18-21 Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6AH, United Kingdom
Tel: +44(0)84469 30656
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon - Sun breakfast 7am - 10am; Lunch midday -2:30pm; Dinner 5pm onwards.
Door: Make reservation
Style: Restaurant bar
Recommended for: Cocktails, Food
Price guide: High-end
Food: Full menu
Images By: diffordsguide.com
In the basement of the relaunched Malmaison hotel in Charterhouse Square is the latest steak restaurant to hit London, certainly the plat du jour. And like its many rivals, cocktails are central to the offer - as much as wine.
A neon light announcing Strip Bar & Steak above the staircase, a portrait of a man and woman in a frankly lewd embrace and the general low-lit décor emphasise the restaurant's name, but the lack of nude girls and poles is probably a reassuring absence.
The bar is the first point of entry, surrounded by a few tables and booths stashed into the nooks and crannies beneath the stairs. The menu is dominated by cocktails and spirits, far outnumbering the wine, with four to five different brands per category apart from whisky where the bar has an impressive 15-strong list. Cocktails are broken down into fizz, signature and after-dinner, most being inspired by or twists of classics.
We tested the bartenders skill with a gin Martini and found it to be balanced and well-made, followed by one of their own, an Ultimate Martini (Belvedere Unfiltered, Martini, bitters and a pink grapefruit twist). Ultimately a pleasant bar with impeccable service, bartenders and waiters who seemed genuinely pleased to recommend us food and drinks, and a lively atmosphere.