Brand new on the Nottingham restaurant scene, Bar + Block is a steakhouse offering a range of classic cuts, and is located on the roundabout between Maid Marian Way and Derby Road. The convenient location makes it accessible from anywhere within the city centre.
When shown to the table, we were greeted with Bar + Block’s special steak flavoured popcorn, which was really unique and the perfect item to tantalise our taste buds. We also nibbled on the Crispy Gnocchi Bites, seasoned with parmesan and truffle infused oil. Although these nibbles weren’t intense in flavour, they were extremely warming; the perfect pre-starter.
“The starters were faultless”
For starter, we opted for a few of the grazing plates: Salt and Pepper Squid, the Asian Crispy Beef, and the Atlantic Scallops. The grazing plates varied from £5.50 to £6.95. I think it’s important to note that squid is my favourite starter and I consume it on a regular basis, which makes me quite particular about how it is done. Bar + Block’s squid was exquisite, marinated in chilli and garlic, and served with a lemon and garlic mayo. The chilli and garlic gave the squid a pungent kick, perfectly balanced by the acidic sharpness of the lemon and garlic mayo. I think that I’d have to say that Bar + Block’s squid is the best that I’ve ever had!
The crispy beef was tossed in hoisin sauce, which made it extremely fragrant in flavour, as well as having the perfect balance between sweetness and saltiness. The scallops were cooked over charcoal in garlic butter and chorizo and topped with samphire. The juicy, delicate taste of the scallop and the smokiness of the chorizo were married together in the silky garlic butter sauce. Overall, the starters were faultless.
For main, as I was in a steakhouse I opted for one of the speciality cuts: the 10oz Spiral Cut Fillet, priced at £24.50. However, if steak isn’t up your street, there are lots of other options: fish, salads, burgers, chicken, and a few vegetarian options. My steak was marinated in garlic and parsley for 24 hours, with the dish being served with beef dripping triple cooked chunky chips. I asked to have my steak cooked rare, and I wasn’t disappointed – the fillet was truly delicious and exactly to my liking. The flavour of the garlic and parsley marinade was intensified by the Chimichurri sauce, causing an explosion of flavours on my palate. The steak was topped with crispy sapphire, providing a lovely contrast to the other textures on my plate.
When glancing at the dessert menu, I was immediately struck by the Chocolate Churros Sundae, priced at £5.95. The churros were coated in cinnamon sugar, and served with vanilla ice cream, salted caramel ice cream, brownie chunks, cream and chocolate toffee sauce. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a let-down for me, with the churros being cold inside, along with the brownies being rock hard. The Cheese Block, however, did not disappoint. It offered Cheddar, Brie and Stilton served with toasted bread, apple slices and honey. This gives me the impression that my dessert was an anomaly.
The drinks were wonderful, with the Mango Daiquiri’s refreshing flavour being the perfect palate cleanser, the Mojito having the perfect balance between refreshing mint and sweet sugar. The true spectacle was the Candy Floss Martini. I was served a jug of vodka and zinfandel rose and a martini glass with a ball of candy floss inside. When I poured the contents of the jug onto the candy floss, it disappeared, revealing a lone strawberry.
We were welcomed by extremely attentive staff. The relaxed atmosphere was accompanied by a chilled-out playlist and a spacious, airy interior. Quite often, I find the interior of steakhouses quite dark, with the furniture often being dark from dimmed lights. Despite this, when entering the restaurant, I was greeted by a fantastically bright neon sign of a cow with all of the different cuts of beef, which accompanied the stylish, modern décor perfectly. This makes Bar + Block completely unique and different from any steakhouse that I’ve ever visited.
The only concern was the price of some of the steaks, which would burn quite the hole in a student’s pocket. However, Bar + Block offers a more price friendy Express Menu Monday to Friday from 11:30am-5pm. Alternatively, the restaurant also has some offers on at the moment: 2 for 1 Steaks and 40% off Mains. These offers make the restaurant more accessible to those who are conscious of budgeting, and offer brilliant value for money.
Overall, my experience at Bar + Block was truly wonderful; the delicious food, drinks, and service were accompanied with a lovely atmosphere. I couldn’t recommend a trip to Bar + Block enough (especially with the current offers available). The restaurant is definitely a threat to some of the renowned steakhouses on Nottingham’s food scene, and it’s safe to say that I’ll be visiting again!
Images courtesy of Rosa Morgan.