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Not a good experience overall unfortunately. This steakhouse asks to be judged on its meaty main courses. Had the steaks been priced at half what they actually charge I might have left happy, but at more that £20 per steak (£26 for the T Bone) I was expecting exceptional quality cuts and service. Black and Blue failed on both counts last night.
First the good points:
most of the steaks were not bad, the ribeyes especially looked good, but nothing more than I would expect in a gastropub.
the non-steak main ordered (a warm chicken salad) was tasty and, by contrast, reasonably priced. – the atmosphere and design of the restaurant was cool.
Now the not so good:
The steaks were nothing special, and for £25 they needed to be.
The T Bone was especially disappointing, really thin. The meat was tasty, but the cut was poor. When you are up against places like The Big Easy, Santa Maria del Sur and the Gauchos, to justify a top bracket price tag, you need a thick, juicy mouthwatering steak. Not special enough for the price I'm afraid.
I had to send mine back – medium rare arrived well done. No excuse in a steak house, but I'm always surprised how often it still happens. Same sauce was put on the new attempt, which meant that was cold.
No potato alternative to chips and only two sides (spinach and mushrooms). Smacks of a production line style kitchen.
Service. Can make all the difference to a dining experience. At Black and Blue the waitresses appear to fall into two categories: ones that smile but can't understand English and ones that can understand English but can't smile…
In conclusion unless this restaurant either drops its prices or raises its game, there are too many places that offer far more for far less for us to return. If you are after a great piece of meat, for this price, the Gauchos are far superior, further west the other two alternatives noted above are preferable (although I am not sure if Santa Maria on Queenstown Road has raised its prices since its televisual success with Gordon on the F Word.