Bistecca was originally going to be my birthday dinner this year, but then, y’know, Covid happened. Thankfully once the worst of the first wave was over, not only did Bistecca reopen quick-smart, they also started accepting bookings for groups of any size. This was extremely good news, because apparently smaller parties used to have to show up at 4pm to scribble your name on a piece of butcher’s paper on the door, and hope you get a call sometime later that night.
My dinner at Cheek was a very, very special one. Not only was it easily the most enjoyable meal I’ve had all year, it was also followed up by one of the most wonderful and exciting things that has ever happened in my entire life. But hold up, let’s start from the beginning (or y’know, just scroll to the bottom of this post if you really want to know right this instant – I’m not the boss of you).
I had a terrible lapse in judgement a few years back, when I decided to have my first proper steak at Rockpool Bar and Grill. Unsurprisingly, that meal sort of ruined all future steaks for me; although I’ve had some decent cuts of meat here and there since, it just doesn’t compare to the dry-aged, 9+ marble score David Blackmore wagyu served up at Rockpool. With that said however, I’ve always heard that San Telmo does some bang-up steak, being an Argentinean restaurant and all. First impressions certainly cemented that fact – the dining room was old-school masculine, with ample amounts of leather and marble, and cow hides adorning the walls. The whole place just screams steak really.
Tonight is a special night; it’s the night Chris lost his rib-ginity. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that a man of 20 years has never had ribs before: luscious, fatty ribs with juices that drip down between the fingers, the flavours soaked in so as to make you want to gnaw on the bones after the meat’s long gone. And where do you get ribs? At a steakhouse of course; namely, Squire’s Loft Steakhouse.
“Would you like some bread for the table?” Of course we do. Of course I do. And thus began the slightly belated dinner at Rockpool Bar and Grill, part of the present I gave him for his Birthday. We very much enjoyed the steaks we had here on our last visit, but as I wanted to try a burger, whereas Chris wanted another steak, we ended up sitting in the no-bookings wine bar section, where we could order both.
How much would you pay for a good steak? Clearly there are a lot of people out there who are willing to pay a very, very pretty penny, and thus, Rockpool Bar and Grill was born. At Rockpool, cows are treated with reverence. The first thing you notice after entering the demure double doors is a striking portrait of a lavishly well-fed cow, enlarged to noble proportions and duly framed. Before you even get to the end of the long corridor and to the reception desk, you’ll come across a cabinet lit up like a Christmas window, except instead of elves and presents, there are all sorts of cow hung out to be dry aged. And don’t even get me…