Home of THE best steak in London
If you're a steak-loving carnivore, you'll know how difficult it can be to find a really good steak. Despite having eaten a wealth of steaks over the years, the perfect steak had remained elusive until my visit to OXBO Bankside, a stylish restaurant located in the Hilton London Bankside Hotel in Southwark.
Upon arrival, we noticed an A-board on the pavement, which proclaimed that the restaurant had 'the best steak in London'. Now this was a big claim, and of course with claims like these we had VERY high hopes for the steak, which we couldn't wait to devour.
The large dining room is cleverly arranged to create a series of intimate dining areas, making it a great place for either a romantic meal or a client dinner. The welcoming, industrial chic decor with its striking black ad white floor tiles, exposed brick walls and well-illuminated grilling area where diners can watch the chefs preparing their meals, was very impressive and reminded me of some of the funkier establishments you'd likely find in New York.
We loved the quirky decor touches such as the paper mache animal heads displayed on the walls, which at first glance appeared to be an extensive range of taxidermy, but luckily (for the animals) were merely unique works of art.
The menu offers a good variety of dishes, with something to suit all tastes. For our starters, we each opted for the soup; my companion had the ham and pea soup (really hearty and like a meal in itself) and I had the the Kobacha pumpkin soup (£7),a comforting soup topped with red onion and sage fritters, which added depth of flavour and texture). For the mains, my companion had the Shoulder of New Romney Lamb (£21), served with lentils, sweetbreads, pumpkin, soy beans, pearl onions, which looked like the perfect 'winter warmer' - an ideal dish for a cold autumn day.
As you can imagine, the star of the show was the highly accoladed Aberdeen Angus steak (£30), an impressive slab of meaty goodness that was nearly two inches thick. As any good steak should be, it was exceptionally moist and had the prefect amount of char grill, which gave it a deliciously smoky flavour. The whole time I was enjoying the steak, I heard the voice of Crocodile Dundee in my head saying 'That's not a steak - THIS is a steak!' In true steak and chips style, the steak was accompanied by authentically delicious hand cut, skin-on fries.
Of course, there is always room for dessert, so we shared the lemon tart with blueberry ganache (£7), which was beautifully presented with dainty meringues and edible violets. The tart had just the right amount of citrus sharpness to round off the meal nicely and we left feeling blissfully satisfied with our meal.
Although it has been a couple of months since our visit, my companion and I have been telling everyone we know that they MUST visit to try the steak, so if that's not testament to it's fabulousness, I don't know what is.
Get there soon before the secret's out of the bag.
Hilton London Bankside
2-8 Great Suffolk Street
Our experience overall
Food and drink *****
Staff attentiveness/friendliness *****
THE place for sultry cocktails and steak...
If you like your restaurants sexy and dimly lit with music pumping through the speakers, than STK is your type of place. Located in the modern ME London Hotel, STK has been the 'go-to' place for people who like to eat meat and party, which in my estimation is a pretty good way to live one's life. If you're not a carnivore, you'd best stay at home as this is a place designed for meat lovers.
As I waited for my husband to join me, I settled in at the bar area where I enjoyed a nice glass of De Loach, Hermitage Reserve, Pinot Noir (£8.00). The bar area was quiet for a Wednesday night, but I imagine this definitely wouldn't be the case on a Friday or Saturday evening when people are ready to let down their hair.
Once my husband arrived, we settled into a cosy booth where the waiter promptly brought us each a chilled glass of champagne - a great start to the night. As we perused the 3-course pre-theatre menu (£30.00 per person, available Mon- Sunday from 5-7pm), which seemed pointless as I knew I was going to order a steak (a no brainer), we ordered a basket of blue cheese bread with pesto dipping sauce, which was scoffed just as quickly as it had arrived.
As gluttony was on the menu, we started with the waygu burgers, thick little bundles of salty, juicy meatiness. I loved the tangy burger sauce topping that was generously slathered onto the burgers and the soft brioche bun. We also tried the swordfish ceviche, which was really fresh and was bursting with lovely coconut and citrus flavours and served with a pleasantly crunchy salad.
For our mains, I had a delicious USDA prime rump steak, which was truly scrumptious, and my husband opted for the Crispy Bass (£24.50) with pancetta and gnocci. The fish was fresh and flaky and had a gorgeous meatiness to it. For sides, we had the macaroni and cheese (which was just OK)(£6.00), sauteed greens (£4.00), the mustard mash (£4.00) and the Parmesan truffle chips (one of my favourite sides) (£4.00).
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