Marco Grill is Chelsea Football Stadium’s go to place for some posh nosh. A branch of the Marco-Pierre White brand, it almost appears to be a fusion of classic fine dining and the more down to earth steak house. Walking in, you certainly feel they lean more towards the former; a huge glittering gold pillar behind the reception desk is the first thing you see, this coupled with the all black interior and snazzy ceiling mounted lights, gives the impression this is a joint for those renting out executive boxes rather than those asking to borrow their mate’s season ticket for the day.
The restaurant changes its menu seasonally and it was nice to see plenty of spring time treats on offer, one of which was the Asparagus, Parma Ham & Truffle Oil starter. A very nice and light beginning to a meal, the combinations of flavours complemented each other very well: It also looked very elegant on the plate. It would have been nice to have had some actual shaved summer truffles rather than the slightly synthetic oil but at £10.50, it’s no deal breaker.
I brought along a friend of mine who had literally run out of food, money and dental health care options, whose choices were slightly determined by the physical density of each dish. His starter, the Dorset Crab on a toasted sourdough, was a simple but satisfying number. Very fresh tasty crab meat is always a treat, and with good quality sourdough bread and a serving of guacamole, it was extremely enjoyable to munch down with a cold beer. It may not set your world on fire but it’s a good starter with a reasonable price of £10.50.
It wouldn’t be fair to go to Marco Grill, a place that clearly prides itself on large, beautiful slabs of grilled meats, without getting a steak. I barely restrained myself from ordering the 35 oz Tomahawk steak; a huge on the bone rib steak that will set you back an eye-watering £70.00, but was not prepared to have that conversation with the editor. In the end sanity prevailed and I went for the more manageable rib-eye. This was top quality meat; perfectly tender and juicy with massive flavour. You can choose a side and a sauce to personalise your steak, with some rather interesting options such as sweet potato wedges or Portobello garlic mushrooms. The triple-cooked French fries were nice chunky beasts and the blue cheese sauce was suitably rich without being overpowering. It also gets some plus points for the minimalist presentation, which consisted of the mighty steak sitting alone at the centre of the plate with sides served in separate bowls. The whole thing comes in at £22.00, fairly pricey but more or less what you’d expect for the quality.
My dentally precarious friend again went for something a little easier on the jaw, the Yellow Fin Tuna Steak. It was a light, spring time dish served with seasonal Jersey Royal potatoes, plum tomatoes and olives; all looking very colourful on the plate. This comes in at £19.50 with a sizeable chunk of fresh and flavourful Tuna steak.
By now we had been suitably wined and dined to near the point of excess and during a rather overly loud and heated debate about the FIFA corruption scandal (not the best location to have it) a waitress gently tried to see if we were ready to order dessert. My ailing friend wisely ordered the Tropical Fruit Pavlova, easy on the stomach it worked very well with the passion fruit sorbet and came to a reasonable £6.50 (the standard price for the desserts here). I was less wise and ordered the Tiramisu. An extravagant treat adorned with gold leaf and roasted coffee beans, it was rich, creamy and boozy. Delicious, but left me feeling like a late period Orson Welles, profusely sweating and barely able to stumble out of the restaurant.
Marco Grill is good at providing an indulgent, pampered experience with rich food and attentive service. You will be satisfied with your food, but be prepared to spend a little; with a bill for two, including wine and beers, it came in at just under £150, but in its plush Fulham surroundings it makes for a damn fun night.