If you live around East London like me then you are lucky to be blessed with loads of decent halal places to eat and many of those are Burger and steak joints that have similar menus and vibes.
Rustix Gourmet is the new boy on the scene just down the road from the others boyz on the block Fat Boyz, review here.
Having been open for just 2 weeks I thought I’d pay them a visit on a Saturday night. There are 2 floors, the upstairs same level as the kitchen and bar and the bottom floor, smaller space but a slightly better atmosphere. I arrived and the place was packed but I and my partner in crime were shown a table for 4 people within a few mins downstairs. What you notice straight away is the attention to detail of the decor, the place really does have a rustic American feel, from the wooden theme to the vintage signs around the walls. So points for creating a nice atmosphere and spending the time and effort on the decor. If you do sit downstairs the small space does make it more intimate and a little louder, especially if someone walks or runs up the wooden stairs.
I liked the simple nature of the menu, spilt in obvious sections and concise options to pick from.
So let’s begin talking about the food for starters I opted for the lamb chops and buttermilk chicken filet strips.
The lamb chops were a bit of a disaster. The presentation was good but the execution of the cooking was just bad. I requested medium rare and made sure that the person that took my order understood what medium rare ment. What I received was lamb chops well done, dry, overcooked and chewy. I sent these back after one bite and asked for medium rare as ordered.
When they the new order arrived for the second time…guess what same thing happened again, lamb chops were well done! Turns out my order went to the table next to me and I actually noticed that the guy next to my table and juicy pink chops! More about this later. 2/10
The chicken dippers weren’t anything to write home about, i think they could have done with more spices and seasoning during the cooking process. 5/10
Chilli beef was also ordered from the side menu, rustix cut chips topped with chili beef and cheese. These were slightly overcooked on the oven grill which caused the beef to dry out and almost turn into a dry Indian keema style topping. The chili was not very flavoursome for my liking, just felt a bit dry and weak in the intensity of taste. 5/10
I ordered the Single version of the MckBurger, which is a pretty simple burger, beef patty, double cheese with their house sauce, i also added caramelised onions as an extra. The burger was surprisingly good. I actually really liked it a lot, the meat patty was simple in flavour, but what i liked was it was cooked on a flat iron grill making it moist as the natural juices are not lost during the cooking phase. The bad point was the bread on the bun was cold, despite being clearly toasted on the grill, but the bun itself was soft with a slight sweetness to it. I think my custom addition of added the caramelised onions added that sweetness that I really like in burgers. I’d give the burger a 7.5/10
The mojito arrived after the starters and was poor, no way enough use of mint or lime, it lacked any kick, sweetness or mojito taste. As you can see from the photo there is barely and mint in the glass and just a tiny lime! 3/10
There was a long wait for food to arrive, 20mins after ordering and my drink arrived after I asked and after the starters arrived. The lamb chops accident was a massive fail. It seems that food getting send to incorrect tables. When it came to paying, the owners first of all didn’t know my identity and ripped up the bill and said the food was on the house. They said that the service and experience was not up to scratch. They also mentioned that they knew they cocked up the lamb chops the second time and sent it to the table next to me and they said they actually saw me clocking that! At this point they asked me not to base a review upon this visit and to try again, which at the time I agreed to. However, 2 weeks later I’m writing this review.
Overall the decor of this place is worth checking out and the burger I had was pretty tasty and enjoyable. I’m sure with time they can iron out service issues and have a good place for people to dine at. Despite having so many mistakes with the service that fact that they gave the meal on the house was a good touch and they really wanted me to come back for the “experience” as eating more than just food.