Saturday, August 24, 2013

Casa Malevo: Classic Argentinean near Marble Arch, Edgware Road

After having a lazy Sunday lunch at and then another fabulous dinner at Zoilo, I was quite up for trying out Casa Malevo, the big brother restaurant to Zoilo. Close to Marble Arch, on a quiet street away from the hustle and bustle of Edgware road is Casa Malevo, home to classic Argentinean food with a reputation for serving hearty steaks.




Walking in for an early dinner on Sunday, there were few people already seated by the window – which I reckon are prime seats for watching the world go by. I really liked the interiors – dark wood with framed photographs on the wall though my initial first impression was let down by one fussy waiter. The entire restaurant was empty save for two tables and I asked if I could sit at a table near the window. But because it was a table for four and there were only two of us, he wouldn’t let us sit there. I can totally understand if the table was reserved or if it was a busy, fully booked state of affairs but this was hardly the case; it was 7 pm on Sunday, for heaven’s sake!

In any case, another waiter came by and saw how ridiculous the situation was and said of course we could sit there. I’m going to just put it down to inexperience or extreme silliness on the waiter’s part but it still niggled at me for a bit!

There were a familiar Zoilo dishes on the menu and when my friend wanted to try the sweetbreads, I was totally up for it. They were marvelous - grilled tender sweetbreads with crispy char on the outside but soft and juicy once you bite into them. Served with lemon and spring onions, which added the perfect kick of citrus-y acidity to the dish.

For the mains I ordered the Chimichurry burger with Provolone cheese, tomatoes and caramelized onions and he had the Sirloin steak. When our mains came, my friend wasn’t so enamoured by his steak. It was a perfectly good cut but not as tender as he would have liked. And the chips were a let-down - too floury. Given that the good reviews that Casa Malevo has for its steak – I think I’m going to put this down to case of Sunday blues. I’ve noticed, even at good restaurants – the food on a Sunday tends to be not up to the usual standard. I’m not sure if it’s because the regular chef has his day off or the kitchen staff is pared down. In any case, if you’ve noticed this or have any insights on my theory, let me know.

There could be one other reason for his unenthusiastic response to the steak, the fact that my burger was BRILLIANT. To think I had doubts when I ordered it. It was unbelievably juicy and succulent and flavourful. The provolone cheese added a wonderful moistness to the meat. The bread was amazing to eat having soaked up all the flavours of the meat. Such a pleasure too eat, though probably not the healthiest of dishes. To end the meal, we ordered the Dulce de leche crème brulee & "banana split" ice cream which I absolutely adored when I had it at Zoilo and it didn't disappoint here either.

I guess you can tell by now – the two restaurants are pretty similar. Casa Malevo is supposed to focus on the traditional Argentinean food while Zoilo has a modern take on it and a lot more of ‘small plate sharing’ going on. Personally I’m more partial to Zoilo and given the fact it’s much closer to me, I prefer going there.  However, that doesn’t detract from the fact, that Casa Malevo is lovely restaurant.

So if Marble Arch is more convenient for you and you’re keen to check out new flavours and a get taste of Argentina, do check out Casa Malevo. And if you’re debating over the burger or the steak – you know what my advice would be.

I totally forgot to take pictures of the food!


Casa Malevo

23 Connaught Street
London W2 2AY
T +44 (0) 20 7402 1988
Tube: Marble Arch


Casa Malevo on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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