When at a steakhouse, how do you go about choosing your 'marble score'? And what is a 'blue steak'? If you've ever felt intimidated by steakhouse speak, pay heed to restaurateur Modesto Marini's eloquent explanations of the following jargon.

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Marbling

Marble 8, the sole steakhouse on Tatler Dining's Top 20 Restaurants list, received its namesake from the term 'marbling,' which Modesto Marini describes as such: "It is the intramuscular fat in meat or the fat that forms within the cattle's muscles. These white flecks and streaks that stand out against the red meat are what give marbled beef its tenderness and contribute to the flavour and juiciness of the meat."

Aesthetically akin to the wispy streaks of paint solidified in glass marbles, these 'rivulets' of fat are therefore indicative of a steak's marbling or quality. 

See also: Sizzling Treats Catered To Carnivores At Brasserie 25, Hotel Stripes

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BMS

BMS, which you'll also see on many a steak menu, stands for 'Beef Marbling Score' and ties in with the aforementioned term 'marbling'.

"BMS is an evaluation of the percentage of fat in the muscle. The score takes into account the quantity and distribution of marbling," explains Marini. "BMS 8 falls in the upper tier of different grading scales, hence the name of our steakhouse. The number 8 is also one of great significance in numerology, culture, science, religion, et cetera. I guess you could say my wife Elizabeth's Chinese background played some part in the naming of the restaurant."

While Marble 8 offer a selection of sauces—peppercorn with Armagnac, Marble 8 barbecue sauce, Béarnaise, and mushroom ragout—to go with all their steaks, Marini believes that a BMS 8 steak is best eaten simply as it is. "I personally feel a steak is best savoured without any sauce—just a pinch of sea salt to bring out the natural flavours."

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Blue Steak

One of the stranger terms associated with steaks, 'blueness' has nothing to do with emotion, but alludes to raw meat's blueish or purplish hue.

According to Marini: "A blue or bleu steak is one that has been lightly seared for a minute on each side and very quickly on the edges—it should be completely red inside and the meat should be soft with very little resistance."

See also: Modesto and Elizabeth Marini On Love, Family And Food