Secret Disco Steaks & Burgers
Disco Bistro, EC4, London.
Secrets kitchens and pop-up restaurants seem to be the trend-du-jour of London and Disco Bistro is a routine new addition to this portfolio. Hidden discreetly above the Rising Sun pub just south of St Paul’s Cathedral, the entrance is marked on Carter Lane by a simple chalkboard sign and red door. You could also take in a pint and football game at the pub and follow the lit sign at the back deeper into the rabbit hole. I do like the speakeasy vibe with unassuming stairs that lead you past the kitchen into a cosy and warmly lit dining room.
The ambience is sort of like relaxed, eclectic farmhouse with generous helpings of kook. Say hello to the taxidermy squirrel lamps and the weird chalkboard art. We found the place on a slow night with only half the tables occupied by couples and larger groups of friends socialising after work.
Even though we had an 8pm booking, half the starters had already gone, which was disappointing as the lobster corndog came highly recommended. Being in the middle of an office district, lunch might be the better option to get the best out of this menu.
We whetted our appetites with some fantastic chips cooked in aged beef fat topped with barbecue sauce and crispy onions. This set the scene appropriately as Disco Bistro is at its best as a burger joint with plenty of chips in plastic trays to go around. There’s the scent of the deep-fry and heavy meat-laden goodness hanging thickly in the air.
I opted for the 35 day Dexter Rib Eye topped with bone marrow and a house sauce. The novelty of the marrow, sitting so sweetly in its bone housing is definitely worth a picture while I found the taste of the fat itself a little overwhelming at times. The steak was tender and nicely cooked to medium-rare (the only way they’ll do it). The house sauce, a mellow variation on barbecue, I found lacking with more sweetness than bite to do the steak justice. The burger was good and seemed to be the perfect meal for groups of friends sitting around us enjoying a casual night out.
The music, on the night a rockabilly mix, had a lot of great tracks and enough personality for you to tune into but not too loud as to drown out the conversation. This is one of the best restaurant soundtracks I’ve heard. It’s different every night as each of the staff members take turns with the mix. In all Disco Bistro has kook and charm, great for first dates or a group social outing!