Red Steak in Seville: a flavour flop

Not only do I write about food, I read voraciously and Red Steak in Seville had some pretty impressive reviews. From the picture, it looks like a hole in the wall joint, but like Dr Who’s Tardis, it stretches into three rooms or ‘spaces’ (to use the modern parlance).

The Layout

This front area was full of forlorn burgundy paper tablecloths, shaped to cover just the main places that food could fall from the unwary fork. I was on my own and resistant to the idea that some restaurants have of placing the first guest in the window, to make their place look more appealing.

I sat back here, near the waiters’ station so I could see and hear what was going on. It was about 1 o’clock on a Sunday and people were spilling out from a Catholic Church across the road. I anticipated that it was about to get seriously busy.

I decided to blow the lunch budget and order a ‘solomillo’, which I understood to be a sirloin steak akin to a New York Strip.

First up was a little basket with hot bread (this was excellent and smelled delicious). These plain crackers are a favourite in Seville and come in every shape from little bullet-shaped tooth-filling shakers, through to delicate thin crackers like these Regañá version.

Red Steak: The Food

Barely had I investigated the cracker packaging than my food was upon me. It was faster than a fast food joint which made me think briefly about the quality of what I was about to eat.

It was a slate (I thought I had seen the last of those), with a heap of chips piled with thinly sliced pieces of steak. If this was a sirloin steak, it had been prepared differently (which is fine) and the thinness of the meat explained the speed of the service.

The chips seemed to be properly cut, using the skin, which I do like. However, if these were a double-cooked version, they had not spent long enough in the basket. As a result, they were limp and oily. A fleur de sel or flaked salt had been used, but inconsistently, meaning some chips were salt-free and others were hard to eat.

The steak had been cut to be thin, but parts had been left thicker. Those parts were effectively raw, while my request (medium/pink) was impossible to achieve with such thinly sliced meat.

Perhaps the pepper sauce would be delicious? Well, I’m afraid my hope for a punchy, meaty sauce foundered on the rocks of too much cream. This was more a rich texture than a flavour, though it did mask the problematically raw piece of meat.

Overall, I can’t recommend this restaurant. The service was absolutely fine. Despite being the only diner, I had three separate servers as the other servers carried out other tasks. I suspect they get busy in the evenings. During my brief sojourn, no other customer came in. Perhaps people vote with their feet or steak is not considered a lunch food in Seville. Either way, the cafe next door was much busier. Given the excellent food I had at every other location in Seville, this was a bit disappointing. Avoid.

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