I went to STK expecting to hate everything about it. Even the name with its missing vowels bothered me – do you pronounce it S.T.K or Steak? Located in the new ME Hotel in Holborn, this American export with branches in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York; this branch certainly is a looker! White leather, marble and chrome make it more bachelor pad than ladies boudoir though and that was the target market they were aiming for, according to their Twitter page and website.
The Better Half and I were meeting up with a bunch of friends on Monday night and for once it wasn’t me who suggested where we go. I have heard a lot about STK as people I work with have been to the Vegas branch and the new London branch and absolutely loved both, so I was interested in trying it out when it was suggested. Leaving my preconceptions at the door, the carnivore in me was looking forward to a good steak. If nothing else, the Americans know how to grill a good steak!
While we decided what to eat, the waiter brought us a couple of oversized brioche “tear and share” rolls with a blue cheese butter to dip in, packed full of herbs that gave it the striking green colour. The bread was warm and fresh and we all raved about the blue cheese butter.
Our table of six ordered the Lil’ BRGS (£10.50) – Wagyu beef sliders with special sauce and a sesame seed bun. “Like a meatball in a burger bun” as TBH remarked. They come 2 on a platter, so we ordered enough for everyone to have one. The bun was soft and the meat surprisingly juicy and well-seasoned for such a small piece and the sauce was indeed special! I could’ve easily ordered more of those, but didn’t want to ruin my appetite.
For the main event, the menu is broken down into “Small” – cuts of beef from 150g – 250g, “Medium” 395g – 450g and “Large” 550g – 750g. There are also speciality steaks and a few other dishes that are not steak on the menu, but if you’re a vegetarian this is not the place for you! I ordered a 450g Sirloin steak (£30.00) cooked medium and when it arrived, it was just that. A huge hunk of beef of really good quality, the fat just melting in your mouth. Delicious.
We ordered a few different side dishes to share: Broccolini (£3.75) which was cooked al-dente and seasoned well, sautéed spinach (£3.75) a bit bland in my opinion, mac & cheese (£5.00) was a really big portion and a little too rich for me (I didn't get a pic of this, sorry!) and lastly parmesan truffle chips (£4.50) – sensational! At times the truffle could be a little overpowering, but for some reason I found myself keep reaching over to the bowl to get more! Again, there was no room for dessert although I hear the Ferris wheel of fairground desserts is something to behold!
In comparison to the meal I had at New Street Grill last week, this was light years ahead. The quality of the ingredients seemed a lot higher, but saying that, the prices are a lot higher too.
Service was good and the waiter was happy to engage in a bit of banter with us. There was a little wait between the starter and main course, but we had a lot of catching up to do so it wasn’t a major deal. It’s hard to judge the atmosphere on a Monday night, I’ve heard that the music gets really loud and the bar area really busy on weekends; but when we went it was relatively quiet and the soundtrack was a real hodgepodge of genres. It seemed more American diner than classy restaurant.
One of our guests very kindly picked up the bill for us, which was totally unexpected but very much appreciated; so I can’t say how much the total bill came to. I left STK with very mixed feelings. The food really is outstanding but personally, I would prefer less of the TOWIE bling. It’s a little too pretentious for me considering it’s “only a steak house”. But I know of others that love that sort of thing. It is safe to say that my heart is still firmly with another, more laid back steak restaurant.
For the next few weeks I am going to try give the red meat a bit of a break, I’ll be a walking piece of steak soon if I am not careful!
Until we eat again!
336 - 337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA