McQueen, Shoreditch

  • DATE #97
  • Written by David Wake (Guest Author)
  • 5 years ago
A bygone era

The Vibe

Shoreditch has become a hub of thriving, edgy nightlife and what could personify cool more than a venue paying homage to the tastes of Steve McQueen himself. McQueen, the restaurant not the man, is not entirely consistent with the younger, edgier Shoreditch scene but instead refreshingly brings a taste of 1960s Hollywood glamour to the area. But this comes at the expense of quite steep prices for the area and, as a consequence, this generates a clientele more businessman than hipster. The bar at the front, restaurant in the back and a club downstairs all have the same décor.  The brick walls dotted with Steve McQueen pictures could give rise to fears in your date that you are entering a restaurant aimed solely at fanatics of the Hollywood star but McQueen successfully tempers this as the evening unfolds.

The Order

The main concept of McQueen is simple, unpretentious American food, so prepare yourself for mains centred on steaks. This is definitely not the place to take a vegetarian- only one option is available compared with five cuts of steak. And steak is what they do well, so you’re probably best to stick to that. If, however, steak really doesn’t agree with you, then the lamb rump and sea bass are workable alternatives. Starters are worthwhile but bear in mind the mains are sufficiently filling. Beware the desserts as, true to American style, they are typically sweet.  In terms of drinks, start with a cocktail from the concise list before moving to a bottle of red wine for the meat.

The Game

Wear a shirt or come in work attire to fit in with the post-work city clientele. Avoid the bar here before the meal as it can be overwhelming – loud music can make keeping a conversation going burdensome so best go straight to restaurant and have a cocktail at your table before eating. Following the meal suggest getting a few more drinks in the bar before heading out into lively Shoreditch for more drinks or a walk and a kiss on the way to Old Street for a taxi.

The Faults

The length of the tables in the restaurant are slightly too long, reducing the intimacy of this part of the date due to the unwelcome distance between you. The versatility of the venue makes it possible to spend the whole night here. However, if going to the restaurant and bar, don’t go to the club as well as Shoreditch has so much to offer. Instead show your knowledge of east London nightlife by going out somewhere else after drinks- Callooh Callay or Worship Street Whistling Shop are both impressive options for expert cocktails in creative spaces.

Sex Factor

4. The booziness and lively atmosphere can put even the most nervous at ease.

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