★★★★ | STK Restaurant, London
The food at STK Restaurant, on Aldwych, is all in the name – steak, and it does it very well.
As part of the One Group, a global leader in the hospitality industry and the creator of the international restaurant brand STK, with locations all around the globe, including Mexico City and Ibiza, the STK name is synonymous with great cuts of meat – basically a meat lover’s paradise. With Sirloin, New York Strip, and Rib Eye, among others on the menu, you really can’t go wrong when ordering any of them. One
STK has a DJ playing from Thursday – Saturday, so if you don’t mind a club-like vibe with your meal, with music that gets louder and louder as the night goes on, then you’ll love it there. However, if you are at a large table then good luck trying to hear, and speak to, other people who are sitting right next to you.
But STK is worth the trip for the steak of course. I had the 350 USDA Grain Fed Rib Eye, and it was superb. Cooked medium well, to perfection, and a bit darkened on both sides, I was in heaven with every bite. It was so juicy that I really didn’t need the accompanying sauce (sauces from mild to spicy are on offer at no additional cost). And the old adage – you get what you pay for – rings true here. At £45, the Rib Eye is not cheap, and nothing comes with it, but it was worth every penny. Other meats on the menu include the small range (up to 250g including Rump Steak and New York Strip), to Medium (up to 350g including Fed Sirloin and Dry Aged Fillet) to Large (up to 600g including Fed Sirloin and T Bone) to Extra Large/Sharing (from 700g to 950g including Tomahawk and Aberdeen Angus).
My friend had opted for the Seared Salmon Fillet. At a relatively low £20, he said it was one of the best salmons he has ever had, and it was excellent value for the money because of its size, and it also came with peas in a Beurre Blanc Sauce and with bits of potato Gnocchi. The presentation of the food on the dish was actually beautiful, stunning actually. Other dishes on the menu include Atlantic Sea Bass, Corn Fed BBQ Chicken Breast, Pork Belly, among others.
Backtracking a bit, our starters were very good. I had the Compressed Watermelon Salad, a huge chunk of watermelon that sat on oil with creamed feta cheese on top sprinkled with what tasted like basil leaves – it was oh so different and oh so refreshing. My friend ordered the Kent Green Asparagus – four large sprigs with truffle cauliflower puree, hen egg yolk, and very tasty.
Sides were needed and wanted – and we ordered three. The Broccolini, with Chilli, delicious pine nuts & pecorino was very very good, as was the Green Beans covered in almonds. The Mushroom pot pie, rarely seen on a menu as a side, could pass for a main dish. For me, it was too milky, and I could not eat it, though my friend liked it.
Nothing really jumped out at us from the Dessert menu (there is always at least a couple that stand out at other restaurants), so I decided in the cheesecake, which was good, and with honey Kataifi and Coulis made for a nice touch. My friends Panacotta had a massive dollop of mango on top, which was a nice touch, and he absolutely loved it.
At the beginning we decided to have STK’s signature cocktails – so I went for the STK Sparkling Sangria – which was a massive drink with Moët and Chandon, St. Germain Mint & Lime Juice, and soda and I liked it so much it’s going to be my new drink of choice. The STK New Era had a strong taste of rum with added peach flavour, and it was a bit sweet for those who like their drinks with a strong kick. I also had a Martini Expresso like I always do and their version did not disappoint.
STK, while like a loud disco on Thurs- Saturdays, is so trendy it hurts. The room is beautifully decorated, with subtle lighting and beautifully designed furniture and a large dining room with an attached bar area on the Aldwych side of the restaurant. Sitting on the ground floor of the modern and stylish M Hotel, STK has excellent service (our waiter was managing several large tables at the same time and we never felt neglected) and is ideal for young and youngish cool (and preferably rich) people/parties.
STK is very friendly, with stylish decor, and the steak is just delicious!
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.