Chancing a Sizzling Sirloin at Steak & Co.
By William Lau
As a non-religious man, I’ve never had any struggles with finding a venue for food. However, this one particular evening, my body told me that I needed steak. No problem, I thought. Steak is easy. But for a Muslim, how easy would it be to find a restaurant that serves a good steak?
Up for the challenge, I opened up my trusty Zabihah app on my iPhone and searched for all Halal restaurants close to my proximity in Leicester Square.
Shockingly, although unsurprisingly, nothing close to a steakhouse came up. Next I gave Google an opportunity and… result! Steak & Co came up.
Not trusting my search results, and sticking to my gut, I thought I’d give them a call to save a wasted journey. No one answered. Second attempt. No one answered.
This was strange – it was midweek, so perhaps they’re busy, I thought. I chanced it, and walked the half mile over. Other restaurants along the way looked half empty, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived.
The outside looked dead. However, as it was a blistery six degrees outside, this could have explained it.
I walked in and, after being hit with the warmth of the inside and the buzz of people having a good time, I was immediately greeted by the host.
I asked if their meat was Halal, and, SHABANG, with a big smile, the host handed me a Halal menu!
For starters, I ordered a Rosemary Flat Bread – which is served with grilled goats cheese and rosemary oil.
The presentation was quite limited as you can see.
But it was served promptly, hot, and the cheese was gooey with the right infusion of rosemary so as not to overpower the flat bread.
A closer look at the flat bread shows you the textures better.
My main purpose was to order a Halal steak, so, as you can guess, I ordered a steak for main course. There was only one available cut that was Halal, the sirloin. It came in two sizes: 8oz /224g and 10oz/280g.
As this was my first visit to Steak & Co, I wasn’t sure of the quality of the meat; so, much to the surprise of the waiter, I greedily ordered a second main course in case I did not enjoy the steak. My second main course was the hanging chicken skewer accompanied with melted cheese on chips – also from the Halal menu.
The steaks are first caramelised on their chargrill to seal in the flavour and then served on a sizzling steak stone.
I chose garlic butter, sea salt and chilli flakes, and mushroom sauce to accompany my steak.
With the steak being rare when brought out, the idea is to basically leave it on the sizzling stone to cook as much as you want – a little experience of being the chef, so to be speak – I guess if you over cook it, you only have yourself to blame!
I like my steaks medium to medium rare, so this steak wasn’t left on the sizzling stone for long.
(Don’t bring a date who’s wearing delicate clothing – cos these sizzling plates will splatter steak juices and animal fat like there’s no tomorrow!)
The steak was juicy and the meat cut away quite easily despite the plain standard knife provided.
The price tag of £18.50 for an 8oz did seem a little high. But it’s not often I can find a Halal steak in the West End, so this is the price you have to pay I suppose! I wasn’t convinced I needed any of the accompaniments, so ate the steak au naturel.
This certainly wasn’t the best I’ve had, although this was more down to the actual cut of the steak itself rather than its quality. Given it was Halal too, I guess it should score extra bonus points!
Whilst immersed in my steak eating experience, I had totally forgotten about the hanging chicken skewer, which arrived a few minutes later.
Sadly, this was just gimmicky. You could easily find a better chicken skewer in any Lebanese or even kebab shop!
The chicken was dry. Breast meat can be moist when cooked correctly, but the timing is key and so easy to over cook. I guess the ramekin of melted garlic butter was supposed to help keep the chunks of chicken moist, but this did not work, because it was simply too oily on the chicken.
Having taken off the pieces of the gimmicky skewer, it did seem more appealing.
The chips were ok, and though the melted cheese was a great concept, the delivery just wasn’t quite there.
Either there was too much cheese, or it felt like eating chips with my cheese, rather than chips with cheese. Whenever I face such problems, I always resolve in drowning my food in ketchup.
Fortunately, I had my fill with the steak, so doggy bagged the chicken and chips (which I later donated to the homeless guy at the end of the block).
I was too full to order any desserts and too pushed for time to explore the drinks menu. But with a full stomach, I left Steak & Co reasonably happy, and a lot wiser on their menu.
Being a stones throw away from Charing Cross and Leicester Square made the restaurant a convenient spot to reach.
The venue itself was clean, the facilities adequate. And despite the fact that receiving the bill took far longer than it should have, everyone was friendly and helpful. But, I felt as though the main course options were limited.
As to the food, then while the only Halal steak was ok, the chicken skewer certainly wasn’t!
Ultimately, would I go back? Yes, but not too soon. There’s plenty of other options to explore first!
William Lau’s two passions are, food & photography, both combined and showcased on his impressive food Instagram page @FatChinaMan.
Steak & Co.
3-5 Charing Cross Rd,
London WC2H 0HA
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 12:00-01:00, Fri-Sat 10:00-01:00, Sun 10:00-00:00