In 2004, a yuan billionaire who made a fortune in auto parts and was distraught over a divorce with his wife took out an advertisement in a newspaper seeking a virgin bride. He interviewed 20 of them and selected one as his wife.
There’s a leaflet about the bargainous kid’s menu, though on our Friday night visit it was mainly couples, mostly youngish, all chomping away merrily and all – all! Bavette’s up first at £12, a funny old cut really, but done decent it can be lovely, provided you’re not too bothered about tenderness.
I kid you not – drinking the same wine, an Argentinian Malbec. We go for the Seven Bones and the Dry Aged Deckle, often billed, as it is here, as ‘butcher’s butter’. In Arlo’s, it comes 28-day dry aged and served rare as anything, just as requested.
The decor is in rhythm with the menu, unpretentious but becoming: white-washed walls, tin light shades, the logo in blues and oranges on the walls. Funny names to the unfamiliar, but what does that matter?
Plain woodtop tables with ketchup and salt and pepper pots, napkins set with knives and forks. It’s good beef, picked for flavour, and it comes in fairly cheap.
If you’re not so pathetically sentimental, they’d make a good option for brunch. It is straightforward and basic without being contrived – there’s no twee, false relicing or any of that – and unashamedly makes steak its star.
Not one if your date is vegetarian, then, but you can’t have it all.
It’s not mindblowing, but there’s enough decent stuff on it, and two of the three fizzes are English. Better yet, all the options run £20 – £34, the range the majority will want to be paying in.
Clever, too: if it's only a couple of quid to upgrade, you may as well, right? There are milkshakes, too, including jaffa cake flavour and you can add booze to all the flavours, though I’ve always thought this ruined the glory of their intrinsic childish innocence.
Our broccoli, though, is undercooked and mostly goes untouched. What’s clear about Arlo’s is that someone cares very much about the meat and has put in the time to make it work.