If you only eat halal meat and live in a big city, you may have noticed an abundance of halal steak places cropping up.
What was previously a well-charred, poor imitation add-on in an Indian restaurant, has now become big business.
Restaurants have embraced the halal pound, and cottoned on to the fact that we don’t just want to eat curry when dining out.
As a result there are steak houses galore offering halal cuts. There are also a range of price points, from push the boat out, to affordable.
I’ve reviewed the Meat Co in Westfield so now it was the turn of a more budget-friendly option.
I was invited to try HS&Co, a halal steak place in Stratford, East London. Here’s what I thought.
HS&Co is very well located near Westfield shopping centre, and from what we saw, it was super popular. The place was packed with diners, and the friendly staff handled this influx like seasoned pros.
One note I would say is that the seating could be more efficient. There were three very large round tables on one side for groups, and tables for two along the other side. But the tables for two were so packed together, we felt like we were dining with those sat on either side!
However there was seating downstairs which I didn’t get to see, which may be more spacious.
But seating aside, I’ll move onto more important stuff…
Food at HS&Co
For the starter, hubby and I shared pulled beef on sourdough bread, which was a hit. The beef was slow-aged, rich and flavoursome.
We were actually really impressed with the steak at HS&Co. We ordered a fillet which was nicely glazed, and as we’d opted for medium rare, it was tender without being overly pink.
At a price of £25, it was also an affordable option for such a good cut.
With HS&Co, you get what you ordered. If the steak is not to your taste, they’ll happily take it back to cook a little longer.
Half chicken with herbs and garlic
I also ordered the half chicken, which was much too much for me, but there wasn’t the option of a quarter chicken.
However the chicken was tender and well cooked, and the garlic herb coating made a nice change from Nando’s.
A tale of two sides
For sides, we ordered chunky chips. They. Were. Everything. Omg, I don’t want to labour the point, but the chunky chips were ridiculously good.
I even felt sorry for the diners who opted for default fries. If only they knew what they were missing…
The other side wasn’t my best choice. I ordered mac and cheese, but it was less creamy, and more salty.
Oh and I have to mention the drinks. Being a halal steak place, there was an abundance of mocktails and even chilli drinks. We opted for virgin mojitos (nojito) and virgin strawberry daiquiri (mockiri).
And honestly, the daiquiri mocktail was the best drink I’ve tasted in a while. I don’t know why we don’t have more strawberry based sodas. In fact I liked the drink so much I googled their manufacturer, but alas, they’re not sold in stores.
Finally, the dessert. As per usual, we almost didn’t have room for dessert, so we opted to share. We had the cheesecake, which was drizzled with chocolate. It was delicious, filling and far too much for one. Shares-ies was totally the way to go.
Would I visit again?
So overall, HS&Co is a great little find offering good steak at a more accessible price. It’s difficult to compare with the Meat Co, as they are two very different dining experiences.
The price point of Meat Co is higher, but then it’s a different level of service, more intimate seating, a greater variety of meat cuts… so it’s comparing apples with pears.
But HS&Co is definitely worth a visit, and a revisit for us. And hubby said he’d take his meat-loving friends, which is high praise indeed.
HS&Co review in a nutshell
Price: around £25 for steak, £11.50 for the half chicken, with sides around £5.
Great if… you want quality steak without breaking the bank.
Not so great if… you want an intimate fine dining steak experience.
You can view reviews and blogs by Halima at halimabobs.com