Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Munchies - Steam & Rye for NYE

This year, for the first year ever, Ad & I ventured out for New Years Eve to the Steam & Rye, a cocktail bar inspired by the opulence of 1920's America and set in the old bank of New York on Londons Leadenhall Street. 
For £50 a ticket, we were promised a scrummy 4 course meal alongside alongside performances from the Steam & Rye dancers, delicious cocktails and an awesome atmosphere.
Naturally this appealed to Ad and I and so we signed right up for the 6-8 dinner slot, I'd been emailing the event manager who had informed me we could only have the table from 6-8 and should therefore arrive promptly. 
Upon entering the venue we certainly weren't disappointed, it was stunning. Luscious leather lined booths and three floors each with a different theme.
First things first, it was time to sample some of the cocktails which I'd be reading so much about. The menu didn't disappoint, as you can see it's pretty substantial, albeit a tiny bit on the pricey side.
I picked the Hoochy Mama for Ad whilst I sipped on the Mississippi Lullaby which came complete with flaming rum.
Mississippi Lullaby is the one above, whilst the Hoochy Mama is below, you can spot me attempting to blow out my rum!
So far, so good, cocktails definitely impressed and were certainly delicious and Ad and I necked these down fairly swiftly.
Next we were presented with the menu and asked to confirm our mains and our dessert, everything else was pre-set and sounded delicious.
The sharing platter sounded HUGE and when it arrived, it really was. This alone would have made for quite a substantial meal, it was quite difficult to finish everything on the platter.
Whilst the cornbread was a little dry and the pickled veggies weren't really our thing, the pulled pork sliders, the chicken wings and the ribs were delicious. Super tender, moist and with a really rich smoke flavour.
Then it was time for more cocktails and some champagne sorbet to clear the palette. Before our mains arrived.
The sorbet was delicious, light and uber smooth. I would have preferred it without the renegade mint leaf mind you, it really had no purpose being there.
Then our mains arrived, I opted for the truffle mac and cheese which was divine. Full of oozing goodness, a good garlic hit and a touch of crunch with some breadcrumbs on top.
Ad on the other hand went for the lobster with ginger butter. Whilst he wasn't given anything to help him crack open the claw, he was able to use some ingenuity to wiggle out the meat. Again, so far so good, but this is when it all started to go a little down hill.
By the time we'd finished our mains it was around about 7:15, a couple of the booths had only just filled up with tables of 4 so these people had turned up about an hour late for their slot. We asked for another round of drinks and had spotted one member of staff in particular, literally hovering around these two tables. 
Our desserts arrived, but no drinks. So we proceeded to chase these. By this point it's now 7:30 and the two booths have ordered several bottles of champagne and a round of drinks so large that the music was stopped whilst the dancers literally escorted the drinks to the table. Still no drinks for us.
By this time, we're treated to our first performance which is a rendition of All that Jazz from Chicago. Still no sign of our drinks though! We give these one final chase by which point they arrive alongside our drinks bill which I did think was a little rude, especially given that the booths are only just finishing their starters.
A couple of sips into our drinks and our waiter came over and advised that he needed our table. Not one to cause confrontation we agreed and asked him where we could go for another drink or two, it's NYE and we certainly weren't ready to leave! This spoilt the mood a little as those spendy foursomes in the booths were still sat there being waited on hand and foot by what we'd dubbed the 'lurking waiter'. It was quite a way outside of their 8pm time slot.
We were told we could go and have some drinks at the bar and  this is what we proceeded to do. During this time, I was horrified to see a member of staff asking a couple to give up their seats at the bar as they needed these for another table! These people were paying customers! 5 minutes later, we've been asked to move repeatedly, we have no where to rest our drinks, I've been barged into, shoved out of the way and the evening has lost it's magic. 
So, we shuffled downstairs, which, whilst I was able to nap a spot to sit, there were no performances it was very dark and you didn't get the atmosphere you got upstairs. We decided to finish our drinks and go home, we'd been made to feel somewhat of an inconvenience, constantly in the way and quite unwelcome, it was 9:30.

As we left, I clocked one of those spendy foursomes still sat in their squashy's fine, they were ordering plenty of champagne we won't be back.

Have you been to the Steam & Rye? Was my experience a one off or is it really only a place for people who like to openly 'splash the cash'?


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