Black and Blue Classic Steaks – restaurant review

Picasso Black and Blue It’s been a while since I had a steak. My dining companions will very often choose a hunk of meat, where I’ll go for a rather exotic or cheffy entrée. But I do periodically crave a good steak. It’s almost a comfort food. High-end admittedly but comforting nevertheless. Black and Blue does it well.

All steaks and indeed steakhouses are not created equal. There are those fun establishments which boast the biggest this or the thickest that, and those aforementioned chunks of meat garnished with gloopy and processed sauces laced with chilli, vinegar or even coffee. It takes a confident chain to offer a simple meal that showcases the main ingredient rather than themed decor and plates groaning under the weight of half-cows.

Black and Blue Crayfish Yes, Black and Blue is a small chain of steak restaurants but let’s not be sniffy about that. The proof of the steak is in the eating and you will hear no complaints from this reviewer. Nick Hill and Alan Bacon decided there was a >void in the restaurant market for a chain of quality steak houses, smart but casual. Steaks cooked to order and served with fries, salad and a choice of sauces is the Black and Blue mainstay, although they do have other meats and seafood as well as composed salads on their menu. But it’s the steak that will ensure return visits.

We visited the King’s Road restaurant. It’s just changed its name from Picasso: the locals were a little confused when the tea was replaced by T-bone, but now, even after just a few weeks, the restaurant has garnered a loyal following. The booth across the aisle from us was the cosy nook for the most celebrated BBC war correspondent. Nice to know the world is at peace. Our own booth was bathed in dappled light from the huge and contemporary glass roof. The gentle pounding of heavy rain on that window reminded us that it was indeed summer.

Black and Blue is light and airy with walls displaying picassoesque canvases. Marble tables laid with linen serviettes gave that sense of polished yet comfy European charm. Our fellow diners included graceful and aristocratic older ladies, American tourists who seemed relieved to find unfussy red meat, a small family with a 2 year old who charmed both us and the staff. A restaurant for a wide spectrum of food lovers.

Black and Blue Sirloin
Crayfish and Guacamole Salad with Crème Fraîche was my light starter. Plenty of seafood and an attractive presentation. Something of an innovation, and more interesting than the retro prawn cocktail that has enjoyed something of a revival of late.

Tortilla Chips with Warm Artichoke & Spinach Dip was my companion’s choice. A substantial drift of chips was impressive but the dip itself was not a thing of beauty, though that’s true of many a delicious dip. I think that perhaps the word ‘cheese’ could be added to the description as it’s evidently a key ingredient.

I ordered a medium rare Sirloin. It’s the smaller of the cuts on offer but substantial. The steak was moist and glossy with a garnish of fries and rocket. A huge bowl of house salad also arrived. Nick and Alan have a favourite restaurant in Courchevel and they have incorporated that establishment’s signature salad of lettuce, walnuts and grated Emmental cheese, but there is a secret dressing.

Black and Blue Cheesecake Ribeye was my guest’s choice. And he was equally as pleased with his order as I was with mine. I think the word to describe both meals is “right”. Simple steak dinners but well presented and care taken with the meat. It’s sourced from 27 farms in Yorkshire and Lancashire. The meat is from cattle that are a cross between Aberdeen Angus, Limousin and Charolais. Black and Blue’s steaks are stored in climate-controlled facilities, and kept in the Dry Aging Room for 28-35 days.

New York Cheesecake was our shared dessert along with a glass of chilled Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, La Playa, Chile. Once again an uncomplicated course but correct and appropriate, and just as you would hope for in this genre of restaurant. I look forward to trying a classic burger at another one of the Black and Blue venues in the near future. I am expecting a high standard.

Opening times:
12:00 – 23:00 Sunday – Thursday
12:00 – 23:30 Friday & Saturday

Black and Blue
127 King’s Road
London SW3 4PW
Phone: 020 7351 1661
Visit Black and Blue here


Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018