I can’t remember where I heard about Steam & Rye… But I first visited around the end of January. Since then, I have been back more times than I can count on one hand – and that’s rare for me, as I like to keep discovering new places. But when something is THIS GOOD, why deny yourself?!
Reasons why Steam & Rye is my current favourite in London:
1. Ladies Night
Sorority Wednesdays means 50% discount for ladies (sorry gents). Who couldn’t love a restaurant that slashes the bill (food + drinks) for all members of the female species?
2. Under 30s Night
The most depressing day of the week is greatly improved by Steam & Rye’s Monday Posse, where anyone under the age of 30 gets 50% off. That’s half price food AND drinks (only when dining).
3. The crazy cocktails
So far at S&R, I’ve drunk cocktails from cowboy boots, popcorn buckets and glowing green railway lanterns. I’ve had cocktails topped with marshmallows, whipped cream, Oreos and even a full-size choc ice! I have yet to try the Mount Rushmore cocktails from the menu, but can only imagine what crazy serving solution they’ve come up with for those.
The Fluffer for whipped cream and marshmallow-y sweetness.
Five Dollar Shake for a long, fruity drink, topped with whip and Oreos.
Sazerac for an updated twist on the Old Fashioned.
4. The huge portions of American goodness
Food is a little on the pricey side, which I why I tend to visit on a Monday or Wednesday (see above), however the portions are sizeable. The Reuben toastie, 350g steaks and mountainous pulled pork sandwich all deserve a mention, as do the mac & cheese and oversized onion ring side dishes. Monday and Tuesday feature Eat As Much As You Like deals on shrimp and smoked BBQ ribs (I know – another discount!).
The desserts are pretty mind-blowing too. The chocolate brownie, served with pistachio ice cream, is a favourite – and then there’s the Mega Sundae: with a serving recommendation of 3-6 people, I have no idea why Ciaran and I thought we could handle one between two!?
5. The décor
Formerly the Bank of New York building on Leadenhall Street, the architecture and interior of this place are fab. Modelled on Grand Central Station, New York, the main bar/restaurant is very impressive, with giant columns, fluttering flags and inverted Statues of Liberty. The ground floor restaurant area is situated in Eastern Pacific steam train dining carriages.
Downstairs, there’s a second bar, this one a velvet-clad First Class cocktail carriage, and upstairs a Cargo Hold dining room (for private bookings) filled with a random assortment of oddities, from busts of Einstein, to bird cages, suitcases, sporting paraphernalia, parrots, and a life-size giraffe. I WILL be booking this space out for future parties…
Even if you dine in the ground floor bar/restaurant, ask the door staff if you can check out the Cargo Hold upstairs, as it’s well worth a gander.
6. The music
Early in the evening, the playlist features some pop-rock greats, like Sting, Train, Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams. Then later, live performances begin, and have so far always been very impressive. My last visit was accompanied by The Chaps, a bowtie-and-braces-wearing, guitar-playing duo who covered everything from Daft Punk to Taio Cruz to The Calling – all of it amazing.
7. The location
There’s nothing much going on in the Bank/City area, so S&R stands out. The only other places to socialise are fusty watering holes, All Bar One or chain restaurants, so this spot makes a welcome change that is way above par.
8. People are impressed
Like, I said, I’ve been to S&R a lot, each time with different people. And people are impressed, every time. At least one of the items in the list will blow their mind, and soon they’ll be a massive fan too. Oh and there’s a free cloakroom which is always nice.
Steam & Rye
147 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3V 4QT