STK Review – The Strand

My first experience of STK was in the Meat Packing District of New York in 2012 during a gorgeous May afternoon. Myself and a good friend from Norway arrived after a skinful of beers and cocktails, feeling brazen and boisterous, we decided to gate crash a private party hosted by Proctor and Gamble for Proctor and Gamble employees. We told the door host that we worked for Unilever, P&G’s long time competitor and nemesis. It was obviously a very good idea in our heads at the time and it got us in! It became an absolute hoot of a day drinking for free on their rooftop rubbing shoulders with strangers. Fast forward 3 years I’m back at the New York steak house, this time the one on The Strand in London which launched at the ME Hotel in October 2012. A group of us were invited our employers at the time for being a good guys and gals. There’s nightly DJs, huge leather banquets, purple lit panelled walls and a sparkly bar. It feels like El Paradiso in Carlito’s Way.

Since there was a big group of us, only a set menu was available.

This brute of a Malbec kept us company all afternoon.

As did Innis Gunn.

If you like your brioche fresh from the oven, drizzled with blue cheese butter with a pot of jade-green chive oil for dredging then this is bread worth fetishising about.

Most of us go for Lil BRG’s, (they have a habit of abbreviations here), they’re sliders that use wagyu beef slathered in a glossy mayonnaise based “special sauce” within a sesame pelted bun. Alas, if you’re feeling pugnacious, you could say that using wagyu is excessively sacrilegious as chopping up the heavily marbled hand nurtured beef dismantles the USP – the marbling. That said it was it was a burger that deserved adulation – my dinner companions agreed and we scarfed them down.

I went for the 350g sirloin USDA prime that came with a pot of pan juices. Yeah it looked the part with grill marks showing off the maillard reaction, but I spent half the time discreetly pulling out the inedible car-tyre-like sinew from my teeth rather than enjoying it. I think the kitchen mistook a piece of shin for sirloin. Compounding the inadequacy – it was also cooked medium-to-well instead of mid-rare, the way I ordered it.

There’s always one numpty who misses the point of the outing and orders duck. In fairness, this honey roast version was something I’d have over the aforementioned sirloin.

Things got markedly better with the sides which overshadowed the main event – the steak. There’s a caramelised mac ‘n’ cheese oozing from the skillet it was baked in that gave a welcome hit of hip-cladding flavour. The same went for the honey parsnips cut like French fries and the compelling Tetris stacked chips with a thick dusting of truffle parmesan. We inhaled the spinach too, order some if you want to feel better about yourself when you gulp down all those animal fats.

I was anyone’s after drinking red wine and beer all afternoon – the Old Fashioned ordered after the meal just put me over the edge.

Sticky toffee pudding, vanilla ice cream and salted malt caramel would guarantee a deep sugar coma on top of your meat coma.

The “BFG” or black forrest gateau is a version designed for adults, it was a shimmering chocolate delice punched up with cherry liquor and maraschino cherries.

The lightweights ordered cheesecake with ginger bread crumb and raspberry sorbet. By this time most of the desserts were left, we we’re all too full from the sides to even attempt multiple mouthfuls of pudding.


When did I go? Nov 2015
The damage: Expect to pay £70/100 per head with booze
The good: Come here for the sides and the lil BRG burgers – they’re worth pining over. STK is a place where you can have an obnoxious day or night out.
The bad: STK main command is steak, but the sides they do knock them out of the park. In my experience at least so be warned.
Rating: 2.5/5
Would I go again? There’s better steak out there
Address: 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA

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