Anyone who lives or has travelled through London King’s Cross over the last decade can’t fail to marvel at its transformation. I was lucky enough to live in Bloomsbury for six years until I moved back to Scotland last summer and Kings Cross was only a 15 minute walk from our former home. Having strolled through the peaceful St George’s Gardens and deserted back streets, the contrast when you emerged onto Euston Road, opposite the Gothic grandeur of the St Pancras Hotel clock tower, was like emerging from a dream.
Thanks to a £2.2billion regeneration programme, what was once a notorious red light district and no-go area at night is now a utopian vision of modern high-rise living spaces, surrounded by fountains, clipped trees, shops, offices, galleries, bars, restaurants, schools, and even a university.
One of the latest eateries to take advantage of the King’s Cross renaissance is Bar + Block which opened it’s doors on York Way last month.?
This steak house, the first of which launched in Birmingham last March, promises high-quality steaks at high street prices, within moments of your daily commute. And if you are waiting to catch a train then the express menu promises to fill rumbling stomachs within 10 minutes. Available 12-5pm Monday to Friday, all dishes are cooked to order from classic steak & frites to open club sandwiches. Add a glass of house wine, a pint of Beck’s Vier or your chosen soft drink included in the £10 price tag.
When I visited the new restaurant with my boyfriend last month we were excited to be back on our old stomping ground. With its stripy canopy, on first sight Bar + Block looks like a traditional New York steak house. Inside it’s a large space but manages to feel cozy once you are settled in one of its red-leather booths.
It’d be rude not to order steak in a steak house and we were not disappointed by the melt-in-the-mouth texture and taste of their South American source meat. You can choose from 8oz or 10oz rump, rib eye, sirloin, fillet or signature spiral cut fillet, all hand-cut and cooked to order from an affordable £12.95. All steaks come with beef dripping chunky chips. We also tried the flatbreads topped with sweet red onion marmalade, Cheddar cheese, red chilli and rocket which made a delicious appetizer.
It’s safe to say this is no place for vegetarians. Out-with the steak selection you can choose from chicken wings with raspberry and Tabasco sauce, beef empanadas, slow-cooked pork belly, beef short ribs and handmade beef burgers.
It’s worth mentioning young carnivores can enjoy a dedicated kid’s menu, featuring mini steak & frites and 6oz beef burger and chips.
Bar +Block has plenty of nooks and crannies to hole yourself up for an intimate drink or business meeting. The space is dominated by it’s reclaimed wooden bar which offers a selection of craft beers from BrewDog and Goose Island, Rekorderlig ciders, as well as local brews from Camden Hells.
We worked our way through the cocktail menu which included classics such as Mojitos, Cosmopolitans and Daiquiris (well, it was a rare weekend away from our three-year-old). Prices start at £6.99 but from Mon -Thurs 5-7pm they are all half-price.
If you venture there on the weekend, on Fizz Fridays you can enjoy a bottle of Prosecco for just £18 all day.
Having been well and truly bitten by the London bug, King’s Cross is a must-visit for me and anyone else seeking to scratch their itch. Affordable, pleasant and within striking distance of the tube, Bar + Block has now been firmly added to my address book.
- Bar +Block is at 26-30 York Way, Kings Cross. See www.barandblock.co.uk for more information