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»Meat People, the only steak restaurant near Angel Tube, is housed in a venue steeped in culinary history.

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Food has been served in this beautiful Grade II listed art-deco café for nigh on 100 years.

Back in 1920, it was Alfredo’s, an establishment run by the Italian Deritis family – and the building is now owned by one of their former employees.

Since then it has been a film set – notably for cult classic Quadrophenia, and until recently a sausage and mash parlour.

The latest incarnation concentrates, as the name suggests, on meat, but also classic cocktails, and friendly service all in the vogue 1920s style.

Restaurant info:

Meat People, 4-6, Essex Road, N1 8LN. Tel: 020 7359 5361

Web: www.meatpeople.co.uk

Mains: from £13

Wines: from £16,

Children welcome: Yes

Disabled access: No

The chef also has a penchant for all things fresh – the kitchen has no freezer or microwave – and a lot of time is spent at markets picking unusual specials like crocodile and kangaroo.

Our starter of springbok (a South African deer) was off the specials board and was absolutely delicious.

Very tender meat, but with a slightly fibrous texture and strong flavour, was accompanied by mangos and chillies.

The scallops were also good and chunky, served with a slightly curry-flavoured chickpea puree. The thin buvette steak, another special, was moist and succulent from the parsley and garlic marinade.

Then the sea bream – a strong fishy taste offset well by beetroot and broad bean underneath.

All very good so far, and one thing worth particular mention is the side dishes.

Much more inventive than at most places – our asparagus and parmesan with poached egg, French beans with garlic and shallots and Portobello mushrooms were all excellent, rivalling the mains for taste.

Although the fondant was recommended, for dessert, we had the pears poached in Malbec – a cinnamon delight – and lime cheesecake, which was moist and fluffy.

All of this was washed down with a fruity Chilean number which was far better than a sub-£20 price tag would imply.

In fact all the costs at Meat People are reasonable. The food, service, surroundings and drinks are all very good, but the price tag doesn’t match.

A very welcome addition to the Angel, which can now boast a steak restaurant people should travel far and wide to try.

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