Steam & Rye, EC3

Steam Rye Burger Steam & Rye, EC3Nick House, London’s leading nightlife entrepreneur has teamed up with glamour-puss Kelly Brook for the opening of Steam & Rye. With neither of them exactly being the shy, retiring type, it’s no surprise that they have created a spectacular 550 capacity space inspired by the decadent and glamorous days of America during the 1920s; the fact that they’ve managed to secure the old Bank of New York building further adds to the drama of the venue.

Visually the venue redefines the concept of old-school glamour in The City, with the ‘Main Hall’ and ‘Station Gardens’ being modelled on New York’s Grand Central Station.  The main room also features a beautiful sculpted bar, a live performance stage and an actual Eastern Pacific Steam Train dining carriage.  Explore further and you’ll find a winding stairwell leading to the mezzanine level ‘Cargo Hold’ where you’ll be met with a dizzying collection of taxidermy and shipwreck relics.

Steam Rye Steam & Rye, EC3

Mirroring the land that was opened up by the mighty railroads, Michelin starred chef Andrew McLeish’s has created a classic American menu of big flavours and big portions.  Starters include a deliciously meaty Crab cake with guacamole & lobster salad; and Jumbo BBQ chicken wings that come slathered in a sweet sticky sauce – it requires just a little more chilli bite to pare perfectly with the accompanying rich blue cheese sauce.

An absolute must in the main course is melt-in-the-mouth Braised short rib with sweet potato mash, crispy onions and the most wonderfully meaty and unctuous sauce.  With its well-seasoned patty and thick cut bacon the Burger hit the spot too; the use of a light flour dusted bun was also a pleasant departure from the sometimes over-buttered buns that have become so popular.  In the likely event that you still have room for dessert, look no further than the homemade selection of ice cream for something on the lighter side, although those with a serious appetite will probably want to have a taste of the Brownie or Cobbler.

Completing the experience are some truly outstanding cocktails by Andy Mil, winner of the UK heat of 2012 World Class Bartender of the Year.  Visitors can expect everything from contemporary cocktails served in giant cinema style popcorn boxes to perfectly executed examples of the classics, including Prescription Juleps and Sazeracs.  Having spent a year or so out of the limelight, both the quality and eye-catching presentation of cocktails shows that Andy has lost none of his sparkle, making Steam & Rye the perfect destination bar for an evening of drinks.

Food: 3.5/5
Cocktails: 4/5
Venue: 4/5
Value: 3/5

Cuisine type: American
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £60-£80
Cocktails: £9.50
Wine: £7.50

Steam & Rye
147 Leadenhall Street
Tel: 020 3651 2878

minilink Steam & Rye, EC3