If I had to pick my favourite type of food it would be steak. I love a good steak. It is also something that I can cook really well, I have my technique and little tricks down to create a perfect steak, if I was on Masterchef then a steak is what I would be cooking.
Over the last couple of years we have seen a rise in new Burger and Steak eateries pop up and HS&Co is a new fully Halal Steak restaurant and non alcoholic bar that has been opened for around 4 months in Stratford.
First, let’s talk about the venue, there clearly has been a lot of effort and time to create a unique classy and elegant atmosphere which is achieved by a decor which similar to classic British steak houses like Hawsmoor. There’s a old classic British industrial feel, copper piping for housing lighting wiring to metal panels on walls. So good start with the atmosphere.
The menu has a small selection of steaks to choose from, apart from one main, the rest of them do not come with a side so that needs to added on as an extra as does the addition of any sauces.
The drinks menu has a selection of 7 different eye-catching mocktails, all coming in at just under six of your english pounds.
Disney Star martini is made from, Passion Fruit Puree, Vanilla Infused Sugar Syrup, Splash of Pressed Apple with a Side Shot of Non-Alcoholic Champagne. A very sweet sweet that needs to be slipped slowly to enjoy it, it also come with a shot of Non-Alcoholic Champagne which was recommended to be added to the drink if required.
Also ordered the classic MOJITO, Muddled Fresh Mint & Brown Sugar, Topped with Crushed Ice & Soda Water. I didn’t enjoy this drink, I found it to be very flat, unsweet and lacked that refreshing factor. It felt like some old Schweppes from a bottle poured into a glass with ice. The only good thing is the size of the glass but after a while the large amount of ice just dilutes the drink even further.
For starters I was drawn to the VANILLA BEEF STEW which is a Slow cooked beef steak stew in a rich vanilla juice. I had to say that this was the highlight of my meal it was rich and highly flavoursome. The meat was tender and the aroma of the mixed vegetables worked in perfect harmony. It’s a dish that I have never tried before and one that I would definitely recommend ordering. The portion size was also good.
I also ordered Honey and Chilli wings, 5 pieces of BBQ Cooked Wings with a Sweet Blossom Honey & Jalapeño Peppers. These are also very good, soft and tender and the flavours of sweetness worked very well with the chilli kick from the Jalapeño Peppers.
This is where things took a turn for the worse. Let’s talk about my rib eye. Served in front of me was a decent sized portion, I cut into my first bite and the taste was overpowered by SALT and I mean a lot of salt. It felt like I had just stuck my tongue in a salt pot. If I found a cut/bite that was not covered in a blanket of salt then it was uncooked and almost raw. Once i made my way thru half of the steak The taste did slightly improve but the meat was too dry and lacked any flavour. By this time I’m sure that i achieved my daily salt intake as the meat was just drowned in salt. It completely along with the undercooked meat ruined the meal.
As you can see from the pictures you can see the meat fibres in the middle uncooked. As i mentioned at the start of my review, cooking steak is something that i think I am rather good at. When I cook my steak, I tend to cook from room temp to a core temp of 62 degrees celsius, then wrap in foil and sit for 2 mins. I asked the chef to what temperature he cooked to for medium rare and he said 57 deg, 5 degrees may not sound like big different but it really does make one. The issue is that he cooks in a Josper grill, which is a grill and oven in one, which thus makes it hard to get a temperature probe in there. This leads me to question why use a Josper grill as the combination of a grill and oven seemed to draw all the juices and moisture out of the meat leaving you with a dry slab of meat to eat, which was not very pleasant.
Sadly, it was worse for the filet steak. The filet steak is a far more leaner and thicker cut of meat, however the middle was COMPLETELY uncooked. I like my meat medium rare and pink in the middle but this was on another level. I had to send this back to be cooked again. Likewise with the ribeye, there was a overuse of salt and pepper, but not to the extent of my ribeye.
The sides where also a let down, the sweet potato mash, tasted like creamy mash and after one tiny taste I refused to eat anymore, It felt like it was made with milk or some type of undesirable cream.
The Mac and cheese was a dish I did not try however I was told it was bland and dry, My friend said that the one from pizza hut it much better.
Desserts were simple, I ordered the Ice cream – Pistachio & Hazelnut Ice Cream Topped with Mixed Nuts & Popping Candy. I really liked the popping candy as its something I have not had since I was a kid (and that was a long time ago now)
The Cheesecake was not as chocolatey as described as you can see from the lack of chocolate in the photo.
The service was very good, staff were friendly and attentive so it is very hard to fault.
In conclusion, HS&Co does a very good job in creative a unique and elegant environment for the halal food market. The starters I had were very good.
However it fails to deliver when it comes to providing a good steak. Undercooked, dry and overpowered seasoning completely ruined the experience. There are only a handful of Halal premium steak restaurants within London and sadly based on this quality of the main course i would not rate HS&Co.
In terms of value, the total amount would have been £80 without service. Pricing a single piece of meat at £17.50 in zone 2/3 of London without any sides is very expensive my opinion.
I really hope that it was just an off day and despite my negative comments regarding the steaks i hope you visit as it really is a nice atmosphere, i suggest If I were to go again I would order steak medium, even if you like pink in the middle
Disclaimer: I was invited my HS&Co to review and meal was complimentary.
DISNEY STAR MARTINI.......£5.75 MOJITO....................£5.50 HONEY & CHILLI WINGS......£5.95 VANILLA BEEF STEW.........£6.25 RIBEYE...................£17.50 FILET....................£20.50 STILTON SAUCE.............£1.75 SWEET POTATO MASH.........£2.50 MAC & CHEESE..............£3.25 CHOCOLATE CHEESE CAKE.....£5.95 NUTTY SUNDAE..............£5.50