Steam and Rye, Bank
Entering Steam and Rye is a somewhat obscure experience. Passing the busy suits rushing for Bank Station, you could be nowhere else but London; yet, reach the restaurant and immediately America smacks you in the face. The grand entrance is attended by a door-man and extremely good looking hostess, who swiftly take your coat and show you to your table in the Main Hall. This is when you question whether you’ve entered the dining room or the set of The Untouchables : think prohibition New York with a twist of Texas. This combination is made more unusual still by the pair behind the venture: London nightlife entrepreneur Nick House (Bodo Schloss/Mahiki) and Kelly Brook (model).
Modeled on New York’s Grand Central Station, there’s a large raised stage, a bar, and a living clock. You enter with the realization that you won’t be able to hear a thing your date is saying, but it doesn’t really matter because this place is FUN. Shown to your dining ‘carriage’, you’re practically metres away from the crowd at the bar. It would not be weird to start dancing half way through your steak (well I hope not as I did). Visit between Thursday and Saturday to ensure you are part of the madness. It wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable without the live entertainment – who wants to hear themselves think anyway?!
First challenge: ordering drinks. Around you people are drinking from an old boot, a popcorn tub and a lantern. Don’t stress – just try them all! These babies are sweet though, so sub dessert with drink (who’s complaining?).
Food presents an even greater challenge: everything sounds so good after a long day’s work, you almost want to order it all. DON’T! The portions are very generous. To start, get the BBQ ribs; truly delicious, they can be eaten graciously with cutlery (not the nibbling sort of ribs). Make life easy for yourselves and order the burger and lobster combo to share. The side of Mac n Cheese may be a step too far, but very much worth it. Quality food and faultless service, just be aware that this is hearty American dining… you’ll have to hit the booze hard to feel the effects.
Steam and Rye is a perfect third date kinda spot. A number of elements would make it too awkward for a first date and too exertive for those in a serious relationship. If there is ever that dreaded moment when you feel conversation is running dry, do not fret – your surroundings provide plenty to chat about, or rather yell about. It’s the kind of place you ask someone to repeat what they have said three times over the loud music… still can’t hear, and just hope that smiling and nodding is the correct response. However, this does give the perfect excuse to lean in close.
Gimmicky and try hard – yes, does it matter? – No. Not a place to go for serious romancing.
3. Sweet talking in such a loud and mad environment may be a little tricky. You can always work your eyes though!