Swing Dance Class and Dinner at New Street Grill:
It was with trepidation that I arrived, horribly early, at Old Bengal Bar. There was little sign that anything was going to happen, I perched nervously on a bar stool, checking my phone for the arrival of my dance partner. He was running late.
Then, a space was cleared, the music fired up and people started to dance. The class itself turned out to be quite informal – a chance to let your hair down, let off steam and learn a few steps. And, we were glad of the rather excellent cocktails at the Old Bengal Bar afterwards!
New Street Grill is just next door and, since I was with the Peskytarian (his word) Hedonist, we had arranged to eat there rather than having a philly cheesesteak sandwich. It’s a relaxed but formal dining space with white table linen and leather seating – somewhere you might book for a special occasion. The menu is very classic British dishes – steaks, Dover sole and lobster. And there’s a clear focus on steak, with a Josper grill.
We decided to share a starter and a dessert so ordered the dressed Cornish crab – a classic dish which came nicely presented.
None of the mains come with side dishes, so we ordered chips and a side salad to share. My choice was a 35 day dry aged 350g sirloin, while The Hedonist plumped for Dover sole. And we both picked Bearnaise as our sauce.
While it wasn’t me eating the Dover sole, I was pleased that it was offered both on and off the bone. For me, it is infinitely better cooked on the bone, but I know some diners don’t like having to deal with fish bones while they are eating, so offering a choice is the perfect solution.
When it arrived it was a good nutty brown, and although I didn’t taste it there were no complaints from my dining companion.
My belted Galloway grass fed sirloin (£30) turned out, I think, to be a rib-eye (£32). While I’m not a butcher it had that distinctive ring of fat in the middle of the cut, where the rib-bone would have been. I always ask for sirloin but, that’s more because it is a (slightly) lower fat option and I like to think it is saving my waistline. For my personal taste it was just a little fatty and chewy, but perhaps that is because it isn’t normally the cut I order. The flavour was great, which I guess explains why for some people rib-eye is the ultimate cut.
We were also missing the salad we’d ordered and wondered if restaurant had some issue with acoustic. The tables are quite large, which is a great change from squashed cafe table seating, But, our waitress stood on one side of the table, some distance from where I was sitting. Although it didn’t seem particularly noisy (despite the restaurant being nearly full), we found ourselves having to repeat everything we said to her. The salad was brought quickly and efficiently though, when we ask. And, it was a good, classic mixed leaf that worked with both our dishes.
For dessert we shared a white chocolate mousse with watermelon granita and a Madeleine. I loved the mousse and I seem to remember eating most of it, while the healthy Hedonist polished off the light watermelon granita.
Coffee came with petits fours, but despite having half portions of starters and desserts, we were much too full to eat any more!
New Street Grill is the kind of place you could take your parents. It is stylish and comfortable and the menu has a wide range of classic dishes to choose from. Prices are mid range for this kind of City venue, and if you are looking to manage your budget, there are a good choice of dishes available on the set menu at £23.50 for two course or £26.50 for three.