Eating Around: Steakout Meat House, Stratford, London

When one is double dating for the evening, it is essential to find a location that hits the spot for us foodie-focused and cocktail-loving females as well as gets the thumbs up from our carnivore menfolk. When I heard about halal steak restaurant Steakout, I thought I could be on to a winner; especially if the sizzling plates displayed on their Facebook account were anything to go by. With three out of four of us diners passing through Stratford on our commutes home from work in central London, Steakout’s east London venue seemed like the ideal spot to sample. I promptly booked a table and managed to wangle a 10% discount over Facebook, as we were visiting the day after a social media campaign 15% discount code expired. A 10% discount was a great compromise here so customer service was already looking good.

Steakout certainly looks the part of a steak restaurant, with its sleek and manly black boarding and minimalist red and white neon sign neatly printing its name above the glass door. I got the impression that the look the restaurant was going for city-slicked ranch; this certainly continued inside with plenty of rustic red brickwork, neat wooden flooring and accents of its trademark deep red featuring on the booth side seating cushions and in trendy glow-style lighting that backlit behind the seating booths. With two floors, it has plenty of seating, which is evidently needed as quite a lot of large groups arrived at a similar time to us. We were shown downstairs to a cosy booth for four, with plump red cushions, and steak knives sharply glistening next to matching red napkins.

Drinks were interesting. I’m just going to lay this out there; I am very much a social drinker. I don’t drink a lot of alcohol overall and I don’t really drink alcohol when I’m at home. For me, I enjoy sipping on fine wines or slurping a G&T when I’m surrounded by my family and friends, and especially if I’m out for a meal. It’s all part of the treat for me. However, since Steakout is a halal restaurant, I can only assume that that then includes a no alcohol provision clause, as no alcoholic beverages featured on the menu at all. Of course, this could be to tailor to the majority Muslim population in that part of East London, which is why I also assume the fact that it provides halal dishes has made it such a local hotspot and ensured it has a good crowd in on most evenings. I don’t have a problem with any of this, but it sure makes it hard to pick a drink when your normal soft drink of choice is tap water. That certainly doesn’t make for an exciting night out. Luckily for me, Steakout has an extensive mocktail menu, so I kicked things off with a pina colada. This coconut and pineapple concoction came in a tall, thin glass, and although the drink itself was nice, it was so packed full of ice that it felt like I was being conned slightly as it was more ice than mocktail. Considering the mocktails were similar to what I would pay for a cheap cocktail, I was a bit disappointed with this.

We decided to begin our meal with a couple of sharing starters, so we chose the spicy lamb chops and the nachos with spinach cheese dip. Firstly, the lamb chops. They were presented on a long oval black sizzling dish, with four succulent grilled chops that had been marinated in Steakout’s special spice mix sat atop a little bed of fried up onions. Each chop was a nice size, and since there were four of us, we had one each.  They were very tender and juicy, so you could tell the quality of the meat was good. The spice mix added a gentle warmth to enhance the meat flavour and accent its lovely texture, but it certainly didn’t overpower. Matched with the onions, this really whet the appetite for steak later on. The nachos were pretty standard, with the crisps served in a basket next to a square black skillet dish, containing the creamy cheese spinach dip. It was basically a thick and gooey cheese sauce that was threaded with green spinach leaves, with extra cheese melted on top for good measure. It was very moreish with a strong cheddar flavour that flooded the crunchy nacho chips. It was interesting having the spinach laced through the sauce. I don’t think it added to the flavour or texture as cheese was undoubtedly the main event here, however it was a stroke of colour here and there, and when you got a bit on your nacho, it was still tasty.

For main course, we had to opt for the steak. Who would come to a steak restaurant and not have steak?!? I chose to have the 340g philly cheese steak, which was basically a sirloin steak served with caramelised onions and melted cheese all on top. Yum! There was a smaller 200g steak on offer for this dish, but for me, it was go big or go home! As well as choosing what type of steak you wanted, you could also choose what style; for example do you want your steak done in traditional Steakout fashion with its secret spicy braai rub served in a sizzling platter with the onions, or do you want to keep things simple with a more western dish, opting for a thicker cut with light seasoning? Since we were there for the Steakout experience, we all chose to have our steak cooked in the Steakout method. We then got to pick an accompanying sauce, so I went for a creamy garlic dip, and also sides. I decided to go for rice to mix it up, although with others in the group ordering fries, I knew I would be stealing some!

The steak was certainly an impressive size, filling a sizzling platter with gusto, squashing the wriggling soft onions underneath. What looked like three cheese slices had been melted on top of the steak, just to the point of stringy goo so it was soft and pliable to smear on the meat, but not bubbled with golden crispy bits. The steak was delicious, and a really lovely cut. It was juicy, a decent thickness and was just great to get my chops around. It was a hearty, meaty dish and to honest, you simply can’t go wrong with a good steak. Granted, I wouldn’t say the steak was in the echelons of Steak and Co, but it was a great piece of meat, cooked to how I liked it. There was a tiny bit of grizzle and fat, but not enough that it would come anywhere near to disturbing my enjoyment of the meal. The onions were a great addition for that classic steak and onion marriage, and the cheese helped tie all of this fantastic, full bodied flavours together under a blanket of creaminess. My garlic dip was a refreshing little accent served in a little black dip pot. I rather liked mixing it with my yellow toned rice, which was fluffy and yummy. The rice was pretty bog standard really, it just unassumingly sat on the side in a separate side bowl and let the steak be centre stage.

After this meat meltdown, it was round two of mocktails and this time I chose a strawberry daiquiri, which was a much better choice. Since the ice was blended as part of the drink, I found I had a lot more of it and the strawberry flavour was really fresh and evident. A much better mocktail all round in my opinion.

For dessert, Steakout have a typical dessert-shop style menu that’s all sundaes, waffles and stuff piled up as high as possible in a sweet mountain of high blood sugar. Divine. I tried requesting dessert, however they didn’t have my first choice because they’d run out of a certain ice cream flavour. This led to the dessert guy coming to our table to take a custom order. Sharing with my sister but with me in the driver’s seat, I went for a waffle topped with bananas and mini marshmallows and drizzled with ten ton of Nutella sauce. I then chose a Ferreo Rocher ice cream scoop while Jess went pistachio. When it arrived at the table, the waffle was generously portioned to enable Jess and I to share easily, with each scoop of ice cream in a separate bowl so we could sample our respective flavours easily. The waffle was light, fluffy and just pure yum and I absolutely adored the lashings of Nutella drenching the top of the waffle. This dessert is just a simple compile stuff together job, but when it combines all flavours and things that you love, what’s not to like?

We had a few problems with the bill at the end; the waiting staff had not amended our dessert choices, so we had to get that fixed. The good news is though that they ended up applying a 15% discount instead of a 10% and they were fine for us to have that extra off, which was nice. The service was very friendly and chatty, however no amount of banter can make up for when your food takes ages and when you can’t get anyone’s attention. Weirdly, if you go to this branch and sit on the downstairs level, a portion of the ceiling is see-through; clearly some kind of fancy clear plastic meant to create the look of space. However, we soon realised that this clear strip of floor led directly to the ladies toilets; and my sister and I were both wearing dresses with tables sat underneath the clear ceiling we were walking over. Whoever designed that was seriously in error there!

All in all though, I had a great evening and really loved every course that I ate. The meat is brilliant here, and the casual vibe is great for a weekday get together that’s uncomplicated and fun. I enjoyed the food and I most likely would go back if I happened to be nearby and had the fancies for steak.


Eating Around: Santi, Stratford, London

Based in Stratford’s up and coming East Village, Santi officially opened its doors in July 2016, offering lucky nearby residents an array of traditional Italian fodder, including thin-based pizza, seafood-drenched pasta, and more mozzarella than you can shake a stick at. When looking for a convenient and cosy restaurant to base a birthday meal with friends, Santi quickly cropped up as the ideal choice; in part because it is round the corner from my sister’s flat, partly because it’s on my way home back to Romford, and thirdly, because the food is absolutely delicious.

Santi is decorated very simply, letting its flamboyant food do all the talking. Stark white and dark wood form the majority of the colour theme, with the occasional flash of red to correspond with the restaurants logo dotted here and there. We were sat on a medium sized round table, ideal for nattering as a group, the table dressed with wine glasses and white linen napkins.

We ordered a couple of bottles of white wine to get the evening started, with my sister Jess taking the lead on the choice there. Our waiter presented us with a standard main menu each as well as a spring special menu, which boasted of being a whole three courses for a mere £20. We took a pick and mix approach, with some people sticking solely to the special menu – which did have a very impressive array of options for that style of menu – and some of us having two courses from the special menu and then one of the other courses from the main menu. Either way, this led to the food being very affordable all round, while still providing a pretty much entire menu to pick from. Win win if you ask me.

As we were reading the menu, a bread basket arrived at the table, alongside a dish of green and black olives, speared with cocktail sticks. Always a nice extra treat when table snacks arrive before you’ve even ordered, and so I tucked into the soft, thickly sliced bread with gusto, playing catch with the salty and small olives too.

While sipping the fresh and fruity wine, I ordered the scamorza impanata from the main menu for my starter. It sounded ideal for me, with breadcrumbed smoked mozzarella served with sautéed aubergines. This was probably one of my favourite starters that I have ever eaten to be honest with you. The mozzarella was stringy and soft, oozy out of the golden breadcrumbs when I cut the large discs on my plate. The cheese had a lovely creamy flavour that was accentuated by its sheer meltiness, the softness of the cheese working wonderfully with the crunchy breadcrumbs. The aubergines were cooked in a tomato style sauce to add a bit more variety to the texture of the dish, the squishy, earthy veg adding a hint of depth to the lighter cheese. The main components of the dish were sat on top of some decoratively scattered rocket, the edge of the plate drizzled in a balsamic glaze that I would have licked clean off the plate if manners would have permitted me to. I really loved this dish; everything worked together so well and you simply cannot go wrong with some form of melting cheese. The portion size was also more than generous with three large circles of cheese. This certainly whet the appetite healthily for what was to come.

For main course, I couldn’t resist my usual temptation treat food of Italian pizza, which I chose from the spring special menu. I went for the vesuvio, an interesting combo of salami, mozzarella and a fried egg on top. The pizza was a standard size with a generous scattering of salami spread across the circumference. The cheese on top looked a little sparing; however the wobbling fried egg on top was a thing of beauty. When I popped it’s golden yolk centre, it melted deliciously across my pizza, giving me extra to dunk my crispy yet doughy, wide crusts in. You really can’t go wrong with an Italian pizza in my view and this one was bellissimo.

I chose my dessert from the spring menu as well, opting for the cannoli siciliana to be brave and try something new. I’ve never had cannoli before, but I’ve heard the term tossed around plenty, so I was intrigued as to what it actually was and what it tasted like. I have to confess I was severely disappointed here, spending the duration of dessert jealously eyeing up Jess’s tiramisu. My cannoli featured a rolled up, thin biscuit, which had a similar taste to a brandy snap, yet it’s texture was very crisp and crunchy with real bite. It was meant to be filled with ricotta cheese, sugar and chocolate flakes, yet to me it tasted like sugar-sweet, liquid white icing sugar had just been poured inside, adding nothing to the flavour. The chocolate flakes could not be tasted in any way, shape or form. Although another decent portion size, I was really gutted by how bland and uninviting this dessert was. Next time, I’ll definitely go with my trusted dessert option.

Value for money is very apparent at Santi. There were five of us all together; we shared a couple of bottles of wine, and four of us had three courses, one person had two. Bearing in mind all that, we paid a puny £27 each. I couldn’t believe how cheap it was, considering both my starter and my main course were so tasty that I devoured them at warp speed. Our waiter was lovely as well, very polite yet chatty, efficiently serving our meal. We went on a Wednesday, so the restaurant as a whole was a bit quieter than I’m sure it would be on a weekend, however it had a very relaxed atmosphere and the food was lovely. I’d recommend a visit if you are passing by and need to put your feet up after hitting Westfields. Aperol spritz anyone?

Eating Around: Shane’s On Canalside, Stratford, London

Shane’s On Canalside is one of those restaurants that just oozes East London cool, a sort of thrumming undercurrent of pure trendy that instantly makes me feel partly out of place yet also like I’ve finally made it. When my sister landed her dream medical training post, it was only natural that a dinner would ensue as a celebration, and since she lives in the equally cool East Village, it made sense that our culinary treat would also be Stratford based. A short 15 minute walk from her flat alongside the scenic canal I didn’t even know was there, and we had arrived.

All industrial grey, twinkling fairy lights and squashed in seating, Shane’s On Canalside was an unusual hodgepodge of belongings wedged into a fairly roomy restaurant; the open kitchen emitting glorious smells that was making my tummy gurgle in appreciation. Interestingly, we happened to be visiting on ‘hygge night’ in celebration of a Nordic artist whose work was being displayed in the restaurant as if it were a gallery. Our kindly waiter informed us the pieces were available to buy from £500 and the artist was about if we wanted to ask any questions.

As a nod to the restaurant’s dual purpose that evening, the menu was also slightly adjusted to reflect Swedish-style specialties, so it wasn’t the menu I had been pouring over online all day. However the restaurant was maintaining its usual Thursday steak night, so that was still a feature.

We were sat on a rectangular table, four of us really rather squashed onto a bench style seat, with three places set opposite us with dining chairs. As a couple of people ordered soft drinks, we also got two bottles of white wine for the alcohol drinkers among us. The wine was drier than I perhaps would have ordered, with a more pungent flavour, however it was still rather refreshing and went down a treat after a long day at work and the pre-meal Prosecco Jess had already provided at her flat.

To start, we decided to go tapas style, and share a few small plates among all of us. Granted, the plates were very small portions indeed so you could only have a couple of bites each, if that, but at least it ensured that you were still hungry for your main course. My pick for starters was the venison stew with potato dumplings, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed when it arrived. The meat was literally falling apart it was so tender, yet the sauce of the stew was rich and vibrant, enhancing the game flavour of the meat. The potato dumplings were small squishes of tastiness that soaked up the sauce a dream. The salt pork cheek we ordered was also impossibly tender with quite a steak like taste that I rather enjoyed. I skipped the goat’s cheese as I’m really not a lover, however I did spear a forkful of the ham hock croquettes, which were soft and cheesy, although I couldn’t hugely taste the ham. All the plates were presented very prettily, so definitely good for the Instagrammers.

We polished those off pretty quickly to get to the main course. I had decided to forgo Thursday’s steak speciality and instead go for something not usually featured on local menus; rabbit. You know the meat quality is good when the waiter warns you that bullet remains may still be in your food, however it didn’t deter me in the slightest from getting stuck in. My rabbit didn’t come up as I expected; it was more in the style of a terrine of flaked meat chunks rather that say a breast of rabbit meat, however it had that typical game flavour and was well, if simply, cooked. The carrot puree it was served with was deliciously sweet and the wine based sauce was great for lapping up the meat and really enriching the flavour. My main meal also came with a side dish of new potatoes and these were probably some of the best new potatoes I have ever experienced. I think they were roasted with some herb mixture or garlic, but they were light and fluffy on the inside with a nice, wrinkly crunch on the outside. I did get sneered at for asking for tomato sauce to have with them, but I don’t care. All food connoisseurs have their guilty pleasure.

Dessert, to me, seemed like a challenge when I spotted something that had been labelled ‘the best cake in the world’. Really? Was it really? I just had to find out. An added plus point was that this was one of the speciality Nordic dishes of the evening, so something a bit different which I always like, even if I couldn’t pronounce the name of the dish. Although I wouldn’t call it a cake, it was certainly a pretty amazing dessert. The base was a dense almond crumb, packed together to form a hard square. On top of these was a generous swash of sweet and sugary meringue, topped with shards of flaked and toasted almonds. In addition, it was served with a satisfying splodge of thick custard that had a lovely vanilla tone and yellow colour. A thoroughly lovely dessert.

A few members of the group paid less due to not drinking alcohol, however the majority of us paid around £33 each, so not too extortionate in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes I think Stratford can be a bit more affordable then central London, yet still have some great hotspots. The waiter was very informative and friendly, and they even brought us over two card machines when we were paying for extra efficiency and time-saving. The atmosphere was chatty yet relaxed and the food was classy yet not pretentious, despite the weird and wonderful menu items. It made a very suitable venue for a celebratory night out.

Eating Around: The Fish House, Stratford, London

p1050709Although I am a tenacious carnivore through and through, dismissing vegetarian options with a blood-thirsty sneer, there are some occasions when I have to diversify my palate and be open-minded about new flavours and experiences. I love trying new food, but to be honest with you, fish is still a tentative one for me. With a very set and decided dislike of prawns and shellfish, I have in recent years attempted to be a ‘grown-up’ and see if there were any fish dishes that I actually liked, or even enjoyed. Toying with the boarders of salmon-based meals and grazing bravely on white fish, I was confronted with the chance to fully embrace seafood last Father’s Day, when my sister and I decided to take our fish-loving dad and slightly more reluctant mum out for dinner at Stratford East Village’s latest trend-setting eatery, The Fish House. Clue is most definitely in the title.

p1050711Fitting into the up-and-coming atmosphere of East Village was certainly easy for The Fish House, which offers both restaurant dining and a takeaway business. With a stark grey industrial vibe, the venue is warmed up by long, communal bench and stool style seating, as well as cosy black leather cushioned booths, encouraging clusters of friends and family to natter while they eat. There is also the laid back ‘help yourself’ feel by the silver buckets on each table, housing cutlery and napkins, while the randomly dotted around house plants give off a weirdly homely feel that is at odds with the office style lighting and echoing space of the restaurant.

p1050712My family and I were seated in a rectangular booth in the corner, which suited our needs perfectly. Once we begun looking at the menu, I must confess I was getting a little nervous. As a non-fish eater, I couldn’t spot a single starter that I wanted that wasn’t going to be too heavy before a main meal, for example the fish cakes that my dad chose were lovely but it was a large portion for a starter with two thick slabs of fish cake squashing a bed of salad leaves. The menu, which uses ethically sourced fish, is changed frequently depending on the time of year and what is able to be fished I suppose. The menu is quite small and to be honest, you do have to enjoy fish to visit as there are not really any other options to pick from.

p1050713When picking my main course, I decided to skip the obvious battered fish and chips option and try to be a bit healthier in my selection. With this in mind, I also chose the item most similar to a meat dish – tuna steak. Now, I’ve heard good things about tuna steak generally but I had yet to try one, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out without the faff of cooking one myself. My tune steak was a decent size, and a nice thickness too. It was tender to cut and was actually really tasty, with a juicy yet soft texture and an oddly meat-like flavour. Pleasantly surprised by the tuna, I also tucked into my sides with abandon; a lovely gloopy dollop of thick and creamy guacamole, paired with a chunky and zesty tomato salsa – the ideal dunking components for both my tuna and my mound of crispy sweet potato fries. I also ordered an extra side to share with the folks, buttered spirulina which was super tasty too with plenty of butter to pep up all that green. All in all, I really enjoyed the main course and I was glad that I had found another fish item that I could eat when out and about if the need arose!

p1050710Although the dessert choices were very limited, I opted for the chocolate torte, as generally you can’t go wrong with chocolate when you have a sweet tooth like myself. I asked whether I could swap the vanilla ice cream for a scoop of peanut butter ice cream instead, which ended in confusion – after numerous attempts at explaining what I wanted, getting the wrong ice cream and then explaining it again to our Spanish waitress, I finally got the chocolate torte with vanilla ice cream and a separate dish of peanut butter ice cream. You win some, you lose some. Either way, the torte itself was magic, with that slight brownie-like crunch on the top yet a dense and heavenly squash of dark chocolate underneath, which was lightened in flavour thanks to the creamy and quickly melting ice cream. It was a lovely, simple and classic dessert.

Although I had a nice meal at The Fish House, I’m not entirely sure if I would return. Our waitress was very polite and friendly, attempting to make small talk, however I think she was quite new to the UK as she did get a few bits of our order wrong and it sometimes took quite a bit of explaining to get what we wanted; for example, my mum, who is on a strict diet, asked for her fish to be plain and grilled with just a side salad however it arrived coated in a lavish amount of bubbling fried batter, which she then had to pick off to attempt to find the smaller portion of fish inside. And then the fiasco with swapping flavours of ice cream was made so much more complex than it actually was too. The quality of the food was delicious and the way it was cooked was wonderful, so for a quality meal with excellent ingredients, then by all means, give it a go. As a fish newbie, it maybe just wasn’t my scene.

Eating Around: Jamie’s Italian, Stratford, London

P1030435In the run up to Christmas, social calendars get packed to the rafters with lunches, dinners and drinks as family and friends bid to ‘do the rounds’ and see all their loved ones in the allotted time before the big day on the 25th. For me and my uni friend Eva, we settled on a spot of lunch at Westfields in Stratford, before going our separate ways to complete some festive shopping. With Italian being one of my favourite genres of food, and previously spying a Jamie’s Italian within the complex, I quickly suggested the eatery to Eva, promptly booking a table.

With a modern yet retro vibe, Jamie’s Italian is situated on one of the outside stretches at Westfields, shoulder to shoulder with other restaurants and bars. The all-encompassing glass walls make it look inviting as you look in at smiling diners, the light bulb letters of the venue burning and reflecting gaily from the polished glass. Although there was a patio area surrounded by branded awning, the weather was still chilly enough for me to instantly head instead. With pale wooden flooring, clustered of varied seating and a vague industrial feel, I was instantly greeted by a member of staff at the door, who had me promptly shown to our table, located right next to one of the walls so that I could nosily people watch. The chairs were comfortable plastic dining chairs, the table silver with a metallic gleam. I felt trendy just sitting there, and although the décor was stark with a touch of minimalism, I wouldn’t say it was uncomfortable or unwelcoming.

P1030434I started by ordering a soft drink – a refreshing sounding homemade lemonade with a twist of mint and a sprinkling of sugar. With chunks of ice it was so delicious and crisp, really quenching my thirst well yet not leaving me feeling bloated with the fizz. It was really nice to have something obviously homemade in the drinks menu as opposed to just using lemonade from a bottle and although I wasn’t sure if it would taste any different, it totally did – and it was superior.

For my main course, I had the fancies for pasta, so when I spotted the Vegetable Rotola Al Forno on the menu, I couldn’t resist ordering it, as not only did it include pasta, but also many of my other favourite flavours as well. Pumpkin, squash and spinach were to be rolled in pasta, and baked with tomatoes, ricotta and basil, topped with classic Parmesan cheese and herby breadcrumbs. Loving almost every ingredient in this dish I ordered excitedly, expecting a hearty cannelloni style dish. When it arrived at the table however, it wasn’t really what I was expecting, although I still loved the exquisite flavours and how they combined together. The vegetables were clumped together in large ovals, combined with the creamy ricotta cheese, with one single strip of pasta skirting the veggie oval. The rounds of seasonal veg were placed in a light yet flavourful tomato sauce, the breadcrumbs on top adding an extra texture with a decent crunch against the soft squidge of the mashed up vegetables. There were only two of the baked vegetable circles, and I didn’t request any sides, so to be honest it wasn’t a massive portion; definitely suitable for my lunch but I’m not sure it would have been enough for dinner. The rustic flavours combined with the tomato sauce were superb, and I thoroughly enjoyed the meal, although it wasn’t what I was expecting or originally fancied!P1030436

Already off to a decent start, and after I had polished my plate, as always I fancied dessert. I scoured the menu and settled on the Chocolate and Hazelnut Artic Roll, which is quite simply one of the best desserts I have ever eaten. Composed of chocolate and espresso semi freddo wrapped in chocolate sponge and then drizzled with chocolate shavings and butterscotch sauce, it outclassed every ice cream based dessert I have ever had. The semi freddo is a much thicker, creamier variation of ice cream, the chocolate flavour having that same dark intensity and slight sludge of brownies, which felt so decadently delicious. The paler coloured semi freddo had a wonderful caramel tasting tone with the coffee and paired with the rich chocolate it was sensational. The sponge didn’t crumble and stuck nicely to the ice cream, providing a lovely soft outer shell to the lashings of ice cream. It was just perfect in every way and I could quite happily have eaten seconds!

P1030437I decided to finish off with a cappuccino and in true Italian fashion, it was wonderfully frothy, sprinkled elegantly with coco powder, the coffee flavour intense and punchy yet nice and smooth too. Not too expensive either and with good solid service from our waiter, it was a really lovely meal out on the whole and I was impressed by the high quality of the food, although the portions were just a smidge too small, especially for the main course. I can’t wait to visit again and make my way through more of the menu!

King Eddies, Stratford, London

Baby Chocolate Fondants and Ice Cream

Baby Chocolate Fondants and Ice Cream

Set Menu:

  • Location: King Eddies, 47 Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 4BQ (nearest tube station is Stratford)
  • Date of Visit: Thursday 21st March 2013
  • Time of Table: 7.30pm
  • Deal Bought From: Groupon
  • Deal Price: £27 for Two
  • Dinner Companion: My fiancé Dan

Getting More for your Money?

This dinner deal includes:

  • Two Starters
  • Two Main Courses
  • Two Desserts
  • For Two people
Mini Sticky BBQ Spare Ribs

Mini Sticky BBQ Spare Ribs

What we ate…


  • Starter: Rabbit and Chorizo Salad served with Poached Duck Egg
  • Main: Beef Burger with Pulled Pork, Bacon, Homemade Coleslaw, Cheddar and Fat Chips
  • Dessert: Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Ice Cream


  • Starter: Sticky BBQ Ribs with Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • Main: Beef Burger with Pulled Pork, Bacon, Homemade Coleslaw, Cheddar and Fat Chips
  • Dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding with Clotted Cream

What we drank…

  • Two glasses of House Rose (not included)
  • Two glasses of Coke (not included)
Inside King Eddie's

Inside King Eddie’s

What did we think?

King Eddie’s pub in Stratford seems to sit like a fidgeting younger sibling at a wedding in between two tall bow-tie wearing brothers – it’s all rustic, countryside charm, complete with 19th century grade two listed building, plonked between the regality of white, imposing structures, whilst basking merrily in the glow of sleek shopper’s paradise Westfields. At first glance, we even wondered whether we were at the right place as this slightly worn around the edges wannabe gastro-pub seemed lost and out of place amidst the stylistic big city. Painted a rural green with an abundance of dark, almost black, wood and a swinging name board, you did feel as if you were taking a step back in time – especially as my six foot two fiancé ducked in combat with the dangerously low ceilings.

Although the décor may not be flashy or overstated, it was welcoming and comfortable, sticking very much to the design of the buildings origins. As we entered, the front bar area was packed and with no tables spare, and we were instantly worried. This was obviously a very popular local, and we couldn’t really see how it was trying to pass itself off as a dinner destination. However our fears were soon alleviated as they lead us into a separate saloon bar at the rear of the pub, which when we arrived at around 7.30pm, was completely empty. With a choice of tables, we opted for a large rectangular one opposite the bar. The interior felt like a rabbit’s warren with corridors, doors and stairs seeming to lead off in every direction – I didn’t dare try and find the toilets. I love the quirky menu presentation of a single sheet of paper rolled up and stuffed in a pint glass. It seemed to signal the feel that the place was going for – wanting to keep its traditional pub roots but give it a damn good polish up first.

Impressive mountain of burger

Impressive mountain of burger

As is expected of pub grub, it was a predictable and simplistic menu with the usual array of burgers, sausages and battered fish. However I was anticipating some great quality dishes as I knew that this venue is particularly keen on how they source their food, using locally produced ingredients and only serving meat from suppliers who use extensive farming methods.  Checking out the starters, I surprised to spot something a bit different that instantly caught my eye – a rabbit, chorizo and poached duck egg salad. Normally I avoid greenery when eating out, but this intriguing mix of flavours seemed too good to pass up. The presentation was beautiful, with the pert poached egg gleaming on top of a delicately scattered selection of fresh leaves and onions. I had never tried rabbit before and I must say, I enjoyed the earthy and succulent taste – although yes, it does taste like chicken! The rabbit paired with the slightly spicy and greasy chorizo provided a great contrast in texture as well as hitting a different flavour palette with its robust and chunky punch. This was further emphasised by the clean salad and egg served with it. It was really gorgeous and an absolute pleasure to eat. This starter made me so excited for the rest of my meal, as it literally screamed quality cooking, imagination and creativity with presentation. Very impressive.

Rabbit and Chorizo Salad

Rabbit and Chorizo Salad

Moving on from combinations and flavours that were new to me, to something a lot more classic – the great pub burger.  And I must confess, this one was something special. Once again, the importance of the presentation seemed paramount to the chef, as it was another gorgeous visual display, with the traditionally towered meat feast, with a side dish of decadently thick and oily chips in a silver bowl dressed with a white napkin inside. There was also a small dish of mayonnaise for dunking purposes. Again, the simple burger had received an upgrade, and this was the first time that I had seen BBQ pulled pork featuring in a burger, and this really added an extra element of flavour that was heaven with the bacon, as well as a different texture. The coleslaw in the burger was also a nice added touch, the crunchy red cabbage providing a saucy salad for the slightly crumbly burger meat. The burger itself was an impressive size and rather a challenge to grasp hold of! The burger bun was a typical seeded one that basically fell apart as soon as it was picked up, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend this dish for people who don’t like getting their hands dirty! The burger was pure and simple beef with no fuss or added elegance, but it ticked the quality check box nicely with its deep flavour.

The chips were deliciously thick, which is what I prefer, and although they were hand fried, they were very uniformly cut to be exact in size. They were full of flavour although a tad soggy and greasy. On first appearance, I wasn’t sure whether the dish would be big enough, but after eating it, I was completely full, and I settled onto the red upholstered bench seat comfortably, the refreshing and vibrantly coloured house rose making a zingy liquid accompaniment.

Classic Sticky Toffee Pudding

Classic Sticky Toffee Pudding

With such high standards for the first two courses, I was rubbing my hands together for dessert, and I had chosen one of my favourites – the chocolate fondant. When it arrived an incredibly long time after we ordered, I must say that I was rather disappointed. It seemed worlds away from the other food we had been presented with and I couldn’t get over the difference. I was given two small fondants served with a single scoop of vanilla ice cream, and the barest drizzle of chocolate sauce. The fondants were too small in my opinion. Part of the joy of fondants is their tantalizingly oozy centres, however, where these ones were so small, there really wasn’t a lot of ooze factor and the liquid centre could disappear easily in a single spoonful. The cakes had a very intense and rich chocolate flavour, but they were also very sticky and actually reminded more of a brownie in texture and taste than a fondant. The ice cream was also just average. I was baffled by what I was given for my afters, as it contrasts so heavily with the level of care and attention to detail and taste that had been delivered in our previous two courses. A bizarre finish to our meal that seemed more shop bought than homemade, which is a definite clash with the ethos of the pub.

Unique presentation of menu

Unique presentation of menu

We visited King Eddie’s on a Thursday, which we soon discovered was open mic night, as local musicians could come and perform randomly for diners and drinkers alike. I was expecting some talented tunes but the first musician to the mic was truly terrible with a droning voice and a one pace tone. This sort of ruined the chilled out and relaxed atmosphere we had been enjoying so far, for as the music started up, our previously secluded saloon bar began to rapidly fill, destroying any remains of the casually quiet ambience.

Making a second reservation? No, I wouldn’t. Although I can’t praise my first two courses highly enough, I’m not sure whether they provide me with enough of a reason to come to King Eddie’s again. On the whole, the pricing was fair and not extortionate, which was nice. Our voucher was also a fantastic bargain, and if I were to get another one, I would be really tempted. It was really inclusive with the three courses and there was plenty of choice for each round, as we could choose from the whole menu. There was something for everyone as well so if a group of you went, you wouldn’t have any problems in that respect. We paid an additional £14 for our drinks, which is still quite reasonable and £27 for three courses each is so cheap. Our waitress was absolutely lovely and she did a fantastic job of serving at the bar as well as delivering food to all of the tables eating. She was efficient and friendly and we were more than happy to leave her a generous tip.

Countryside charm decor

Countryside charm decor

The impression that the website gives, and what you actually get, are two very different things with King Eddie’s. The website discusses and emphasises the food, and the unusual British beers really presenting a front of a high quality gastro-pub. However, in reality, it is just a normal pub that is slowly working it’s way to achieving this dream. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed my evening. Once in the quieter part of the pub, it was so relaxed and comfortable, and the first two courses of food were absolutely fabulous. The staff service was also very professional. It just doesn’t quite all gel all together quite right and I’m not sure I can put my finger on exactly why. Still a thoroughly lovely evening and you can’t disagree that it was a quaint and picturesque venue, and the amount of food that we got for the money we paid was simply impressive.

Small attention to details

Small attention to details

The Dinner Dates Opinion:

“Arriving at King Eddies and seeing old men smoking outside the pub I thought we was  at the wrong place, a part of me hoping we were.  Once inside it was a similar story. A small bar that felt more like a local down Romford than a pub up London. The staff were very friendly and attentive throughout. For starters I had BBQ sticky spare ribs with a sweet chilli sauce. I was given a massive plate full of ribs; taking my first bite I realised why I had so many ribs on my plate. A lot of the ribs were more bone than meat, the meat I did have was very tasty. For mains I had a burger and fat chips. The chips were amazing, they reminded me of the homemade ones my mum makes. The burger for me was ruined by the coleslaw that had been smothered all over. I generally like coleslaw but was really put off the burger because of it.  For dessert I had sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream. I was really disappointed by it as it was very soggy and watery. Overall I was disappointed with the food and do not feel compelled to return.”

Old fashioned bar

Old fashioned bar