Our Review of Bar + Block Steakhouse, Belfast.
Hospitality giant Whitbread recently launched its latest Bar + Block Steakhouse restaurant in Belfast.
The company, which also owns the Premier Inn, opened the new eatery at its hotel in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. This opening meant the Bar and Block chain expanded to 11 across the UK and Ireland.
The restaurant specialises in steak from South America, which is the ‘best steak in the world’ according to many food experts.
Bar + Block claims to be “Great steak + great value”, and when we were invited along to try the menu, we accepted to see what all the fuss was about.
The food menu was extensive, with about 50 items on the menu. This seems a bit big for a restaurant, which made us sceptical as it can be difficult to master such a large menu.
That’s not to say that the food is going to be bad, but it is sometimes an alarm bell when you see a menu that big. I personally prefer a menu a little bit smaller.
For starters, we had the Salt & Pepper Squid and the Mussels Marinière.
The squid was fantastic and well-cooked. They were tender but perhaps had a bit too much on the chilli and garlic, but I can’t be too critical as I really enjoyed them.
The mussels were tasty, but slightly overcooked. The sauce which came with the mussels was absolutely delicious. So overall, we really enjoyed them.
Now for mains… Steak is what we came for… and oh boy… we were in for a treat. We ordered one ribeye and one fillet steak.
The steaks were delicious. Most people go for medium rare but we went for medium this time. Both steaks were cooked to perfection.
The only improvement we could suggest is to cook them with a bit more salt. However, we used our table salt so it was no big deal.
The fillet was also fantastic. It was exactly what we would have hoped for and we really enjoyed it. We were delighted with both steaks.
Both steaks came with chips, chimichurri sauce, and pepper sauce which complemented the dishes really well.
Overall for the mains, we had no complaints. They smashed it out of the park.
For dessert, we ordered the cheesecake and the crumble and rhubarb.
The cheesecake looked good but once we tried it, we thought it probably came in frozen as it was very tough. When we pushed our fingers against it, it felt very tough. It seemed like it wasn’t defrosted enough.
The crumble and rhubarb Sunday was better than the cheesecake and the ice cream was lovely. The rhubarb was fresh but the crumble could have been baked a little more.
Overall, we felt both desserts were slightly disappointing.
The restaurant offers a wide range of cocktails, beers and wines. On this occasion, we chose Merlot, which was recommended by our waiter, and it was an excellent compliment to our food.
From the time we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable waiter Marty, who hosted us for the evening. Service was excellent, no complaints here.
Each starter was under £7, and the portion sizes were sound. A 12oz Ribeye steak was £21.50, and a fillet was £ 26.95, which was very reasonable considering how delicious and well cooked they were. The puddings were £5.95 each. A bottle of wine is between £18-28.
So for a three-course meal for two people with a bottle of wine, you are talking about £90-£100. We feel this is reasonable for a steakhouse which serves steaks of this quality.
However, to get best value for money, we’d recommend to avoid the desserts as they were slightly disappointing and stick to the mains along with a drink of your choice. If you’re really hungry then the starters were pretty good too.
Overall I think it was a fantastic steakhouse restaurant. It achieved what it said it did – to serve amazing steaks.
However, our advice for this restaurant is to come for the steaks and have a lovely bottle of red wine. If you do this, you won’t be disappointed as it’s good value for money.
We felt the starters were tasty but desserts were disappointing and therefore, we wouldn’t recommend a three course meal. Focus on the steaks and you won’t be disappointed!