"There are some American foodstuffs Londoners undoubtedly need in their lives"Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
There are some American foodstuffs Londoners undoubtedly need in their lives (Lucky Charms, Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts, Kraft Mac n Cheese…) and the menu at Strip Bar & Steak may soon be joining that list.
London’s latest import from across the pond officially opened for business last week. A new dining pleasure in the basement of Charterhouse Square’s Malmaison hotel, the split level restaurant is full of exposed brick walls, dark wood, cosy velvet booths and a slight sprinkling of Las Vegas finery in the form of subtle neon lighting. A Friday night visit found the place subtly bubbling but not too busy; the perfect way I like to enjoy my dinner.
With a menu specialising in New York Strip, its steaks are hand cut to order from 250g up to 550g (certainly not for the faint-hearted…). Alternatives include Tuna Mignon and a selection of specials including Lobster Curry – definitely on my agenda for next time, along with the Lobster Mac n Cheese side - and Strip Steak Stroganoff. A comprehensive wine list of over 100 different bottles from around the world may prove baffling a wine novice such as myself, but the fact that each is available by the glass or carafe means guests can sample some of the world’s finest without breaking the bank. Not a bad idea.
We began the evening with cocktails and while the absence of toffee vodka meant the Rocking Horse Martini was, somewhat disappointingly, a no go, The Griffin (amaretto and various other delicious ingredients…it was so good I forget exactly) more than made up for it. The bread was exceptional, tiny mini loaves, fresh from the oven, and covered in cheese. I plumped for Lobster Cocktail to start, which heralded just the right amount of juicy lobster meat and avocado, something of a more glamorous version of the classic Prawn with a lovely mustard dressing. My main course of Roast Halibut was an exceedingly generous portion, perfectly cooked with a mouthwatering accompanying sauce. The side of truffle mash was possibly the best I’ve ever tasted; I could quite easily have eaten a main portion-sized plated of just that… is that allowed? I have to admit the Bok Choi with Ginger and Chili was the only let down; it tasted more of soy sauce than ginger or chili, but the rest of the food was so good we let it slide. My date, being a man, obviously indulged in the steak, opting for the day’s special of a 350g slab of USDA Black Angus Prime grade beef from Creekstone Farms in Arkansas. Seasoned and seared to medium perfection, the prime cut was pink and light; the meat appeared to be lighter in mass than normal steak and teemed with charred flavour to the last bite. It was so tender that the bespoke blade accompanying the dish glided through it as though it were butter, always a good sign. The 350 gram weight was just right, leaving a strong sense of satisfaction without being overwhelming and, most importantly, leaving enough room for the dessert…
Ah. Dessert. I have to admit the Chocolate Peanut Pie caught the eye as soon as we’d seen the menu and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Almost like a cheesecake crossed with a Reese’s Peanut Cup (another American classic…) with a little side of crushed peanuts, I had massive food envy as soon as it arrived at the place next to me. My Hot Chocolate Fudge Sundae, full of chunks of chocolatey delicious, was beautiful, but the Chocolate Peanut Pie really took the biscuit. I’ve been dreaming of it ever since.
Strip Bar & Steak is the perfect pit stop for a delicious dinner and the ambient atmosphere – not to mention amazing soundtrack – would make it a great date night. Great location, amazing food and waiters just the right level of attentive – hovering close enough to be within easy reach without being annoyingly persistent, as they can be so often.
Laurel reviewed Strip Bar & Steak on Mon 18 Nov 2013