HS&Co. (Steakhouse) – Stratford

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hs&co-P1010794Any restaurant that comprises the following three separate sections – a comfy waiting area near the entrance, booths and kitchen-side seating, and a dining lounge with a chandelier – has to be an interesting one, particularly when all three have a distinctly unique ambience.

hs&co-P1010804HS&Co. has a dark, wooden ceiling that runs the width and breadth of its classic interior look, an open kitchen with an impressively large Josper Grill, an old fashioned sewing machine, a bookshelf, and music to match.

We decided on a booth opposite the kitchen to see the three chefs, and a friendly interactive bartender (there you go, as promised) in action.

With warm lighting and comfortable leather seats, we were sold by the entire theme and concept.

DRINKS

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Blue Basil (left) – Blueberry Syrup, Lemonade, Fresh Basil & Fresh Blueberries, £5.75
Honey Monkey (centre) – Cream, Fresh Banana, Honey & Walnut, £5.75
Mojito (right) – Muddled Fresh Mint & Brown Sugar, Topped with Crushed Ice & Soda Water, £5.50

The aromatic Blue Basil was simply delicious. Despite all the ice, this beverage still allowed the intense flavour of basil to come through with the taste of the blueberry left to linger thereafter. Well balanced and quite refreshing.

More a milky milkshake than a mocktail, the Honey Monkey’s thin straw managed to get blocked a little too often by all those bits of walnut. Not only was this extremely watered down by the addition of ice resulting in the subtle taste of the nuts, but the banana was a little too fresh for our liking.

Unfortunately, the fizzy Mojito was average at best with both the mint and lime just about discernible.

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Disney Star Martini – Passion Fruit Puree, Vanilla Infused Sugar Syrup, Splash of Pressed Apple with a Side Shot of Non-Alcoholic Champagne, £5.75

This was a tasty drink though. The passion fruit was strong and pungent, the apple distinctly clear running through the background, and the shot of non-alcoholic champagne more theatre than anything else.

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Citrus Marmalade (left) – Blood Orange Syrup, Orange Zest, Lime Juice & Lemonade, £5.50
Lavender Lush (right) – Lavender Syrup, Gin Syrup, Brown Sugar, Soda Water with a Sprig of Lavender, £.5.75

The Lavender Lush, however, stole the show. The brown sugar combined with the lavender came through to deliver a tantalisingly refreshing mocktail. We took our time in savouring this sip by heavenly sip! RECOMMENDED!

As for the Citrus Marmalade, then it had a strong tangy kick to it, and reminded us all of a citrus-flavoured slush puppy with all that playful crushed ice. Would go down superbly on a hot day!

STARTERS

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Honey & Chilli Wings (5 per portion)- BBQ Cooked Wings with a Sweet Blossom Honey & Jalapeño Peppers, £5.95

With the sweet honey coming through well, these well cooked wings had a nice, chewy texture, were sweet and sticky while delivering a sharp, chilli kick.

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Vanilla Beef Stew – Slow cooked beef steak stew in a rich vanilla jus, £6.25

Wonderful! Not only could we smell the vanilla, but also appreciated the way in which this enhanced the entire dish, marrying as it did so perfectly with the soft, tender and meaty beef stew, as well as the earthiness of the soft potatoes, carrots and peas. Deliciously rich and creamy, full of flavour, and perfectly seasoned, if this doesn’t bring a smile to your face, then we don’t know what will.

It has to be said though (not that we’re complaining), this was a large starter and could easily pass for a light main.

As to the accompanying chips, then these seemed to be double fried, making them intensely crispy and satisfying on the outside, while light and fluffy on the inside – lovely.

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Chicken Liver Pate – Cream Chicken Liver Pate with Onion Jam & Fresh Bread, £5.25

Another knock out starter. This well seasoned and flavoursome Chicken Liver Pate had a rich, thick and creamy texture to it making it perfect for scooping and devouring with the firm bread. What’s more, the mildly sweet onion jam was just right in adding an extra dimension to the meal.

SAUCES

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Gravy (top-L), Stilton Cheese (top-R), Peppercorn (bottom-L), Bearnaise Butter (bottom-R)

There’s nothing here that’ll knock you off your feet; certainly not in the way that Meat House London’s sauces did.

The Bearnaise Butter was creamy, buttery and mildly vinegary in taste.

Aside from the strange watery residue, the Stilton Cheese was strong in flavour and quite tasty.

The thin gravy was well flavoured with a very subtle vinegary aftertaste.

As for the Peppercorn, then it was just plain wrong. We’ve never understood the logic behind large bits of peppercorn left in a sauce! Its strong, acrid flavour simply overpowers everything within the vicinity. Not very pleasant, particularly when you want to be tasting the steaks for what they are.

HS&Co make a great steak with their josper grill.

A photo posted by Feed the Lion (@feedthelion.co.uk) on

Now, a Josper Grill is a unit comprised of a grill and an oven, and aimed at the very demanding HoReCa sector. It’s also highly rated by steak houses including the Head Chef of HS&Co.

MAINS

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Fillet Steak – Cut from the Tenderloin, this is a very lean steak with little amount of fat. Recommended not to be cooked more than medium rare. (200g), £20.50

hs&co-P1020026Undeniably delicious!

This ever so succulent and tender 200g Fillet Steak – cooked just about medium (though they recommend medium rare) – was a delicious piece of well seasoned meat.

Whatever the Josper Grill was intended for, it does succeed in producing the most perfectly cooked steaks.

And this one went really well with the pickled red cabbage.

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Sirloin Steak – A favourite in the steak world, the Sirloin is an easy cut of meat with good marbling but not as tender as the other steaks. (300g), £18.50

And this was no less special than the above! Precisely cooked to medium, this superb peppery steak was delectable with the Sirloin’s fat rendered so very well.

And with the triple cooked crispy, chunky chips equally good, all in all, this is easily worth the price.

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Mac & Cheese, £3.25

A pretty good attempt. This Mac & Cheese had a lovely charred, cheesy top. Our only complaint would be that this needed to be creamier.

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Proper Cheese Burger – H.S & Co Special Recipe Beef Burger served with Monterrey Smokey Jack Cheese, Pickle etc, £10.50

hs&co-IMG_20160602_203215When it comes to burgers, then this medium cooked cheese burger was well layered and delicious.

With a hint of tang from the sauce, and pickles that gave it a really good contrast of taste and texture, the herbs came through really well.

But, what really elevated this above so many was the lovely piece of tender BBQ beef smothered in authentic bean sauce.

We were of the opinion though that more of this sauce would have brought the entire burger together into a more complete whole.

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BBQ Beef Brisket – Slow cooked Josper Beef Brisket with our own Sweet BBQ Glaze, £13.75

Mixed views with this brisket. While one Lion was left impressed with its texture and flavour, the other two felt it to be disparate.

While the sauce over the top was good, reminding us, in fact, of home-made baked beans, the brisket was, though stringy and succulent, rather underwhelming in taste.

DESSERTS

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Chocolate Cheese Cake – Chocolate Biscuit Base, Chocolate Cheese, Chocolate Shavings and just to finish a Warm Chocolate Sauce, £5.95

What a superb Chocolate Cheesecake this was!

The crisp white chocolate top didn’t quite have the sheen of a well tempered chocolate, but it marry successfully with the chocolatey mousse-cheese underneath followed by the very thick and closely textured layer of biscuit. Altogether, quite lovely!

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Strawberry Eton Mess – Meringue, Homemade Strawberry Jam & Fresh Cream, £5.95

In our opinion, this Strawberry Eton Mess is definitely the dessert to get. The crisp meringue had that familiar chewiness to it we all love, and was just right in terms of sweetness. The tangy, fresh strawberry jam and cream transformed this into a delightful sweet candy dessert to savour.

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Apple Crumble (N) – Sweet & Tart Bramley Apple Crumble with Thick Vanilla Custard, £6.25

A good Apple Crumble is made up of contrasting flavours and textures. This, however, had a sameness to it that left us quite disappointed. Not only were the apples far too soft, but also too sweet. In our opinion, a good crumble should have some bite to it, with the familiar interplay of sweet and sour delivered by tart apples, such as, Bramley.

The only redeeming factor, if you can call it that, was the vanilla custard that was very well made.

All in all, way too sweet and mushy!

THE ROAR
HS&Co.
4 FTL's Roar
4.5 Pride's Roar (4 Roars)
Alcohol/ Pork?
  • NO
Facilities
  • CHILD SEATING
  • DISABLED
  • WIFI
Summary
It's obvious that a lot of thought and planning has gone into the establishment of HS&Co., and we couldn't help but be impressed by both its decor, and the regimented service we experienced. The staff were very disciplined, with the waiters polite and inquisitive without being intrusive, and the service running like clockwork despite the place being quite busy.

Further still, HS&Co. are in the middle of completing a private room (scheduled for after Ramadan) in the basement that will also serve as a prayer area.

Now, if we were to suggest a menu, this is what it would be: Lavender Lush for a drink, Vanilla Beef Stew starter, Fillet Steak with Stilton Cheese sauce, and a Strawberry Eton Mess to end your evening.

HS&Co. has a capacity of 85.
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hs&co-logoHS&Co.
405 High Street, Stratford,
London, E15 4QZ.

T: +44 (0)208 555 3322 | W: www.hsandco.co.uk

Opening Hours: Mon-Wed: 12:00-00:00 | Thurs: 12:00-01:00 | Fri-Sun: 12:00-00:00

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Comments
  • Would you book in advance if going in the evening?
    How is parking in the area or would you park in Westfield shopping centre?

    8 Jul '16

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