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“Decent steak frites, fixed menu, not bad for price”

Le Relais De Venise - Marylebone
Ranked #1,341 of 23,697 Restaurants in London
Price range: $0 - $38
Cuisines: French, Steakhouse
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night
Neighborhood: Marylebone
Reviewed September 22, 2011

I never like having to queue for food, but the queue here does tend to move pretty quickly. The tables are close together and it's always very crowded, but people seem to like it.

Everyone starts with a competent walnut salad, followed by 2 identical servings of steak & frites, then finally there is a choise for deserts. The steak was fine, the sauce is good (no choice there either) but the only choice of steak was 'rare' or 'medium' which no doubt makes serving easy. The wine list is short, French and reasonably priced.

I don't mind this place but could not get excited about it. As a concept I am sure it must be extremely profitable for the owners, with a very fast throughput of customers, and very simple kitchen procedures.

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Thank NMHastings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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705 - 709 of 804 reviews

Reviewed September 21, 2011

We visited the restaurant on Saturday night and completely mis-timed our arrival meaning we waited 45 minutes outside for a table. Thankfully, it was not raining and we bought a bottle of beer form the adjacent restaurant while we waited.

The restaurant is one of my favourite places and somewhere I go to reasonably often. The food and service are no-nonsense and the choice of food is non-existent: thinly cut steak and thin fries, with a walnut salad starter. The sauce that comes with the steak is incredible and worth the price alone.

We normally go for a bottle of the house red to accompany the food, which is pretty reasonable and a good accompaniment.

If you do not like steak and/or are not prepared to queue outside for a table, then this isn't the place for you.

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Thank Dan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2011

We arrived at 11.45 for lunch and walked right in - 10 minutes later people were queueing.

On the whole - would definitely come back:
- good entrecote with excellent sauce
- fries: thin and just right
- lots of it: two big plates full of meat and fries (they serve the main course in two halves)
- (not included in the menu price) we had the profiteroles for desert which were also excellent.
- 60 pounds for two including beers and a shared desert is not bad given the quality of the food.

Nevertheless, some "buts":
- I appreciate they're trying to be French, but the Belgians really know something about entrecotes too, so they could defer a bit more where it regards things the Belgians know more about. In particular: beer. The beer selection is pathetic (basically: Stella and that's it). Half the joy of a good entrecote meal is to combine it with great Belgian beer like a Chimay Bleu. Disappointing.
- In the same vein: the meat is very good, but it's quite subtle/ neutral. It could do with the more intensely flavourful, grilled, almost marinated taste of Belgian entrecotes.
- Plain annoying: they outright refused to bring butter with the bread. They rigidly maintained that there simply isn't any butter to be found in the entire restaurant. Just a small thing, but really unnecessary to make an issue of principle out of it rather than please the customer.
- You can have the meat rare or medium but not medium rare. They've got their grilling categories and that's it and that's that.

In other words:
it's clear of course from their set menu that they're telling you: either you like our one dish or don't come. Fine. But is it really necessary to pursue that philosophy to its extreme where any slightly deviating customer wishes just don't count for anything?

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Thank Hackfix21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2011

Arrived at 6:45 on a Friday evening and got a table immediately; by 7 the place was full, and when we departed at 8:15 there was a queue at the front which continued around the corner. They don't take reservations.

Service is quick because there's no menu - your only choice is entrecote: - blue, rare, medium or well done for £21 a head. A salad arrives first, and if you want to save it to eat with the main, tell the waitress as they usually serve it after the salad has been eaten. The meat is tender, moist and served with a mustard sauce. The fries are crisp and crunchy and appear to be in endless supply. We had a very acceptable bottle of Bordeaux for £22.50. We chose to share profiteroles as dessert, just as well as the serve was easily enough for two.

In summary, if you're looking for a quick meal and some good steak, this is the place to be - but be early or be prepared to stand in line.

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Thank david1949
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2011

This is a busy place with a single menu..just steak and fritte with prompt service but not rushed, despite the queues that form outside. Do go early. I will be back.

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1  Thank TechnoProf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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