FOOD & DRINK, FURTHER AFIELD

Probably the best Steakhouse in Barking?

Braving the wilds of Barking, in search of MEAT…

Err, to clarify, we mean the kind that comes from a cow. Steak meat!

Yes, a few weeks back we left the borders of London Town and braved the wilds of Barking with some friends who had spotted a suspiciously good looking steakhouse sticking out like a sore thumb in an unsuspecting street in Essex. It stands out a bit, does Cristina’s  – possibly because it is a Romanian steak joint in Barking. Possibly because there is a life sized cow model stood outside it!

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Warm, inviting & friendly

Christina’s is surprising, and deceptive. The sign gives every impression that it is just another average restaurant / takeaway but inside its all rustic wood tables and blackboard paint, with the meat cuts helpfully drawn out on the mirror for the novice carnivore. It is warm, and inviting with friendly staff and a laid back atmosphere. The place is professional, clean and quite frankly a little bit hip. We loved it, and so do plenty of other folks according to their reviews on TripAdvisor.

To paraphrase: Steak. Excellent. That is all.

The Steak was excellent.  Beautifully cooked and very easy to eat, in our humble opinion (cliches like ‘melt in your mouth’ and ‘soft as butter’ are floating around but we can’t quite bring ourselves to put them in a sentence just in case you start calling us Floyd). We went for Rump and Sirloin, served with sweet potato fries and kale, but you can get all the usual sauces and sides if you prefer (check out the menu here). They were great but in a steakhouse, all you really want to know about is the steak. So now you do.

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Starters and Sweet things hit the mark too

If you are interested, we hit up the Edamame and Mint Bruschetta and Butter Milk Chicken to start. They also received a yum rating but we didn’t dwell on them too long, what with being hungry and very much focussed on the cow that was to come (so basically we troughed them well quick and didn’t properly concentrate on their flavours – sorry Cristina!).

We finished off our meal with the deep fried ice cream bomb with Maple syrup and crushed walnuts and that got the same treatment as the starters, except without the excuses about being distracted by steak. OM NOM NOM. On the usual East Blam style side note, is there a new slightly cooler phrase for om nom nom yet? We haven’t found anything better but we do use it a lot and it must be wearing thin… Answers on a postcard please.

A la Carte and fancy cuts are pricy but there are some great deals on offer too

The price was higher than some might expect to pay in the Far East {London} for a meal if you go for the acclaimed cuts, but Burger King this ain’t and you get what you pay for. Good cuts of meat are expensive, and in our opinion, so they should be. Cristina’s is no exception so our advice is if it’s not pay day or a special occasion, check the price of your meal before you order as mains start at £12 but posh cuts punch in at £25+.They have an excellent choice of wine and beer too so it is easy to rack up a big bill at the end of the night. We can hardly blame them for having so many nice noms to choose from but if you are on a budget, plan ahead.

If you live or work in Barking, you might want to try their lunch menu as you can grab a burger or steak & chips lunch deal for just £7 and we will definitely be back for the Sunday roast at some point – you get roast rump, potatoes, roast squash, beets, kale & braised cabbage, carrots and a giant yorkie all for a tenner. In fact, you might find us there this Sunday…

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The deets:

What: A steak house in Barking, Essex.

Where: 8-10 North Street, Barking, IG11 8AW (it’s a 10 minutes away from East Ham South in a car or on a bike, and google maps reckons you can walk it from Central Park in 35 mins)

£££: Mains from £12, Sunday Roast from £10, Bottle of wine from £13.50

Linky: cristinassteak.com

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