It’s become a birthday tradition of sorts that on/for Alex’s birthday I take him out to one of the best meaty restaurants in London. This year, following a fab recommendation from KS Ate Here, we celebrated his birthday at basement bar and chop restaurant, Blacklock.
The city restaurant, situated close to Sky Bar, looks almost a little hidden and mysterious from the exterior. With just a black fascia and sign, Alex didn’t have a clue where we were, which added to the birthday surprise effect.
Downstairs, the restaurant feels minimalist yet chic, with bare brick walls, dark woods and black leather seats. It almost likes you’ve just entered an American ranch.
The menu, focused around chops and steak, looks small but don’t be fooled. With six different small chops, five big chops for sharing, and four different individual off the bone options, just looking at the menu is enough to give you meat sweats.
Alongside this there are several sides, featuring the usual and the more unique, five different sauces (although brace yourselves…no peppercorn), and starters or pre-chop bites for those who want to go the whole hog. hehe.
With a 30 minute wait for a sharing steak, we’d recommend tucking into some of the pre-chop bites. Served on small round crisp crackers, the Chicken & Horseradish was creamy and almost a little sweet. The favourite however, being the Egg & Anchovy, with its saltier and potent fishy taste from the Anchovy, mellowed out by the creamy scrambled egg. A seriously delicious appetiser. Priced per bite, it’s worth getting a couple each!
The Porterhouse, a cut which seems to have turned into Alex’s go-to for celebration dinners, arrived perfectly cooked. Medium rare, a beautiful pink colour, it was juicy and flavoursome, each bite causing a little moment of internal satisfaction.
The Beef Dripping Chips, crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, were salty with a greater depth of flavour – way better than any normal chips.
The 10 hour Ash Roasted Sweet Potato was super soft inside, with a charred crispy skin. Served in halves, the sweet potato was topped with a heavy sprinkling of herbs and seasoning. Both delicious sides to the steak.
The Charred Courgettes, Chicory & Stilton, another top pick, was a fab mix of textures, the courgettes and chicory served a la dente, still crunchy to the bite, alongside the soft indulgent blue cheese. The beautiful flavours of the fresh grilled courgette and chicory, with the small pieces of strong, rich stilton, made one delicious tasty combination too.
We needn’t have worried about the predicament of no peppercorn sauce either, as the chilli hollandaise and bernaise stepped into the role smoothly. The chilli hollandaise, thick with a smokey flavour and a good kick, was perfect for dipping chips into, and great for the steak too – although you only need a little or it can overpower the delicious flavours of the meat. The bernaise, a creamy, indulgent butter and white wine sauce, packed with herbs too, also made a superb accompaniment to the steak, as well as the sweet potato. Served in pretty big portions, you could easily share one...if you have the same tastes of course.
Too good to leave any, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll be stuffed by the end.
Desserts, of which there are only two (cheesecake and bread and butter pudding), are truly tempting. Being Alex’s Birthday, the team brought out a cheesecake with a candle in it, arriving at our table singing “Happy Birthday” – a fab little special touch.
The cheesecake, served de-constructed as a bowl of broken pudding was topped with a white chocolate swirl, alongside a dish of seasonal berries in sauce. White chocolate in flavour, the cheesecake was sweet, thick and creamy, and scrumptious tucked into with the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and sauce.
You can’t get through this much food without drinks, to which there is a pretty extensive list of wines, fizz, beer, soft drinks and cocktails. With cocktails priced at either £5 or £7.50 you cant’ say no to a cheeky old fashioned or gin concoction. The Chilli Honey Mule, a mix of honey bourbon, chilli and ginger beer, had a slightly spicy edge to it, with underlying citrus flavours. Totally refreshing it made both of our top cocktail lists – in fact, Alex loved it so much, he had to have two!
Sat watching other tables around us starting to tuck into their piles of chops, you definitely can’t just go to Blacklock once – there’s just too much to try.
Overall, a fantastic experience, with next level service, amazing food and tasty, refreshing cocktails, it’s definitely somewhere I’d recommend to any meat lovers – guys, you’d be on cloud nine! At roughly £135 for pre-chop bites, Porterhouse steak for two, sides, sauces, cocktails and service, it’s one for the special occasions. Although there are cheaper options on the menu too – the “All-in” the most popular menu option, with pre-chop bites, all of the day’s skinny chops on a flatbread, and a side each, is only £20 per person!! Something I’m definitely heading back to try!
Have you tried any amazing meat restaurants lately?