IF eating steak is considered a rare treat, I would implore you to make Miller and Carter your choice of steakhouse.

A staple diet of red meat can be expensive and unhealthy, but the award-winning service at The Riverside restaurant continues to generate a steady flow of business, which suggests there is still a firm interest for steak, even in our health-concious society.

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To set the scene, I will confess that it was not the first time I had been to Miller and Carter, although it had been a while since I had eaten a steak due to my own attempts to eat healthier food.

The underlying emotion for the evening was to treat the meal as a one-off; as something to be savoured and not to think how many miles I would have to cycle to balance the books the following day.

As well as the health benefits, I realised it had probably been a while since I had enjoyed a meal of this nature because, typically, eating out can be expensive.

Part of what made the evening particularly enjoyable was the attentiveness of my server - Gabor - who made every effort to make the meal as enjoyable as possible.

He also seemed to have excellent intuition and knew exactly what to recommend, which was incredibly helpful, because I could happily have selected one of everything and been left to ruin my diet in one foul swoop.

There was also a degree of encouragement to select the appropriate rarity for the steak, although any quality steakhouse should - in my opinion - reject any suggestion that such a fine cut of meat should be incinerated.

A generous helping of salt and pepper calamari made an excellent preamble to the centrepiece attraction, complete with preserved lemon aioli.

However, as it often does, the starter only made me hungrier, which was probably a good thing.

Next, I was presented with an expertly-grilled rare 8oz sirloin steak, sweet potato fries and a plethora of accompaniments.

For those of you rolling your eyes, suggesting that this sounds like the lousiest diet you have ever heard of, I will have you know that one of said accompaniments was a lettuce wedge.

Hardly an equaliser to the gargantuan amount of calories I was about to consume, but I would like to think I was being true to my diet for a brief moment.

As I gradually made my way through the meal, I realised how much I had missed the simple pleasure of fine dining, having existed on a regular fix of rice and vegetables over the last few months.

Along came Gabor - not a sequel to a Ben Stiller's popular film - but my server, with a wry smile, leading me towards the temptation of dessert.

At this stage you are thinking I surely could not have stood another bite, but after a period of relaxation I took the plunge and committed to another few miles of pedalling.

The vanilla bean cheesecake, served with a raspberry sugar crunch rounded off the evening perfectly and after giving Gabor the generous tip he deserved I made my way home, feeling content and ready to start the countdown to my next visit in a few weeks time to celebrate Christmas with my family.