Lunch dates are my favourite, especially when they’re impromptu. Dave and I often end up trying out new places for lunch after Geeky Brummie on a Saturday. A couple of weeks back, we were wandering about hungry, and decided to investigate Bar + Block, on Waterloo Street. I’ve walked past it a few times and made a mental note to try it, epecially as Dave is such a steak fiend. I hadn’t actually noticed it was owned by Beefeater until we got there, so I will confess, my expectations weren’t super high, but boy was I wrong. Inside is classic trendy decor, all light wood and copper details. We sat in the main restaurant in a cosy booth, and promptly became besties with the waitress after she admired my Superman t-shirt. Top marks for friendly staff, Beefeater!
I was…a little delicate from a night out with friends the night before, so unlike me, I didn’t fancy a cocktail, although they do have a good menu. Instead, we thought we’d try a mocktail and both opted for the Cherry Bakewell, which is cherry puree, amaretto flavour syrup and cranberry juice. The drinks were a good size, served promptly, and were very tasty. Good, interesting options for non-alcoholic drinks is so often overlooked, but we enjoyed these so much, we ordered a second round.
We hadn’t planned on ordering starters, but they sounded so tasty, we couldn’t resist. I chose the Mixed Seafood Pot, which is a pot of mussels, prawns, white fish, squid and clams cooked in white wine, garlic and butter. The fish was all gorgeous, in huge chunks and so soft it just fell apart. The shellfish and squid was tender and juicy and the sauce was delicious. I really appreciated the chunks of crusty bread to soak up every last drop of sauce.
Dave chose the Beef Empanadas, which are Argentinian style pasties, filled with spiced beef, served with tomato salsa. As a northerner, anything pasty like is ok by Dave, and this vanished pretty quickly. I didn’t try, as Dave looked sad at the prospect of sharing, but he reported they were generously filled and the salsa was fresh and light.
As it was a steakhouse, it seemed rude not to order a steak. I went for a rump steak, cooked to medium rare, which came with beef dripping chunky chips. I also ordered a Béarnaise sauce to go with it. The steak was incredibly thick, but was cooked perfectly. Pink in the middle, crisp at the edge, exactly how I like it. The chips were fluffy, and the beef dripping I assume they’re cooked in had added a lot of flavour and crispness to the outside. My only quibble is that I don’t think the steak had been allowed to rest for long enough, so leaked a lot of fluid and was almost immediately swimming in a small pool of water, which was a shame. It didn’t impact the flavour though, which was fantastic.
Dave opted for the Smoked Paprika Chicken and Ribs from the grills menu, which comes with spicy beans and french fries. Warning, this is a huge plate of food, so don’t order this unless you’re bloody hungry or have a good appetite. Dave made a noble effort, but couldn’t finish it. The ribs were beautiful, and allowed to have their own flavour instead of being drowned in sauce. They were so well cooked the bones literally dropped out of them. The chicken was juicy and well smothered in paprika. The spicy beans were positively inhaled, so I suspect Dave would recommend those too.
As if we hadn’t eaten enough, we also picked a side of the Mac & Cheese with Crab. I’d say this is one to share for sure, as the cheese and crab were both strong flavours, which made this quite rich. It was very tasty though, with lots of crab.
We rolled out very full and contended after a very enjoyable meal. We’ll be back for sure!
We paid in full at Bar + Block. They didn’t know I was a blogger. All opinions are honest and entirely my own (or Dave’s…).