This special deal is a cracker, but, like the government,  you have to go to the country

On one of the hottest days so far, we get in the car and head out from South London to Sevenoaks. We can’t stand another sticky evening, or standing over a hot stove, so the lure of the country is strong.

It’s an area I know quite well, all my school friends lived out that way, while I lived a bit further in. Driving out this evening  I drove my wife mad as memories came flooding back of sixth form trips to pubs, to teenage parties and the time we rolled an overloaded Bond Bug down a local steep hill and it broke in half lengthways, leaving us all lying in a field wondering what had just happened.

Sevenoaks is a lovely old market town, the buildings well-preserved above the shop plimsoll line. Why do people ruin perfectly good old shops with plate glass? What do they have inside that’s so wonderful that it requires a clear view? I am talking about you, Nationwide.

In the centre, Number 8 is a venerable building from the outside with a charming open space in front. Once perhaps a rich merchant’s house, or a local dignitary’s

Inside it’s modern and chic, it reminds me of a boutique hotel. Everything is sparkling clean, it’s clearly a tightly-run ship with active staff and a warm welcome.

No surprise perhaps as Stuart Gillies who runs this, as well as the excellent Bank House, was CEO of The Gordon Ramsay Group for seven years and before that was chef at Michelin-starred restaurants including Daniel in New York, Hotel Lord Byron in Rome and The Connaught alongside Angela Hartnett.

The menu here looks very interesting, but we’ve come for Taco and Steak night, Two courses £25 per person, every Wednesday.

I like a simple choice and this couldn’t be simpler. Korean BBQ Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Cos Lettuce, Red Chilli Mayo tacos, or Crispy Beef Rib, Cos Lettuce, Grated Cheddar, Pineapple Salsa tacos. We order each.

Very delicious both, the chilli on the chicken is perfectly judged and all the taco shells are good and crunchy, but the crispy beef wins our hearts. It really is excellent and the pineapple salsa inspired.

Now the steak. Opinions vary on best cuts. Fillet I find boring, it’s okay en croute, indeed it’s the only viable option, but it lacks flavour. Rump, sirloin and all the other midfield players are fine, but if I want the back of the net I want onglet.

Or as I am delighted to see here, Picanha. This is a cut from the rump area, in the UK it can be often called Rump Cap. It’s very popular in Brazil and, let’s face it,  the boys from Brazil know their meat.

Also available are Chart Farm 28 Day Matured Rump Steak (£2 Supplement),  6oz Chart Farm 28 Day Matured Sirloin Steak (£3.5 Supplement), and for the veggies, Black Tiger Prawn, Coconut & Potato Curry with Grilled Flatbread. Sauces are supplemental, but why drown your steak?

We both choose Picanha,  and what a great steak it is. It needs only careful cooking to medium rare, and, if the chef is good, it will have been cooked with its fat cap on which will be removed before serving, and it will have had a sprinkle of rock salt. This is all done right, it’s delicious.

Full marks for the chips too, which have bits of potato skin on them so, unless it’s a very determined piece of forgery,  I’d say they`re home made. A mushroom loaded with garlic is enjoyable.

Number 8 has a really excellent wine list by the way. Nothing too expensive but everything’s a bit unusual. They even have some Orange Wines, but I think that particular trend ship sailed some years ago. We had a Crianza, an up-from-basic Rioja, which was perfect,

Dessert is not included in the set price, but we share a Basque cheesecake with Kentish Strawberries and a basil syrup. Again, really good. We loved that basil syrup against the strawberries.

Number 8 has all kinds of meal deals running all week, so it’s well worth keeping an eye on their website. This steak and tacos deal is a very good one.

If you’re local you probably know Number 8. If you’re not, then get in the car. Just be careful not to roll it down the hill.

8 London Rd, Sevenoaks TN13 1AJ

01732 448088

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