When I’m having steak, I’ve definitely come to prefer it at dedicated steak restaurants rather than a poorly executed dish on a more generic menu. When the meat is the focus, you know there’s probably going to be a lot of work put in to make sure it’s the best cuts, cooked with real experience and knowledge, and served up in ways that complement the delicious taste of steak. Did Argentine steak inspired Bar + Block live up to my expectations?
The interior of Bar + Block’s King’s Cross venue is exactly what I like in a restaurant – informal, with some great touches of character, like the neon signage and exposed brickwork. Also, the tables by the wall have plug sockets, which I always 100% appreciate when I’m eating. Mostly because I use up all my battery taking pictures of the food (unless, like in this situation, I corrupt my memory card and have to use press images instead of my own..).
After tucking into the complementary bacon-salted popcorn – a nice touch and always welcome – we dived straight in to a couple of starter plates. Wanna know what’s great? The Cheese & Jalapeno Stuffed Dippers. The cheese was melted and oozy, and the heat of the jalapeno was fantastic paired with the creaminess of said cheese.
Unfortunately, not so good was the Asian Crispy Beef, which didn’t offer the promising consistency that I’d hoped for – it was probably more chewy than crispy, really. The starters menu is a little at odds with the Argentinian steakhouse feel of the menu and venue (rhyyyme), offering tandoori and Atlantic scallop dishes. Although I do love the idea of fusing different cuisines, and the rest might be delicious, the Asian Crispy Beef just didn’t work for me.
The steaks on Bar + Block’s menu are from British breeds of cattle, reared across the Pampas in South America. Aged for a minimum of 28 days, they’re all hand-cut on site, which means you can actually choose the size of steak you have. Alongside the main menu, there are also ‘Butchers Block’ dishes to choose, featuring a range of more unique cuts to try. One of these caught my eye, so I found myself tucking into a Picanha Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.
The steak was well-cooked and tender, and the parsley, oregano and pepper of the chimichurri sauce complemented the richness of the meat. Honestly? The Pichanha isn’t my favourite cut of beef, but it was an enjoyable (and sizeable) steak, served with crisp triple-cooked chips that I couldn’t get enough of.
When in an Argentinian steakhouse, it’d be a crime not to choose churros from the dessert menu. Bar + Block go next level on this, with their Chocolate Churros Sundae – churros coated in cinnamon sugar, served with vanilla ice cream, salted caramel ice cream, brownie chunks, cream and chocolate toffee sauce. And yes, I can confirm it was as sweet and magical and delicious as it sounds.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
My Picanha wasn’t the most mindblowing steak I’ve ever had (maybe down to personal preference on the cut more than anything else), but it was a solid steak meal with some great touches, like the chimichurri sauce. What Bar + Block definitely gets right is the core product – juicy steak cooked the South American way. Aside from the damp squib that was the Asian Crispy Beef, I was pretty impressed with our meal – and there’s definitely more on the menu I’m keen to try!
Bar + Block (King’s Cross)
26-30 York Way, N1 9AA