‘Old’s Cool’ Night @ STK, Covent Garden
WHAT? Dazzlingly stylish steak specialists STK get their groove on for ‘Old’s Cool’ every Tuesday evening – a brand new Studio 54-inspired night of sumptuous food, retro cocktails and disco tunes.
WHY GO? From the Harvey Wallbanger to The Twisted Grasshopper and The 54 – served in a shiny disco ball no less – cocktails are £6 all night. As if that’s not enough of a reason, the food is exquisite – and as the establishment’s name might suggest, they take their (USDA prime) steak pretty seriously.
A US import, the restaurant takes itself pretty seriously too. Moody lighting, booming music, jazzy staff and glitzy clientele mean it’s not the sort of place you’d turn up to wearing scuffed shoes (and if you did, you’d feel pretty darn uncomfortable). Women in bandage dresses totter in heels, men undo top shirt buttons as they pursue the meat-laden menu but vintage Diana Ross has everyone tapping their feet.
The choice of food is decadent, an embarrassment of riches that counts Parmesan truffle fries, lil’ shrimp rice Krispies, sweetcorn pudding and jumbo lump crab salad among its specialities. We had to start with ‘Lil Brgs’, slider burgers filled with famed Japanese Waygu beef and soft shell crab with wasabi remoulade and pickled ginger.
The Waygu beef, tender and juicy thanks to intense marbling, was the tastier dish of the two – soft and unctuous, they were intensely naughty – washed down with a fine bottle of red.
Next, a Sirloin (530g) and a Fillet (200g) shared out between two. More meat than any person of normal appetite could finish, it was cooked perfectly (medium rare, as requested), the fillet a dream to slice through.
Sauces include Bordelaise, Bernaise and a secret STK sauce (ingredients unknown), but we doused ours with a thick and creamy peppercorn, made upon our request.
We found no room for dessert after a couple of strong cocktails (of an excellent standard considering the bargain price) but we’d come back to try the Creme Brûlée tart and poached rhubarb, which looked pretty as a picture sailing past us to another table.
WHERE? Housed within the achingly modern ME hotel and just along from Radio Bar (our dream rooftop date spot) it’s well placed for a fun evening with girlfriends (minimum walking in sky-high heels required).
BEST DISH: The lobster mac & cheese – a destination side dish, its golden crust breaks to reveal ooey gooey cheese pasta studded with meaty chunks of lobster.
GOOD TO KNOW: If you start off with drinks in the bar (and for £6, why wouldn’t you?) you can easily transfer your bill to your table using the digital card system.
DETAILS: Togrp.com / ME London Hotel, 336-337 The Strand, London, WC2R 1HA / 02073953450