“Gloriously right in every regard, it is almost unimprovable.”
Matthew Norman, The Telegraph, 2014
“Better than Hawksmoor? With a personal touch, fantastic steaks and without the expense busting prices, it just might be….”
Jon Dean, Islington Gazette, 2015
Just as Malbec grows well in Argentina thanks to the Andes shield, so too does the grass of Aberdeenshire, protected on its west-flank from Atlantic storms by the UK’s highest mountains. For a cow it’s grass-heaven. Canny farmers send their stock to be “finished” on Aberdeenshire soil. It is this “finishing process” – the cows’ diet in the last 6 months – which gives the beef its distinctive flavour and the fact that it is hung for up to 5 weeks. The result is some of the world’s tastiest meat from some of the world’s happiest cows. They are not fed beer nor do they listen to music but they are free to roam and graze on lush grass in fresh, bracing Highland air.
We serve both Aberdeen Angus and more recently Highland Beef.
You don’t go to Scotland for a sun-tan, you go for the rain. The purity of Highland water is legendary – why else is the whisky so famous? The Pope’s Eye has an eclectic range of single malts; Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Craigellachie, Knockando and many more. Ask James for advice – he has tried them all.
The Pope’s Eye Highgate has a large range of world wines (97% red) which aim to compliment the quality of the steak. The Pope’e Eye as a whole are famous for having good value, quality wines – assisted by Ian’s legendary knowledge, whose Olympia wine-list remains the most sophisticated of the 3 branches, though James is catching up.
The Pope’s Eye is a family business, the Hutchisons are from Argyll. The first Pope’s Eye was opened by Ian in 1994 on a whim. He’d been blown away by a sirloin he’d bought in a local Inverness-Shire butcher’s shop and wanted to share his find back in London. He had no restaurant experience but believed that “beef that good sells itself”. His two West London restaurants have won awards, are loved by both locals and critics alike and moved into its second generation with James opening a third branch in Highgate. Today the competition is far greater but The Popes Eye’s authenticity, continuity and quality remain unchanged. The beef is still delivered daily from the same family butcher (est. 1911) and the puddings are still made on-site by James’ mum.