Post Selfridges shopping my boyfriend and I headed home to change into our finest for a slap up dinner at STK. I donned some maroon pleather pants, a white shirt and patent heels and accessorized with my new Zara tote.
The feller drove over in his taxi and parked right outside, talk about door to door service! We made our way into STK which is situated at the bottom of ME Hotel on The Strand. We were a little early so pitched up at the bar and ordered some birthday cocktails. I had some elderflower gin concoction and my guy had a Godfather (scotch and amaretto) which he’d been drinking the night before at Chico Bandito’s with my dad.
I’d been wanting to go STK for ages and my boyfriend’s best mate raved about it despite not being a cast member for TOWIE (seriously, they’ve all been papped coming out of there at some point or another over the last year). I knew it was going to be a kind of Essex/WAG/Wannabe kind of crowd so I was actually glad we went on a Sunday night although, to be honest, everyone there actually looked pretty normal and there certainly wasn’t a certain type of crowd. It didn’t feel flashy or trashy but just like a nice restaurant.
Not long after ordering our cocktails we were asked if we were ready for our table – and only really having had breakfast (although it was a big one) that day, I was more than ready to get cracking on starters and steaks. Our helpful waiter offered to take us through the menu but it seemed straight forward enough so we got to making our choices. While we were deciding we were bought complimentary bread with a light topping of blue cheese butter and a chive/herb dip. My boyfriend hates blue cheese with a passion so it was a bit of a miss for him but I enjoyed it although did my best not to fill up on it.
For starters we’d been recommended to try the mini waygu beef burgers so my guy picked these and I had the fois gras french toast..of course with every intention of actually trying one of his mini burgers and knowing full well he wouldn’t want any of my fois gras. C’mon it was my birthday after all – I’m honestly not usually that selfish and will always try and order something he’d like to try to. Really. I do.
I love ordering fois gras in restaurants as it is something I would never be able to have at home but I must say the mini Waygu burgers absolutely trumped my Fois Gras French toast. They were delicious – I could have ordered 5 for my main and been more than happy. And the special sauce – aye aye aye – was something that got my taste buds very excited. The fois gras french toast was nice but a little odd in texture for me. I think it was the combination with the French toast that I didn’t enjoy so much.
For our mains we both – as you can guess – ordered steak. I had a small fillet, while my boyfriend had the same in medium. I was a bit disappointed in myself for ordering the small, I really wanted to go medium or large to avoid being a typical girl even though STK believes this to be what the women come for – the restaurant labels itself as ‘female friendly’ – whatever that means (?) I guess I wanted to flout their idea that women are intimidated by large slabs of meat and usual steak restaurants but when it arrived, along with all the sides we’d ordered I knew I’d actually done the right thing and my bursting waistline and not quite able to be emptied plate at the end of the meal, told me the same.
For sides we went for goose-fat roasted potatoes, brussel sprouts and bacon, carrots and parsnips and finally sautéed spinach. I also wanted to try the parmesan, truffle chips but in a toss up the goose fat roasties seemed too good to miss out on and we definitely didn’t need both. I also ordered a bearnaise sauce with my steak and boyfriend had a pepper sauce.
My steak was cooked exactly as requested – medium/rare – which seems a bit silly to say as surely this is the expectation when you go to a steak restaurant however there are, of course, some places that get this wrong. The sides were amazing, particularly the roasties, carrots and parsnips. I think in future I’d leave the brussell sprouts, they just weren’t particularly flavoursome.
After almost demolishing out mains we were too stuffed for dessert which was shame as they do this mad candyfloss platter thing that I wanted to order just for the novelty of it. However I literally couldn’t have fit another bite in my belly.
Now for one little note about the loos – not something I’d usually comment on – but they’re a pretty decent trek. Not ideal if you’re really boozing with your meal. You have to go into the hotel next door and down a flight of stairs which takes feels like it takes forever. Women take long enough as it is in the loos without the added hike there and back – not looking so female friendly now eh!
That said I really enjoyed the food and ambience at STK. I know there are a lot of people out there who aren’t keen on it because of it’s current trendy status but I couldn’t fault it. I think going on a Sunday was a great time to experience it as I can imagine on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday you have quite a specific crowd in there and it could be very loud and maybe a little much if you’re a couple. Similar to what I thought about Shaka Zulu although I guess not quite as heaving as it doesn’t have a club downstairs.
On leaving I was so extremely, grateful that my guy had been able to literally park outside. I was still so full I thought I may have had to be carried to the car. I jumped into the back (he drives a black cab so only has the one seat up front) and shamefully I had to admit to unbuttoning my pleather trews! Surely the sign of a satisfying dinner?
Lastly – apologies for some of the bad pictures in my posts. I’m still only using my Samsung 4S as I daren’t buy myself a camera…I’ve lost/had stolen/broken about 8 cameras so far so as you can guess I’m not keen to splash out for the inevitable to happen. One day though!
And that rounds up my birthday weekend this year. It was a fun-packed, foody and football weekend so I really can’t complain – looking forward to what next year brings.