Bit of a different one today - yes, we went to a steak restaurant. For brunch. With a vegetarian. Bar + Block Steakhouse, part of the Whitbread Group that looks after Premier Inn and Costa, aims to 'bring steaks back to the high street' with accessible prices, quality produce and a modern approach to casual dining. This is a pretty fair analysis of their main menu offering, but when it comes to brunch Bar + Block keeps things easy - classic brunch dishes with a few unexpected additions.
As usual, we began with coffee, which came from the Costa just across the hotel from the restaurant. This may seem uber basic but I was DELIGHTED! I really like the Costa coffee blend and drink it nearly every day. Call me high-street, call me chain loving - I don't care; it's delicious. We both enjoyed a cappuccino topped with a little cocoa powder. Alex's came decorated with the costa bean shape. Mine was a little less artistic. The orange juice too was nice but had too much ice in so it was really hard to drink. Hello brain freeze!
Next up were the croissants. They look fairly normal right - WRONG! These buttery pastries are brushed with icing sugar and lightly grilled for added sweetness. And you can forget all about dipping your flaky pastry in jam too as these babies are filled like a doughnut with strawberry jam. Innovative, delicious and unexpected - a real win.
For 'main' I went for avocado and poached egg on toast with salmon. While on the menu it is billed as 'avocado, poached egg, and chili on toast' the sheer number of chilies on my plate was a bit overwhelming. Does anyone eat all these chilies? I certainly didn't. The avocado was nice, laced with red onion, lemon, and more chili, but I could have done with more. The poached egg was overdone which was a real shame, while the salmon was perfectly nice.
Alex went for the top billing of steak, egg and breakfast potatoes. The steak was surprisingly well cooked and exactly medium-rare as requested. There was a great sheen to the meat, displaying that it had been well-rested, and the texture was great. The fried egg was perfect and exactly circular (weirdly pleasing) and Alex adored the breakfast potatoes. It's like having chips for brekkie!
This was a really surprising review actually. I fully expected to be badly catered to as a vegetarian, but the number of veggie-friendly options was really surprising. That said, I think Alex's meaty steak and eggs dish was probably the winner of the day.
If you're catching the train out of King's Cross or St Pancras then Bar + Block is an ideal place to pop in for a little sustenance before your big adventure.
Thank you Bar + Block for arranging this review. All opinions, images and copy are my own.