STK…. The name gives it away! Meat orientated restaurants are popular amongst us 5 males but with this chosen by our current leader, and the STK brand renowned across the pond, once again expectations were rocketing.
With this BTNDC falling on Bonfire Night, hopes of fireworks playing some part of the evening were also expectant …. However the only booms and bangs we got were whilst in our taxi on route through central London. Any good black-taxi driver ‘knows a shortcut or two’ and most normal passengers reply ‘go for it… we trust you’. Well with half of central London on alert and shutdown due to the ‘Anonymous Protest March’ that same evening, we naturally agreed for the taxi driver to use his trusted shortcuts….. BOOM! We turned right into the beginning of the march! BANG! of which there were several on the cab as we sat patiently there, engine off, for about 20 minutes with protesters walking around us. Having passed vociferously, we continued on but unfortunately that was the end of our fireworks that evening. Note to Bill…. More effort next time! Tut tut!
Once inside STK it reminded me instantly of a Gaucho. No cow hides admittedly but the waitresses were little ‘crackers’ in their strappy outfits…. Not sure if I’m more ashamed of my mentioning their outfits or my continued fireworks night references?
Again I’m not sure if it’s my age showing here but the music seemed way too loud to have any decent conversation at the bar….. With the house DJ doing his thing maybe the whole point was to concentrate the senses on the surroundings 😉 and the food, but as I approach my, ah hm thirties, I need more peaceful surroundings on a school night.
Once seated, the menu looked amazing. Great varied choice of starters, excellent selection of steaks, as well as other meats, and probably the best choice of sides, toppings and sauces I’ve ever seen…. Goodmans could have a strong case though too.
Most went for the obvious starter – the mini Wagyu burgers, whilst I thought I had chosen a little ‘sparkler’ (ok I know! Enough now of the firework remarks!) and plucked for the crab sliders. Well like the night outside, they turned out to be a bit of a damp squib too. Especially when I saw how much everyone else were enjoying their burgers. Maybe I need to heed my own advice… STK!…. Stick with meat.
Having begun the evening with decent cocktails we were positively thrilled to see our old favourite on the wine menu…. ‘Kung Fu Girl’ although it’s a 2013, not the 2014 it says on the menu. This gets better every time I drink it though. Currently my No 1 white of choice.
Whilst all the staff were polite, friendly and keen to impress….. That could not be said for our fellow diners. Yes in London you expect that slight arrogance and loudness that comes with our capital city but three times I held a door open for ladies on route to the toilets and not one acknowledgement or thank you. I suppose it’s slightly satisfying that they all looked like the back end of a bus… But it’s not the point.
The menu earlier had one cut of steak that we had previously not seen…. Their 750g ‘Cowboy Steak’ which, to the uneducated, looked like a big pork chop when the waiter, in fortunately less revealing attire, had brought it out….. Maybe next time… likewise with their 1kg Tomahawk!
This time however I went for the 600g T-bone. But I didn’t stop there…. Horseradish and STK spicy sauces, as well as truffle chips, parsnips with rosemary, and fried stuffing balls!!! With others having chosen smaller steaks but accompanying toppings like duck eggs, lobster tails or stilton, it turned into a banquet fit for King James the 1st himself! (Thanks again google!)
My steak was cooked to perfection and was absolutely sumptuous. So good. The best steak ever? A leading contender. Everyone else had comfortably finished their meat too and raved about theirs respectively. Admittedly not all the sides were polished off but that was down more to our greed and wish to try things more than anything else.
The feast didn’t stop there though with the desert menu, designed by Barry Vera, looking irresistible as well. I went for the safe but tasty chocolate fondant. Bills sticky toffee pudding was even better. The show shopper was clearly ‘The Taste of the Fairground!’ Brought out on a Ferris wheel, it included candy floss, salted caramel popcorn and toffee apples. All tasty little treats but more aesthetically pleasing than culinary masterpiece.
The only critique, aside from some basic mistakes on the night such as the wine year and a main’s side being forgotten, although he was whole heartedly apologetic to be fair, was that it was like a flipping sauna! Actually uncomfortably hot! Maybe it was Bills attempt at a bonfire gathering or just the management’s rational behind the strappy waitress dresses ….. Whatever it was… Turn it down! Save the planet!
On a night primed for fireworks and explosions we got possibly the best steaks we’ve ever had with some equally amazing other dishes. STK you have 5 new fans after your BANGing performance! 🙈
336-337 The Strand,
020 7395 3450