I’ll be honest, I can’t and will not say no to steak and red wine, whether it’s in an independent restaurant or not, I don’t dismiss steak on any basis. From bavette for a tenner at Flat Iron to a pricey Sirloin at Hawksmoor, I’m all over it because I simply can’t get steak right at home, I’ve tried, friends have tried, bfs have tried, in my mind, I’d just rather eat it out.
Based on Waterloo Street, Bar + Block is a casual restaurant serving a wide range of steaks and burgers. You’ve probably walked past the place loads of times, I know I have and I’m not gonna lie and say it’s not because of the big, old school Beefeater sign and the fact it’s linked to the hotel next door. Because it totally is, there I said. I’d rather spend my cash in a place that’s different, has a strong varied menu and some flavoursome food on the go but do you know what, you can’t knock Bar + Block at all because the food being cooked here is really good.
The restaurant has been well designed with an open kitchen at the back and the usual, half industrial, half comfortable vibe created by bare brick walls, low copper lighting, quirky signs and a mix of small tables and booths. I love a good booth.
The food menu is focused on classic and speciality cuts of steaks, handmade burgers, grills finished over charcoal, fish and veg dishes, salads, not to mention grazing dishes if you fancy sharing, which of course, I don’t.
We start by ordering the Chicken Wings with Raspberry & Tabasco Sauce (£5.50). The combination of the raspberry and tabasco makes for an interesting flavour and I’m pleased that the heat comes through strongly from the tabasco because I like my chicken wings spicy.
My friend orders the Gammon & Pineapple Scotch Egg (£5.95) and maintains that its delicious, this may be because he’s a man and basically every man in life enjoys scotch eggs. Despite this, I can’t challenge his opinion because I’m too busy devouring my chicken wings.
For the main, we’re thoroughly spoilt for choice and spend at least 10 mins deciding between all the different cuts of steak. In the end, we go for the Sirloin 8oz and Tira De Ancho, both of which come with beef dripping chunky chips so we order a Tomato Salad and Spinach to share (again) too.
The Sirloin comes out medium, succulent, tender and with a delicate flavour that hits the spot, its pretty damn good. Since its medium, there’s still enough juice to dunk my chips in and its a pretty happy place to be on a Tuesday evening. The chimchurri on the side is not as fresh and full as I’d like though and all the herbs that make it great settle to the bottom so I have to scoop it out to get a decent ratio of herbs to olive oil. The chips on the other hand are piping hot, crispy and I high 5 myself for ordering them over the fries because why would you do that in life.
The Tira De Ancho is the standout dish of the night. A 14oz spiral cut ribeye, marinated in garlic, parsley and chilli, so you can imagine. the. flavour. Intense, yet creamy, succulent yet grilled with a smoky flavour. It’s also a huge meal and quite the challenge to finish, so if you’re feeling competitive then give this one a go.
We don’t indulge in dessert because of all the tasty meat and I’m totally OK with that. The drinks menu is varied with a mix of wine, cocktails and beers, it’s not as extensive as other places but there’s still plenty to choose from. The service was friendly, attentive and genuinely helpful.
Would I go back to Bar + Block? I definitely would for the Tira De Ancho. If you want steak in an informal, casual setting that hits the spot then Bar Block is the one. Granted, it’s no Fiesta Del Asado or Andersons but it’s not really trying to be and that’s fine by me. Check it out!
*Thanks to Bar + Block, I was invited to try the food and drink. As always, my opinions are my own*