Cristina’s casual steakhouse delivers the goods
By Humera YounisHALAL STATUS Fully Halal food menu • Alcohol served
If you fancy a steak or a Sunday roast, this is the place to go. Cristina’s in Barking is a friendly, welcoming restaurant serving enjoyable food at a reasonable price.
They have a Sunday Roast menu as well as a Lunch and Dinner menu. Their food is Halal (alcohol is served on the premises).
The ambience is casual, comfortable and pleasant; the staff friendly, attentive and efficient.
You can’t miss the restaurant either – it has a giant pink and white cow parked just outside.
We got to Cristina’s on a Sunday evening and were therefore offered the Dinner menu. For starters we ordered the Thai Fish Cakes, Beef Scotch Egg and Crunchy Potato Skins.
The Thai Fish Cakes were presented on a bed of crunchy kale with squid ink mayo. The fish cakes packed a flavoursome punch and the squid ink mayo was light and complemented the dish. A lovely little starter.
The Beef Scotch Eggs did at first seem uninteresting, but we were pleasantly surprised. The beef was soft and flavoursome, and the eggs perfectly runny on the inside. It was beautifully presented; and the chimichurri it came with having bags of flavour – a simple but well executed starter.
The Crunchy Potato Skins came with crispy beef trimmings and a cheese sauce. To me this looked like a starter I would really enjoy but it was a pity that my taste buds didn’t reciprocate that feeling.
The steak options are quite good, and for mains we ordered the Hanger and Rump Steak. Unfortunately, they had run out of the sirloin and rib-eye that evening which was disappointing. In addition, we went for the American Cheeseburger and Chicken Supreme. You get to choose how you would like your steak cooked at the point of ordering.
We found the Hanger Steak to be a little tough, stringy and underwhelming. This was the weakest main and we would not have gone for this option had the sirloin or rib-eye been available.
The rump steak on the other hand was beautiful, tender, flavoursome; and you could tell it was a very good cut of meat. The steak was served pre-carved, and being soft, juicy and melt-in-the-mouth. It was accompanied by a peppercorn sauce which provided a good amount of heat. But while I was slightly let down with the chef having been a little heavy handed with the salt, the others enjoyed it. The rustic chips were crispy and crunchy, and soft in the middle, just how they should be.
The American Cheeseburger was amazing. It came with two chunky beef patties, crispy beef trimmings and melted cheddar sauce. The burger was juicy, meaty and cheesy – all these taste sensations were going on at the same time. The halloumi chips that were ordered as a side were a perfect accompaniment to this dish.
The Chicken Supreme was very well executed and came out on a plate hot – just the way I like it. Stuffed with cheddar and oven dried tomatoes, it came with cheesy mash, broccoli and a mushroom sauce. The chicken was tender and succulent, with crispy skin, while the cheesy mash was silky smooth. The earthiness of the mushroom sauce was a good balance, and the broccoli was just as it should be – tender with a bite to it.
We had a mixture of soft and fizzy drinks with our meal. The only mocktail available to order was homemade lemonade. Sadly, I wouldn’t order this again as it was more watery rather than lemony.
For dessert we went for the Chocolate Brownie, Eton Mess and Sticky Toffee Pudding. The Chocolate Brownie was truly scrumptious and everything you would want from a brownie – hot, chewy and gooey. It came with a creamy vanilla ice cream – really delicious.
The Eton Mess was rich and fruity. Cristina’s make their own cream which enhances this great British classic. The Sticky Toffee Pudding was divine, the perfect way to end a meal.
In summary, Cristina’s serves good quality steaks at a reasonable price. A great place to go with the family.
I would give this restaurant a rating of 7.5 out of 10.
The restaurant is a 4-minute walk from the train station. Pay and display parking can be found on the surrounding roads.
8-10 North Street, Barking, London IG11 8AW.
Opening Hours: Mon-Thur 12:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00 | Fri-Sat 12:00-15:00, 18:00-00:00 | Sun 12:00-23:00