Appy days… | Grillshack, 61–63 Beak Street, London, W1F 9SL
On the night we were invited to Grillshack, one of the numerous new restaurants that are to open this month, we read that the capital’s typical restaurant goer eats out 3.7 times a week. That’s more than us and we have a blog to keep up! It seems restaurants really are a massive trend right now – a trend that is impossible to keep up with.
Grillshack is a ridiculously cheap all day grill on Beak Street, not far from another good value restaurant – Flat Iron. The man behind it is Richard Caring of Caprice Holdings, Dirty Burger and Chicken Shop. What makes it different to the rest is not just the prices but the ordering system. Stealing the idea that has lived in my head for the past five years in which you order via an app, or on the touch screen terminal point. My idea is a little more high-tech than this, unless I win the lottery this is where the idea will stay.
Anyway, I tried not to feel jealous that someone else was doing this while I remain powerless to act on my concept. The app is simple to use and works remarkably well, the ticket prints out in the kitchen twenty seconds later every time, apparently. If you want to go old-school you can just order at the counter. Waitress service is kept to a minimum, but they’re great and on hand if you need them. You help yourself to water and soft drinks at the machines by the counter. Even the coffee is self-service, I relished playing waitress for five seconds as I delivered a US style mug of rocket fuel coffee to Ade.
The decor resembles some kind of American diner/pimped up British caff – yellow walls paired with polished concrete and park benches. The window seats looked the most cosy, and downstairs is almost like a private room. Lighting looked like the early 70s vision of the future, all shiny and white (think Space 1999).
Our food arrived rapidly, I went for Rump steak with shoestring fries and smoked butter £9.95. A thin slice of meat gently released its juices onto the more than generous serving of fries, pretty damn good, especially for the price. Ade’s Cheeseburger with bacon £6.45 (a plain hamburger sans cheese that would be perfect for me is just £4.95). Now this wasn’t a dirty burger, it was actually very clean – almost healthy! Ade described it as the kind of burger that you could give to your great-aunt Ethel, without blood and grease dripping over her twin-set. I prefer to get dirty myself. We tried a side of Grilled corn £2.50, slathered with chipotle butter and finely grated cheese and a genius squeeze of lime juice. Plus an OK Radish slaw £1.95 that we could possibly have lived without.
All this was washed down with a Grillshack craft lager £2.75 (for 284ml) and a really good glass of mystery Red wine £3.25 (they only do one red and one white, like they do at Leon but somehow I found it less annoying at Grillshack). As I was trying not to overdo it on the booze front I decided to try the Green Juice £2.95 of avocado, spinach, watercress, celery, cucumber and apple, despite Ade’s dismay. Obviously this drink is much more suited to breakfast (which they also do at equally great value). I actually really liked it once my taste buds adapted to the onslaught of purity and veg.
Following the theme, dessert choices are quick and easy, they only have two – a luxuriously creamy and dense Carrot and walnut layer cake. Or a deceptively filling delicious Ice cream cookie sandwich, both £2.95. This is the kind of place I would have slunk into the morning after the night before, in my previous life that is. Or it’s a great option for a catch up with friends when budgets are tight, but you don’t want to compromise on quality and taste.
* We took a break from the norm and took photos with the Nokia Lumia 925 that we have been sent to trial. Sadly it seems more practice of this device was required.
Download the app here
Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 8am until 11pm
Sun: 10am until 10:30pm
Nearest station: Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus