Once upon a time steak was the thing you ordered on your birthday and/or when someone else was paying, because a big hunk ‘o beef was – and still is, in many places – the most expensive thing on the menu. How times have changed. The nose-to-tail movement has seen chefs picking up the cheaper cuts in the last few years and doing wonderful things with them (because that’s their job, duh).
The most famous example of this is Flat Iron, whose eponymous £10 steak restaurants are more or less universally adored, even though Mike always shows me up by ordering two. Another is Hanger in Fulham, a little indie steakhouse also named after a relatively unsung hero of the cow carcass. (You may also know its by its French name, onglet: it’s usually the steak in your steak frites.)
We stopped by at Hanger for brunch because we were in West London to practise flying a Boeing 747 (no big deal except it’s AN ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE DEAL and I’ll be blogging about it later this week), and I’d been invited to try to it out.
We were a bit perturbed to find the restaurant completely deserted, until we discovered that the party was actually happening in Hanger’s subterranean speakeasy, Below The Cut. It is described on the website as a ‘secret basement bar’, though I don’t really see how more than two thirds of that claim is true, unless you consider a flight of stairs the pinnacle of enigma. Once you’ve unravelled the secrets of the staircase (lol) the bar below is actually pretty cool – more EC1 than SW6, which makes it a rarity in Fulham.
It’s a bottomless brunch, of course it is, but the staff at Hanger do not fuck around on this promise. There’s none of this namby-pamby topping people up as they go – bottles are left on the table and brunchers are left to their own devices, along with little jars of peach puree if you fancy yourself a little bellini. When the bottle is finished, they give you another one. I don’t often visit the posh bit of West London these days now that I’m a beast in the East, but I can only assume people are a bit more civilised here. I can’t imagine anywhere else playing so fast and loose with their booze margins.
The bottomless brunch can be pre-booked on DesignMyNight, or you can just roll up on a weekend and add the unlimited drinks for £20. The starter was, unexpectedly, a sharing mezze platter of charred halloumi, hummus, meltingly soft buffalo mozzerella and some punky strips of iberico salchichon.
If you’re on the pre-booked deal, you can pick between a chargrilled title steak or a homemade burger in brioche, and we ordered both to share. The burger was perfectly fine, a solid 7/10, perhaps a bit too much brioche for the burger, but in a town full of the likes of Honest and Dip & Flip, nobody is travelling far for anything short of life-changing. The hanger steak, however, was a tremendous piece of meat, handled with a tenderness and sensitivity usually reserved for tiny kittens, newborn babies, etc. This is what you come for. And this is what I’d come back for, too, as a 300g hanger steak sells for just £16 on the a la carte menu.
You also get fried eggs, rosemary-salted fries and the most exquisite hash brown bites that ever straddled that heart-stopping divide between breakfast and deep-fried carbohydrate. It was like a pork scratching but with potatoes.
We didn’t have pudding – there wasn’t room – but if you’re into your steaks Hanger is a dependable everyday steakhouse, ‘everyday’ in this sense meaning ‘not costing £80 a head including drinks’. The brunch in particular is a lot of food for a daytime meal, so I suggest booking it for a celebratory meal (and going mental on those bubbles, naturally).
Hanger, 461 – 465 North End Road, Fulham Broadway, SW6 1NZ
Author: Emily Gibson
Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and
glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in Islington and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.