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Miller & Carter

Miller and Carter Milton KeynesI must confess that I had never heard of Miller & Carter Steakhouse. There hasn’t ever been one in Milton Keynes before, yet Bedford, Aylesbury and Northampton have one, so it was probably inevitable that they would eventually find a place in MK.

The new one located in MK is in Shenley Church End, within the building that used to house the Toby Carvery, next to the Travelodge. Again, I had never actually been to the carvery, so didn’t know the building or just how big it is. The bar area is huge, but set out with lots of nooks and crannies, with tables and booths if you want to be a bit more private. There is also a pretty good outdoor seating area which should come in handy when summer eventually arrives.
When you enter, the first thing that strikes you is the amount of ‘bull’ related artwork there is on the walls, the bar has a huge painting to one side – all very classy and you definitely cannot forget you’re in a steakhouse.

So, after being taken through to our table in a pretty vast restaurant area, we ordered a few drinks and prepared to delve into the menu. It has a really good selection of starters, mains and desserts (and not all steak related). First up, the starters. We went for the garlic tiger prawns and the beef & bone marrow bons bons. I can honestly say that the prawns were amazing, the nearest I’ve have the famous Tapas dish ‘gambas pil pil’ outside of Spain, but the garlic level is not for the faint-hearted. The bons bons were a revelation; really flavoursome and presented very well.

The main course was a bit more of a challenge. They offer what they call ‘The Steak Experience’ – an array of different steak cuts all cooked to your liking, although the menu does offer recommendations. All the steaks come served with a sauce of your choice plus parsley butter, seasoned fries, a slice of onion loaf and a balsamic glazed beef tomato. You also get (before your steak arrives) a lettuce wedge with a choice of dressing. Now I must confess, I didn’t really understand the concept of the lettuce, but my dining guest really enjoyed it and the waitress told us it helped to cleanse the palette.

We went for the grain-fed rib-eye steak and the T-Bone, and we went with the menu’s recommendations of them being cooked medium and rare. The waitress was also really knowledgeable, giving us information on each cut, specifically the T-Bone and the fact that the colour comes up darker even though it will be cooked rare. When the steaks arrived they looked amazing, we definitely weren’t going to go home hungry. But then we tasted them. I can honestly say I have never tasted a better steak, the rib-eye was cooked to perfection. The knife really did cut through it like butter (which I’ve heard people say, but never actually experienced). It already makes me want to go back again, just writing about it.

Of course, you don’t have to have steak – the menu is varied. They have a range of prime burgers, lamb, chicken and BBQ ribs. And if meat is not your thing; they have seabass, salmon, cod and two really nice sounding vegetarian dishes.

We did manage to leave a little room to sample dessert. We were recommended the banoffee pie, so we had to try it and also a mini-dessert (lemon posset) which came with a coffee. The banoffee pie is really not to be missed, topped with caramelised bananas for a decadent touch.

Generally, the prices overall were very good, our meal without drinks would have cost about £70 which given both of us had prime cut steaks we thought was very reasonable. They also offer a Lunch Menu (two courses from £10.95, three courses from £13.95), a ‘Younger Guests Menu’ which was very impressive (two courses for £7.95) plus a Sunday Set Menu and they also have a Gluten Free Menu.

We will definitely be going back, there was so much more on the menu that we wanted to try but I’d probably end up having the steak again as it was just so damn good. Miller & Carter is a very welcome addition to the Milton Keynes dining scene.