Thursday night ended up being date night for Mr Lisle and I as we headed to the new steakhouse on the block – Bar+Block (see what I did there?). We don’t get the opportunity to go out as a two that often so we were really excited to try some food and drinks at this new restaurant located on Newgate Street.
The decor was stylish but understated with a mix of areas including a bar area, restaurant area and intimate booths. We were greeted by a host named James; who was really welcoming and friendly. He showed us to our booth, took our drinks order and pointed out a few items on the menu which he recommended. We were overwhelmed by how good the menu sounded, we jumped from dish to dish trying to decide what we would have – and that was only the starters! We finally chose Salt and Pepper Squid and Aromatic Crispy Duck Pancakes.
I was actually surprised to see a whole duck leg turn up at the table (I thought it may have already been shredded). However it was absolutely perfect – a little crispy on the outside but soft and juicy on the inside. With cucumber and spring onion and a really full flavoured hoi sin sauce it was a great light starter. I also think it would be great if you just wanted a few light bites with some drinks! The Salt and Pepper squid was covered in the lightest but crispiest batter, it’s actually hard to describe the batter because it was just so good! It came with a subtle garlic dip and chilli and garlic chopped on the top which not only added to the presentation but to the flavours in the dish.
Next up were the mains, again after much deliberation Andy chose the surf and turf which was served with beef dripping triple cooked chunky chips and I went for the recommended Spiral Cut Rump Steak with some halloumi fries. We also chose some sides – Hispa cabbage and my favourite onion rings.
The spiral steak is unique in that it is spiral cut and then marinaded for 24 hours in garlic and parsley. I asked for medium rare and the steak was cooked perfectly. It literally melted in my mouth; so juicy, easy to chew with a subtle beef flavour and the hints of garlic and parsley coming through with every mouthful. Andy’s surf and turf was a sirloin steak which was again cooked perfectly to his liking and he said it was tender and full of flavour and the lobster which had been cooked in a garlic butter was juicy and delicious.
Now I never thought I would ever say this but the Hispa cabbage was amazing! My mam would be so proud of me loving my greens. The subtle charcoal taste reminded me of a summers barbecue whilst the buttery cabbage was light and a great accompaniment to the flavoursome steaks.
Even though we were truly stuffed we couldn’t resist trying to squeeze something sweet in before we headed home. For dessert we chose Chocolate Churros Sundae and Sticky Toffee Pudding. I probably did myself a little injustice with the pudding as I’m not the biggest ice cream fan but wanted to try something different. The puddings looked amazing and were presented beautifully however I left a lot of mine, mainly because I was so full! I enjoyed the churros and the chunks of brownie but left the majority of the ice cream (my personal taste nothing to do with the ice cream).
The sticky toffee pudding was delicious, lots of thick toffee sauce and the option of ice cream or custard. I also ordered a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini which was delightful and Andy had a creamy baileys the perfect drinks to end the meal on.
Overall the menu has a fantastic range of meals to chose from with various budgets too. The restaurant itself is well decorated and nicely laid out and they clearly keep it simple to let the food do the talking! The staff were great – friendly, chatty and welcoming with great recommendations. James was fantastic checking on us as we went through our meal but not overly so. The food was fantastic and I’d love to go back and try some other dishes on the menu – the Brew Dog chicken sounds particularly good!
I think the restaurant appeals to everyone and with the beautiful bar at the front it would even make a nice place to grab a drink and meet friends. They currently have live musicians coming in on a weekend and this is something they hope to continue with. I noticed highchairs and there were children in the restaurant so it definitely would be family friendly too! They have a number of offers available too and for the month of March there will be a special of buy one main meal and get the other for £1. What better excuse for a date night!
Disclaimer: I was gifted as our meals in return for a review. All opinions are my own.