East London

Published on November 3rd, 2014 | by Sophia Longhi


Steam and Rye, Leadenhall

Steam and Rye, Leadenhall Sophia Longhi

Party Cocktails


Summary: If you want to take your time over food and cocktails, lunchtime is your chance to do so - and then when 6pm hits, it's party time


Steam and Rye. Leadenhall Street’s tongue-in-cheek, mechanical bull-riding, outrageous cocktail-swigging destination bar has revolutionised the after-work drinking culture in the City. Now, instead of sleek, trendy joints where a Hendricks and slimline is the go-to drink and leather cubes at low tables are the seating preference, you are shown to your table in a train carriage, you drink out of a spurred boot and there are dancing girls whipping their hair around to Kid Rock in front of the clock at Grand Central Station.

Novelty aside, who knew that Steam and Rye have a Michelin star chef leading their kitchen team and an award-winning barman behind their inventive cocktail menu? The Americana-themed food menu has all the stateside classics, from burgers, ribs and wings to steak, pulled pork, and everyone’s favourite; Mac ‘n’ Cheese. What’s worth noting is that it is executed incredibly well and if you are looking for an extended lunch in the City, where you can get tasty grub and possibly forget about the afternoon as you eye up the cocktail list, Steam and Rye is the place.

Lunch is served weekdays from 12pm til 3pm, and the Lunchtime Express menu is great value at £13.95 for two courses and £17.95 for three. For a reduced selection of dishes there are still some of the best picks are still on there, such as the classic cheese and bacon burger, the BBQ ribs and two kinds of steak – the 300g Rib-Eye and the 300g Sirloin.

Steam and Rye burger

We tried the Jumbo Chicken Wings to start, served with a dipping pot of Blue Cheese Sauce. Sweet, sticky and succulent, the wings certainly satisfy the craving for some good ol’ American barbecue food, and combined with the tangy sauce, they are superb. The Baked Beans with Pulled Pork and Cornbread is another winner – the pork serving is chunky and generous, and the cake-like cornbread dipped in the smoky beans is delicious. This is Wild Western man food (for ladies too) so make sure you bring your appetite and leave your inhibitions – i.e. use your hands and get messy.

The BBQ Ribs served with Fries and ‘Slaw is a best-selling dish, probably down to the incredibly good barbecue sauce, which is slathered over each meaty pork rib with complete abandon (which is how you should act whilst eating these). If you are into steak, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised – the beef USDA graded and, above all, tasty and tender – the Rib-Eye comes highly recommended and is full of smoky-griddle flavour.

Mississippi Lullaby

You can’t come to Steam and Rye without trying the crazy cocktails. Every one of them on the list, created by acclaimed bartender Andy Mill, is an Instagram dream. The ‘Maize Balls arrives in a red and white striped popcorn bucket, complete with a garnish of actual popcorn. In spite all of the theatre, this is no smoke and mirrors trick, as premium ingredients and spirits, such as Mount Gay XO, are used, but presented in a unique and unpretentious way.

The new Autumn menu promises new outlandish additions, such as the Juan Direction, a fruity concoction made with Olmeca tequila and comes garnished with a One Direction tattoo transfer, and the Ready To Rumble, which is served in a huge foam fist and consists of Havana 7 rum, honey syrup, fresh lime juice and a can of Red Bull – a tropical twist on the Vodka Red Bull – and much more entertaining.

Steam and Rye Ready to Rumble

Busy every day of the week, this place is perfect for evening shenanigans, but also stands up as a grand restaurant with a competitive menu. If you want to take your time over food and cocktails, lunchtime is your chance to do so – and then when 6pm hits, it’s party time.


Steam and Rye, 147 Leadenhall St, EC3V 4QT

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About the Author

Lioneye Media lionesses, Sophia and Rebecca, can tweet with one hand whist sipping an espresso martini with the other. Dedicated food, wine and cocktail connoisseurs, they love nothing better than scoping out London for its best bars and restaurants. Follow their exploits and breakfast pics on Twitter @LioneyeMedia

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