We like our beef and our daughter isn’t shy when it comes to a meaty meal, so we were happy to try out the newly opened 2K Steakhouse in the High Street on the site of Shoku/Soko.
Barnet has several restaurants offering decent steak, most notably The Green Dragon with its Josper grill and two-for-one steaks on Tuesdays and they also feature at Savoro and Mélange. However, where 2K Steakhouse differs is with the emphasis on Argentinean cuisine and the grass-fed, aged beef from the pampas. This is the second outpost of the restaurant following on the original branch in Essex Road. Owner John Kwarteng has over 15 years’ experience in the restaurant business, notably Gaucho.
As keen cooks and with a couple of good local butchers (Moore and Sons and Butchers Hook), we often have steak at home and we’re sharply aware of how, like with fish, you pay a pretty penny to eat decent steak in a restaurant. A glance through the menu at 2K Steakhouse confirms this. Steaks range from £14.25 for a 225g piece of rump (cuadril) right up to £42.25 for a 500g fillet steak (lomo). There are four classic cuts of steak, rump, ribeye, sirloin and fillet, all sensibly offered in four sizes (225g, 285g, 340g and 500g) as well as Argentinean specialities like yummy sounding churasco de lomo (spiral-cut fillet marinated for 48 hours in chimichurri sauce) which costs £34.50 for 340g and tira de ancho (spiral-cut rib-eye), £26.50 for 340g.
There are other options. The menu also includes burgers (£11.95), marinated grilled chicken (£11.50), home-made gnocchi (£10.95 or £4.95 starter size), grilled lamb chops (£13.15) and sea bass (£15.50). From the starters we selected ham and cheese empanadas (£5.25) and the beef skewers with chimichurri sauce (£4.50) which worked well as a main course for our daughter with fries (side dishes all £3.50). My husband went for the 285g sirloin (£21.25), I ordered the 225g rump with sides of fries and field mushrooms to share (and, for the sake of research, we tried a couple of cocktails all quite reasonably priced at £6.50-£7.50, although the mojito needed topping up with rum). The wine list is entirely Chilean and Argentinean (apart from a token bottle of Prosecco). Prices start at £19.50 with 10 available by the glass (£5.75 to £8.50 for 175ml).
The food is good. The deep-fried empanadas had a rich, creamy filling and I couldn’t quite recall what the pastry reminded me of and then it came to me. MacDonald’s apple pie – which I love! All the meat was very well seasoned and expertly cooked. We both ordered the steaks medium-rare/“à point” and my rump was a touch more cooked than I’d prefer, but nevertheless tender and juicy with a beautifully complex flavour. My husband’s sirloin had a looser texture and was more rare and, again, deliciously satisfying. Our bottle of high altitude Malbec (Piatelli “Alto Molino” Cafayate £27) was ideal – elegant with fresh acidity, rather than a heady tannic bruiser.
We had space for desserts so couldn’t resist the churros with dulce de leche and ice cream (£4.75). A glass of late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc (£5.80) was an indulgent partner and we also tried a port-like fortified Malbec (£5) which is perfect for chocolate (although great on its own instead of dessert).
It was a busy Saturday night and while we were there the staff were having to turn people away. The restaurant is quite small with tables packed in and no soft furnishings, so it gets very noisy and it felt as though our round table in the middle of the room was getting in the way of the staff on such a busy night. However, it’s early days and the team is confidently led by charming manager Uri. What’s more, it was good to see how popular it is so soon.
Monday and Tuesday: 5–10pm
Wednesday to Friday: 5–11pm
Saturday and Sunday: 11am–11pm