Food & Drink: Macellaio RC, Northcote Rd, London SW11

Eating in a butcher’s shop won’t be to everyone’s taste.

You need to really love meat and not mind catching sight of raw cuts, while waiting for yours to be cooked, to dine happily at Macellaio RC, Northcote Road.

It’s not an easy sell to all, but thankfully, I am made of sterner stuff. The restaurant is the fourth and newest in a small chain which also includes Union Street.

Macellaio RC proudly pays homage to produce from northern Italy’s Piedmont region, both as a butcher and restaurant.

It boasts more than 100 different wine labels, like popular Barbaresco and Barolo wines, alongside lesser known grapes, like Pelaverga.

Macellaio RC concentrates on Fassona beef, famed for its flavour and texture, and butchered and dry-aged for between five and seven weeks on site.

It is exceptionally tender, with a low fat and cholesterol content, which is why Macellaio recommends simply cooking.

The message is clear: to showcase the beef’s natural flavour, enhanced by hanging in cellars chilled to between 0C and 4C.

But before we could get to the main event, my friend and I took the opportunity to sample a few starters.

Carpaccio with burrata and rocket hit the spot for me, but my dining companion had a more adventurous head about her, and decided to go for testicles.

Yes, you read that correctly. The menu didn’t dress it up by calling it sweetbreads, as is usually the case. This was bulls’ testicles, sautéed in lard and cooked with garlic and Worcestershire sauce.

Verdict: rather tasty, if a touch on the fatty side. Offal lovers will be pleased to find heart, tripe and liver also on offer.

I was keen to try prosciutto with sweet gorgonzola, but as we’d already been served our starter, decided to leave it for another visit.

Less appealing to me were steak tartare and bone marrow, but that didn’t seem to deter my fellow diners one little bit.

It seems the Italian way to eat steak is to munch through a lot of it.

We ordered a 400g Fiorentina – or T-bone – but were asked if we were sure we didn’t want to make it 800g. We certainly didn’t. Our original order was ample, with equal measures of juicy meat and leaner fillet.

Roasted potatoes and incredibly garlicky spinach completed an excellent meal. We washed it down with a bottle of Barolo, with very little trouble indeed.

Opening times: Monday to Thursday, noon-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Friday and Saturday, noon-11pm; Sunday, noon-10.30pm. Macellaio RC, 124 Northcote Road, London, SW11 6QU, telephone: 020 3848 4800.


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