With Avocado Salad and Marie Rose Sauce to start with, and as you can see below it was displayed in a fun way. While tasty, my friend felt that the proportions of ingredients were off balance. There was an overabundance of avocado in relation to four prawns and barely any salad leaves. She also said that the dish would have been better had the avocado been served sliced rather than as a guacamole-like consistency.
The main course and star of the evening, of course, was the steak and both my friend and myself decided to go for the Fillet 250g 28 Day Aged USDA Prime Steak (the medium size). She wanted hers to be medium and I ordered mine medium rare (see below). It was cooked to absolute perfection and my knife sliced through the meat as if it were butter. I love a good steak and have had many in my lifetime but this has got to be one of the most tender and juicy ones I've ever enjoyed. The meat was accompanied by seasonal veg (spinach and steamed broccoli in my case) and a rich, sticky red wine sauce. The dish was flawless, and the only thing I should say is that my eyes probably were a tad bigger than my stomach and while I finished everything on my plate, I could've comfortably ordered the 200g steak too (one size down) and be very happy with it – it was that filling.
We had a little break in between our mains and dessert with another cocktail (mine was a delicious combination of vodka, blackcurrant liquor and fruit though it was quite strong so I did dilute it slightly with my water XD) which was perfect as it gave us the chance to digest the heavy mains somewhat and appreciate the luxurious surroundings with beautiful chandeliers hanging about. We were also treated to a little bit of a cabaret show which was interesting and certainly felt very suitable for the casino one level below where we were sitting but, admittedly, was a bit strange to see while we were having dinner.
For dessert my friend chose the Chocolate Sphere With Pistachios and a Spicy Chocolate Sauce. The sphere was gorgeous and delicate but I unfortunately didn't manage to capture it on camera before the hot sauce was poured over by the waiter, after which it became more of a soft chocolate pudding, which wasn't very photogenic. And while the presentation stunning upon serving, my friend found the dessert somewhat underwhelming in flavour and texture. The sauce was quite rich and heavy so her entire mouth was coated with chocolate and she also mentioned that if there were roasted pistachios hiding underneath the mountain of gooey chocolate, they were untraceable.
I had the Chocolate Mousse With Strawberries for dessert, and while it perhaps sounds simple on paper, it was anything but as you can see below. It was stunning and even more scrumptious than the photo makes it seem. The mousse was incredibly rich and full of flavour, with a hint of caramel running throughout. The delicate biscuits surrounding the mousse, as well as the strawberry coulis and the freeze-dried strawberries on top, added a gentle touch to the otherwise heavy dessert, perfectly balancing textures and flavours. Even though I'd been quite full from my starter and main, I was very glad I ordered a dessert in the end as this was delicious and I made sure to finish every last bite of the melt-in-your-mouth mousse.
While I previously wouldn't have thought to visit the Hippodrome for dinner (unless I would go to the casino or theatre afterwards), I'm very glad I had the chance to experience Heliot Steakhouse as their menu is a foodie's heaven, and I'll definitely be returning to have one (or all!) of the dishes I ordered again. They were delicious and varied and I was incredible impressed with the quality of the steak and the presentation of the dishes overall. A three-course dinner for two is around £75 (excluding drinks).
Many thanks to Heliot Steakhouse for giving us the opportunity to experience the restaurant in exchange for an honest review.