Capturing the spirit of the Pampas in South America, the latest Bar + Block knows the secrets to some of the best-value-for-money steaks in East London. The very fact that Whitbread has added an eighth branch to its portfolio (with two more planned in Belfast and Bristol at the end of April) speaks volumes for the popularity of this cool, classy chain.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the emphasis is on high-quality steaks (all the ‘classic cuts’ come from British breeds of cattle reared in South America), which are hand cut to order. Alternatively, the ‘Butcher’s Block’ is a special cut of the season – such as the full-of-flavour picanha.
Décor is modern-day rustic with cosy booth-style seating, contemporary artwork and a central bar serving beers, wines, all-time favourite cocktails and some you might not have tried before, such as the fluffy Candy Floss Martini, a ceremony in itself.
But as well as burgers and steaks, pescatarian s and vegetarians are catered for too, and you’ll be hard-pressed to choose from an extensive menu that includes Surf & Turf, the Buddha Bowl, Chocolate Churros Sundae, Hot-smoked Salmon – and a must-try is the beef popcorn. You can’t fault the food and the prices, and service by identical twins Amy and Victoria is second to none.
So if your passion’s for a two-pound picanha, look no further…
Bar + Block Steakhouse
66 Alie Street, E1 8PX
Review by Jane Gazzard