Le Relais de Venise (L’entrecote)

When shopping a few weeks ago, Kieran and I noticed a new restaurant on King St, Manchester called ‘Le Relais de Venise‘. Thinking that this was going to be just a normal french restaurant, I made a mental note to look it up on the web and see if the menu looked any good.

Turns out that this is an impossible task as the restaurant does not have a menu. This is because Le Relais de Venise only serves one thing. Literally. For starters, they serve a walnut salad with a mustard dressing. For mains is a steak, frites and a secret sauce.

If you have a nut allergy, don’t bother. If you’re vegetarian you’ve got to like cheese as the main course is a cheese board and frites. This is really only a restaurant for those who crave a steak.

Whatever option you choose, the price is the same: £21.00.

Intrigued, Kieran and I visited one lunchtime. I quite like the atmosphere – the tables are really close together to promote that ‘bistro’ feel and the waitresses all have quite clichéd french waitress outfits on, which I quite enjoyed. When you’re seated and your drinks are ordered, you’re asked how you would like your steak cooked (you have a choice of blue, rare, medium and well done). Kieran and I chose rare.

10 seconds later, a salad was delivered to our table.

I thought this was lovely – basic, for sure, but lovely. Kieran thought the mustard flavour was too strong in the dressing. But the starter isn’t really what you’re here for – it’s the steak. If a restaurant is only going to serve one thing, it had better well be good!

It certainly delivered. This steak is the best steak I’ve ever eaten, without doubt. Melt in the mouth soft and full of flavour. I was in complete heaven. I have no idea what was in the sauce – the website says it’s made from ‘various herbs, spices and condiments’. Whatever it’s made of, it’s delicious.

One of the best things about this restaurant is that they serve the main course in two stages to keep the second half warm, so the picture above is only half of the meal we received. You certainly can’t complain about portion size. This also leads the waitress uttering the question ‘ Would you like more steak, madam?’, which may be the best, yet also the most unnecessary question I’ve ever been asked.

We didn’t try a dessert, of which there is extensive choice bizzarely (about 10 or so!), but the coffee was lovely.

What I loved the most about this dining experience was the lack of waiting. As everyone is having the same thing, there’s no wait while someone takes ages pondering over the menu and no wait for the starters or mains to come out of the kitchen. There’s only one set price, so there’s no calculations over the bill. You go in, you eat the best steak known to mankind and you leave. It’s brilliant. Perhaps not the place to choose for a prolonged romantic evening, but for a quick lunch/dinner I wouldn’t go anywhere else in Manchester now.

It’s only a couple of doors down from the horrendous Jamie’s Italian in Manchester, but is a world away in quality. I urge everyone in the surrounding area to visit – but only if you appreciate a good steak obviously!