The restaurant: Bar and Block, 26-30 York Way, London N1 9AA
Steaks are hand cut on site and ‘you can have your steak as big as you want it’, says the menu. They start from £13 for the rump up to £29 for the beef wellington. If you don’t like steak, that’s alright because in something of Wetherspoons’ style, they serve everything else too. Buddha bowls, chicken salad, smoked salmon and tandoori chicken burgers make up the rest of the menu.
Bar + Block is located on a corner beside Kings Cross. You can enter through the corner door or through the Premier Inn beside it. It didn’t feel like a hotel restaurant because it was busy and bustling with parties and post-work dinners, as well as hotel guests. It did feel like a hotel restaurant because glass internal windows looked into a lovely (overly plush for a Premier Inn) lobby and check-in desk. Seated looking into the restaurant you realise Bar + Block is huge. There’s a glistening bar in the centre, an open kitchen and tables spanning as far as the eye can see. An orange neon cow divided into different cuts buzzes on the brick wall beside the open kitchen.
Our pulled beef taco starters were pleasantly laid out flat and topped with avocado and coriander. While fiddly to eat, they were a lovely miniature mix of beef, beans, cheese and salsa. Smoked salmon was served with flat bread and strewn with parsley and capers — not the most triumphant dish but a good alternative option to meat. After all, we came for the steak so couldn’t be put off by lazy salmon.
Rump, ribeye, sirloin, and fillet are all the classic cuts you’ll choose from. Though not a huge steak-eater myself, I find the speciality cuts interesting — a dash of garlic here and there, maybe a smattering of parsley. My pal chose a spiral cut fillet. It arrived on a block (as you’d expect) with some divine triple cooked chips and he polished off the whole thing with few words, other than that it was very tender and very good. My first ever beef wellington was the “deconstructed” 10oz fillet one they’re serving down at B + B. On the block this time was a layer of puff pastry, a layer of garlicky spinach and truffley mushrooms, another layer of pastry and then the fillet steak laid out on top. It was sliced, as though to show off how pink and perfectly medium-rare it was. The meat was tender, not overpowered by the garlic and not weighed down by the puff pastry. It was bloody good.
Bar + Block bank on the fact you’ll be too stuffed to order pudding. We almost didn’t, but decided to squeeze in the lemon and clementine cheesecake. It was topped with berries in a sticky sauce which should have just been left in the freezer. We regretted not choosing the churros chocolate sundae, as that appeared to be the signature dessert. Despite this, there was no love lost and the decadent deconstructed beef wellington has made me more of a fan of steak than ever.
To book, visit BarandBlock.co.uk or call 020 3889 8888
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