Chicago Steakhouse – Croydon, LondonHALAL STATUS Fully Halal
While there’s a total seating for 64, with 36 in the main dining room and 28 in the side, Chicago Steakhouse could easily accommodate for another 50 if they wanted to.
The place itself is smartly decked out too, boasting two wall-mounted flat screens and a number of artificial stag heads.
With a simple red and brown colour scheme, this restaurant is fully Halal, with a huge dry bar at the back.
Although not on the menu when visited, we were told this colourful, ad hoc South Special would be added soon enough. And a worthy concoction for inclusion it is too.
This was, essentially, an elevated slushy that had plenty of sweet raspberry syrup, with a touch of the sweeter strawberry, all offset well by the tangy apple. A refreshing beverage that retained its strength and consistency for a considerable time after being served.
And there’s five steaks to choose from: your usual four cuts of beef viz Rib Eye, Sirloin, Rump, and Fillet; and one chicken.
The first one ordered had to have been the beef fillet, right?
The hot plates are heated to 400°C in an oven; the steaks partially seared; and the two brought out on a specially designed tray, that offers the choice of pink salt and coarse pepper seasonings, for the diner to enjoy the sizzling process of cooking the steak to their preference.
While the caramelisation on this slab of thick, meaty goodness turned out to be quite superb, with the carved pieces being tender and succulent, its texture, much to our surprise, came across as quite stringy for a fillet.
We also picked up on a slightly unpleasant odour, which was immediately apparent when this fillet was brought to the table. As you can imagine, it required some significant seasoning and plenty of sauce to mask said odour. Definitely an issue of freshness going on here.
In any case, here’s some advice when cooking this or any other steak. Be prepared for plenty of sizzling and spit; it’ll be unavoidable if you’re tasked as the cook. And given the sheer intensity of the cooking process, don’t be afraid, contrary to those who say otherwise, to constantly be on the move with this, i.e. turning it continuously so as to avoid burning it, before cutting it into slices in order to properly control the cooking and bringing it home to your desired effect.
Believe it or not, but this Rump actually trumped its superior cousin both in terms of flavour and texture (thankfully, no questions of this being fresh)!
This actually came with a small sachette of Anchor butter, which we decided to place directly on the hot plate followed immediately by the steak. What this did was impart some rich butteriness to the caramelisation process thereby enhancing its overall taste. And if you’re liberal with the use of the salt, with just a pinch of the pepper, what you’ll end up with is a delightfully chewy steak that’s a pleasure to masticate on till your heart’s content.
Whats’ more, the bonus of cooking a rump on such searing heat was that the layer of fat, if given due care and attention, turned out wonderfully crispy on top and provided somewhat of a textural contrast.
But one thing to take into consideration when cooking this, is that since this is a sturdier and thicker cut, it certainly required longer as a result.
Since this Rib Eye was thicker than all the above, it most definitely requires being cut up into smaller chunks so as to properly and evenly cook the meat, and before the temperature begins to dissipate.
However, what we found was that doing so meant there not being sufficient room to cook everything. Hence, it took far longer than necessary. Nevertheless, this was the softest textured steak had, and a tasty one at that.
These don’t strike us as steak cut chips. Instead, these appear to be your standard cut type, albeit smartly presented.
Despite its peculiarly campy presentation, not only was this fairly dry, but had this even more peculiar and, quite frankly, off putting sour-cheesy taste, which we’d hesitate to decipher. Not very good!
SAUCES & SEASONING
There were three sauces: the watery and fairly insipid peppercorn sauce; the strongly-flavoured mushroom, which had a good body to it; and the onion-infused tomato, that was smoky and sweet with a touch of heat.
Otherwise, the steaks also came with pink sea salt and pepper, which you’ll need for seasoning, of course, when cooking your steaks.
The turkey rasher was slightly burnt around the edges too lending an unpleasant acrid aftertaste.
And while there were pickles therein, their tanginess wasn’t enough to redeem this signature.
The bun was crispy and decent; but this burger was fairly tasteless and needs improvement.
Not only had the large fillet of chicken nicely absorbed the buffalo sauce it was marinated in, but the exterior had taken on a lovely crispy texture too.
Succulent on the inside, with a nice sweet onion relish that offered some crunch, this was positively dripping with that tangy buffalo sauce.
It has to be said though, this certainly is hot, but not in an unpleasant and inedible way. Nevertheless, have plenty of beverage to hand.
Small wings that were extremely plain and left much to be desired.
Again small wings, though this time, had a wonderful crispiness to them, with not much of the sauce poured over.
Yup; ultra-hot, so be warned. As aromatic as these wings were though, is it worth paying almost £6 for 6 anorexic wings? That’s the question.
This was an exclusive dessert rolled out for FtL and which would soon be added to the menu, we were told.
And added it should be, because, in comparison to the other two below, this stood out really well.
A thin crust, with a dark, crispy-cum-crunchy exterior and edges, which, when had with the cold ice cream and chocolate sauce, really did amount to an indulgent and calory-ridden dessert. But who cares, when you have a doughie texture with lots of chocolate chips therein?
A very soft cake, with a gooey chocolatey texture. Add to that the ice cream, which was decent in quality, and this Chocolate Fudge Cake was good without being anything special.
While the top layer of strawberry tasted rather artificial, the cheese was soft, and the biscuit okay. Your average cheesecake really.
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED FACILITIES
While Chicago Steakhouse didn't quite offer the variety and quality of steaks as the aforementioned, we still enjoyed the theatre of it all.
There's certainly improvements to be made, but the place shows a lot of promise.
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16- 18 South End Croydon CR0 1DP.
T: +44 (0)20 8760 0278 | W: www.chicagosteakhouse.co.uk
Opening Hours: Sun-Thur 13:00-23:00 | Fri-Sat 13:00-00:00