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Food & Drink Life

The Westminster Hotel

  • June 7, 2023
  • 4 min read
The Westminster Hotel

The Westminster Hotel is ideally situated in the heart of the capital, just a stone’s throw away from the Palace of Westminster and the Abbey. Steeped in history, this London landmark embodies the essence of power and influence. However, amidst the modern 70s architecture and its proximity to the river, the Westminster Hotel takes us back to the glorious era of Pan Am and Concorde.

On the first floor, above the bustling atrium filled with guests, pilots in their uniforms, and cabin staff, lies a hidden gem of a steakhouse called STK. Amidst the vibrant international crowd, STK offers a refreshing and inviting atmosphere. The spacious and airy setting boasts a wide bar, where you can comfortably perch on high bar chairs—an uncommon luxury in today’s world. From this vantage point, you can observe an extensive array of cocktails and the skilled mixologists behind the bar. The attentive bar staff exude expertise and professionalism, reminiscent of a taller Tom Cruise.

STK’s menu presents a delightful twist on beloved classics, such as the “Not your Daddy’s Old Fashioned” cocktail, crafted with Japanese whiskey and priced at £18. Another litmus test for a great bar is the quality of their Martini, and STK’s rendition of a “dirty” Martini achieves absolute perfection, priced at £16. For those seeking more exotic flavors or a journey to the South Seas, the spiced watermelon cocktail, priced at £16, will certainly deliver, although be prepared for its kick.

Moving beyond the bar, the restaurant itself offers a surprisingly cozy ambiance, separate from the lively open-plan space. Seated at a corner table, you can discreetly observe the ebb and flow of guests. While STK is renowned as a steakhouse, they do cater to other tastes as well. For starters, the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare is a remarkable find, generously portioned at £22. The Burrata’s tomato on sourdough is a satisfying meal in itself. However, as the name suggests, it’s the steak that truly steals the show at this establishment. Indulge in the unforgettable Maple and Bourbon Bacon, priced at £19.

The main course revolves around their exquisite beef, with each cut being generous and prepared using traditional methods. The fillet caters to the aristocracy, while the rib eye New York Strip is a hearty option for the hungry, and the Sirloin Flat Iron appeals to the sophisticated palate. Ranging from £40 to £47, these prices are fair, and you’ll never feel shortchanged. Nevertheless, as I mentioned earlier, the cooking technique is where STK truly excels. For them, it’s not their first rodeo, and their expertise is evident in every dish. If steak isn’t your preference, they also offer roasted salmon, corn fed chicken (£30), and even a mushroom pasta for those who accidentally find themselves in a steakhouse without proper briefing.

The selection of side dishes is outstanding. Their triple-cooked chips, optionally infused with truffle, are genuinely divine. The potato gratin, with its light cheese and jalapeño, couldn’t be improved even if one wished for it. The creamed spinach is generously portioned and bursting with flavor, while the buttery asparagus offers a delightful crunch. The tomato salad is deeply satisfying, and even their mac and cheese is a treat. Priced at £10 each, these sides could easily pass as standalone meals.

For dessert, if you have room to spare, the New York Cheesecake is an absolute must-try, or alternatively, the “Bag of Doughnuts” served with caramel sauce on the side, priced at £13 each.

While the wine list is impressive, it’s the steaks that steal the show. To complement your chosen steak, STK offers a selection of wines that perfectly match each flavor profile. For a red wine option, I highly recommend the Martin Minerhat from Western Cape, priced at £18 for a 250 ml glass. Its robust character beautifully enhances the steak experience. If you prefer a crisp white wine, look no further than the Casa Valduga Chardonnay, priced at £19 for a 250 ml pour—an excellent choice to accompany your meal.

STK surpasses expectations and stands out in the midst of the thriving Westminster Hotel. It’s truly remarkable how this steakhouse excels in delivering an exceptional dining experience. Even in the heartland of Texas, you would struggle to find a steakhouse that surpasses the quality and satisfaction offered by STK. Whether you’re a guest at the hotel or a discerning visitor to London, a visit to STK is a culinary journey worth embarking on.

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Philip Ashby Rudd

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