Princes Street is an uncommon location for a restaurant, but I would gladly travel to more unusual places for a good steak dinner.
Bar + Block is a big open space with an industrial/rustic crossover style interior. We are welcomed and shown to our comfy booth where we peruse the menu and chomp a small dish of beef-flavoured popcorn, which is better than it sounds. I’m probably enjoying the punny headlines on the drinks menu more than I should and my hungry hubby is shooting me restless glances as I ask the waiting staff if we can have another minute to decide. But, seriously – ‘whose cider you on’ is a great pun!
We kick off proceedings with salt and pepper squid (£6.50), which is a triumph. It’s spicy, crispy and tender. The cauliflower wings (£5) are less crisp than I would have liked, but I’m enjoying a delicious glass of Malbec and looking forward to my steak too much to be overly disappointed.
We both chose a speciality cut from the hand-cut steak menu. All of Bar + Block’s steaks are matured for 30 days and my 10oz spiral-cut fillet (£28.50) was tender and cooked exactly to my liking. The beef dripping triple-cooked chips were really tasty and being a fan of chimichurri sauce I was delighted that this cut was served up with a wee pot of the green stuff. Hubby enjoyed his rib-eye (£28.50) and delved into the generous portion of onion rings (£3) which were perfectly crisp.
Struggling to imagine where we might put dessert, we opt for a decadent melting chocolate dome (£7) and two spoons. Pouring over the hot chocolate toffee sauce and watching the perfect dome give way I feel like I might be getting a second-wind. The ice cream melted into the caramel sauce creating a heavenly mess to enjoy.
Returning to the wide-pavements and bustle of the capital’s main shopping drag we reflect on the value for money offered at Bar + Block compared to some of the capital’s steak houses and conclude that it’s a real treat if you’re a steak fan on a budget.
121 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 4AD
Tel: 0131 297 4685