Part of the Me London hotel and an offshoot of the North American steakhouse brand of the same name, this first UK outpost of STK has a plum location on Aldwych that’s great for pre- and post-theatre dining, though the basement setting and nightclub vibe really come into their own when it’s dark outside and you don’t mind being underground.
The menu will be familiar to anyone who has spent time in the sort of country-club restaurants and steakhouses that constitute classic American cuisine on the other side of the pond. There are boldly flavoured salads such as chicory and watercress or Caesar to start, jumbled with ingredients like blue cheese, caramelised pear and roasted walnuts, as well as crispy bits of protein along the lines of softshell crab sliders or octopus and oat-fried chicken.
Given, though, that steak with side orders is the house speciality, something from the raw bar might make a sensibly light beginning to a meal at STK: jalapeño pickled shrimp with cocktail sauce and lemon, say, or a yellowfin tuna ceviche with radish, black sesame seed pesto and charcoal crisps.
The steak itself – made from grain-fed USDA prime beef as well as dry-aged British beef – comes in three sizes of small, medium and large, from a 200g fillet to a whopping 900g tomahawk, with toppings of garlic butter, smoked bacon and blue cheese, black truffle butter and sauces of béarnaise, peppercorn, red wine and chimichurri.
If steak’s not your thing, there’s also roasted lemon sole, miso-glazed duck breast, organic salmon fillet and cornfed chicken breast, plus indulgent sides of mac and cheese, truffle and parmesan French fries, creamed spinach and mushroom pot pie.
A DJ playing from Tuesday to Saturday underlines the Ibiza nightclub atmosphere of the place, as too the big central bar for cocktails and Champagne.