Restaurant Review: STK
As my date and I walked into STK in Aldwych for the first time, we were almost guided into the restaurant by the chrome pillars that steer you from the door to the main entrance. It’s then that you experience the space you’re in, and all its “coolness”, for the first time.
STK occupies a huge space in one of London’s most prime locations. You have chic booths to your left and right, with an almost emerald-green lit-up bar running through the middle that’s reminiscent of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude (an observation that I kept to myself and didn’t share with my date, just in case she wasn’t into the superhero thing).
The lighting gives everything a velvety feel and is complimented by silver and pearl ceiling decorations and beautiful flowers. Soft lounge music playing in the background helps you ooze into a relaxed mood.
We were shown to our table, which was in a perfectly shaped booth that placed me close enough to my date to feel intimate without it being too close and potentially awkward. The sound levels are perfect, and the layout is such that you can hear one another and the music but you’re far enough away from everyone else to maintain your privacy completely.
After choosing a cocktail each from the extensive and enticing list, our attention turned to the menus, where we were spoilt for choice. There were salads, raw fish dishes and other starters to begin with, mains of various sizes, cuts of steak and some more “creative” options.
For my first course I had the swordfish sashimi. It came beautifully presented and had the most perfect texture. My date was going to have the seared tuna salad as it sounded divine, but our waitress interjected and advised that if it was tuna she wanted, the tartare option would be a superior choice. She wasn’t wrong, either. And best of all, the portion was so generous that my date even shared some with me.
For our mains we had to both have steaks, as we were in STK! Between us we shared a New York strip and a peppered sirloin with sides of tender-stem broccoli, caramelised roasted onions and truffle chips. The meats were fantastic: juicy, tender and full of flavour. Beef of such quality is always heightened when paired with a full-bodied Douro, which was what we chose to accompany our meal.
So overly satisfied were we at this point that we had to hold ourselves back when it came to our desserts, as we simply had no place to put them. It was a hard decision to come to, especially when you looked around at the tables sharing the Fairground Attraction, which entailed dipping candy floss, popcorn and doughnuts into a chocolate malt. And we were recommended an STK Snickers too, which was agonising to turn down!
STK is a great place for a date. It’s a perfect combination of trendy and relaxed, paired with quality service and exceptional food. It really makes you feel like you’re in a unique restaurant in a unique city.