The Madison is nestled at the top of the snazzy One New Change, the Madison has fantastic views. It was new when I went there, so new in fact that the leather upholstery still smelt new.
Now if you were visiting a gastropub, you’d be happy with a few options on the menu, as you know that pork belly or fish and chips would probably be done to a very high standard. However, if you were going to somewhere like the Hawksmoor, you’d expect a wide variety of choices on the menu, ALL of them prepared to the highest professional standards, it’s a high end restaurant right? Well this where the Madison I thought had a bit of an identity crisis, the menu was gastropubby, but with more than a hint at steaks from the Gaucho. It just felt a bit strange.
I had the sirloin in the end, as something of a test. You see, typically steaks come with their own side orders, but here you had to order them separately, which is something you should be aware of if you’re paying the bill. All the dishes that my companions ordered had their own sides.
I was very happy with the medium rare sirloin. It was done exactly the way I dream about it. The béarnaise sauce was a little on the bland side, but I forgave them that as the meat was so nicely done. It was good, don’ get me wrong, but for all that it promised it didn’t quite get there, it was a bit like a really good photo ruined by the presence of an idiot in the background. Good, but not perfect.
Dessert was a crumble, a good one which I enjoyed but it didn’t really jump out at me. Annie’s is better (she is the queen if crumble) and the quest for a better crumble than hers continues.
All in all, I thought the Madison tried to be all things to all men, but in trying to please everyone, you might just end up pleasing nobody. It’s a good place to eat, but it doesn’t really serve a niche well enough. Is it a gastropub? Perhaps not, because it’s too formal, too upmarket, to businesslike. Is it a swanky eaterie? I’m not sure, because it’s too informal and the menu doesn’t promise all you’d expect from a place like that.