A Pre-Theatre Dinner At Son Of Steak, Nottingham
His Nibs and I were off ‘out out’ to the theatre in Nottingham recently, and decided to make a night of it by going for pre-show dinner – get us being all grown-up!! Now, I do love pasta and pizza, but sometimes it can leave me a bit lethargic and sleepy, which is definitely not what I wanted when I’d waited well over a year to see SIX, so we looked for another genre of cuisine. Nottingham is blessed with a huge variety of eateries, and plenty of them are located a short walk from the Theatre Royal/ Concert Hall complex: handy seeing as it was raining!
We both enjoy steak, so we decided to try ‘Son Of Steak’ as it’s been quite a while since we were last there. Even though we were booked in at 6pm, there were already plenty of other diners in and the smells emanating from the open kitchen were certainly tempting. A lovely young chap got us seated in one of the booths (after giving the table and seating a wipe down, although it looked clean already, in fairness) and gave us a few minutes to look at the food and drinks menu.
Usually, I’d have a glass of wine and The Man would go for a pint, but we spotted that the G&Ts were £4.50 – including a Fever Tree Tonic – so we jumped on that bargain band-wagon pretty damn quick! There aren’t starters per se at SOS, but there’s a good selection of small plate options, so we took advantage of the 3-4-£13 and ordered Beef Tacos, Padron Peppers and Indian-inspired Cauliflower Wings to kick things off.
For mains we had steaks from the ‘Prime Cuts’ section of the menu, although the Flat Iron steaks are another popular choice; I had the 5oz Fillet Medallion (£16.95), The Man fancied the 10oz Ribeye (£19.95). None of the steaks come with fries, Tomato etc. so you do need to order sides, all of which are priced at £3.50 or £5.50 for 2. We went for hand-cut skin-on fries and Crispy Onion Loaf.
For those that haven’t been to Son of Steak before, it’s a fairly modern venue: think wooden floors, grey tile-pattern ceiling, sleek lighting and metal bottomed seating. The background music was at a level conducive to conversation, which was bubbling away nicely at our- and other- tables. Before long, our selection of starters was placed before us, and it was presented really nicely: the Beef Tacos were housed snuggly in a metal holder to keep them and their contents contained, and the Peppers and Cauliflower Wings were in black bowls. Both of us commented on what a good portion size each one was before tucking in.
First to get sampled were the Padron Peppers, whose skins were nicely blistered and seasoned with Maldon Sea Salt flakes. Charring the peppers imparts a lovely smoky flavour in the mouth that compliments the peppers’ natural sweetness beautifully; every so often you get a rogue ‘hot one’, but we escaped that surprise and all of ours were nice and mellow.
Next up were the Cauliflower ‘wings’ that in reality were just florets rather than trans-sectional slices, but it didn’t make any difference to their tastiness. Partnering the Cauliflowers’ natural creamy taste was a superb curried batter that generously coated each floret and was fried to crispy greatness. A little dish of Coconut and Mint Raita accompanied this minx, and it added another layer of taste to this dish as well as being cooling and creamy on the tongue. It was the Beef Tacos that wee the stars of the small plates show for us, though; not only were they a really fab size, each taco shell was stuffed to the brim! Strips of Korean BBQ-inspired Beef topped a deep bed of shredded Red Cabbage, Lettuce and Onion and had ribbons of tangy Bumbu Bali Mayo crowning everything.
Our server had checked we were enjoying our food and happily took back the empty platter and our clean plates away. In the open kitchen, Chef and his team were beavering away, cooking up a storm for us and the other diners that had steadily been walking through the doors at SOS. Despite my initial hunger being sated, my nostrils twitched eagerly at the juicy aromas that wafted intermittently across the venue! Thankfully, it wasn’t long before we had our steaks in front of us and a steak knife to cut into them.
My Fillet Medallion was wonderfully tender as I cut into it, and soft in my mouth, but I would’ve liked a bit more flavour if I’m being honest; maybe it’s because His Nibs’ Ribeye was crazy flavoursome, so my Fillet paled beside it? I’d also asked for it to be cooked rare, but it was a bit more like rare-rare/medium as there was a thicker layer of brown than was ideal; I will also eat Fillet rare/medium, so I wasn’t overly fussed.
The Man Bird definitely fared better than me in his choice; like my Fillet, his Ribeye was wonderfully tender but his cut had a great depth of flavour to it, making him grin happily with every mouthful. A nice presentational touch was that his Ribeye was sliced to showcase its beauty; a detail that did not go unappreciated by us. His Nibs goes for his steaks rare/medium or medium, opting for medium on this occasion… and that’s exactly what he got.
I wish I could be more enthusiastic about the sides, because they were both very tasty, but there just wasn’t enough of them! Being perfectly blunt, the Crispy Onion Loaf was actually an Onion Bhaji (it would’ve been a plain one, granted!) both in size and appearance, and certainly didn’t warrant a price-tag of £3.50!! The (looked like bought in) fries were a better choice, value-wise, and came in a silver-toned metal cup that kept them mid-warm – personally, I thought they didn’t keep their heat particularly well. My top tip for Son of Steak diners that are having steaks? Have another trio of small plates as your sides (there’s Halloumi Fries in this section), they are very tasty and a better portion size.
Throughout our visit, the team had been superb in their customer care and the venue was spotlessly clean. For the price of the steaks, we were more than happy and our total bill (including drinks), was £64.40 which you can’t grumble at, can you? In light of the only hiccup being the sides, I’m still happy to give Hot Wings here, but we’ll swerve the sides next time and go for more small plate dishes!
To book your table, either ring 0115 959 9585 or visit the website www.sonofsteak.co.uk and hit the ‘booking’ button.
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