Rustix Gourmet 3.8/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3.5/5
VENUE & ATMOSPHERE: 4/5
NOTE: ALL MEAT IS HALAL. NO ALCOHOL IS SERVED ON THE PREMISES.
Ramadhan over…Food ban lifted! Lets skip the bit where we say how good we feel losing a bit of weight in Ramadhan and how we are going to keep it up, eat healthy and maintain the weight loss, we all know the Theresa May in us will do a U-turn and the first outside meal we are going for is a big fat juicy steak.
We actually tried to visit Rustix IN Ramadhan but as fate would have it, God preferred us to stay home and enjoy the numbers on the scale being smaller than usual for a while longer. In reality, I left it too late to book and couldn’t get a table. However, even if we did get a booking, we couldn’t have gone in Ramadhan anyway as unfortunately the brother on the phone informed me although there is a mosque nearby for brothers wishing to pray Magrib, Rustix are unable to provide a prayer space for sisters. This has been a gripe of London for Mrs Plug for years and I’ve heard her mention this more times than Marcel Sommerville telling fellow Love Islanders he ‘used to be in blazin squad init’ (I think Marcel needs to join Boys II Men next as he has come to the end of the road with that one as opposed to being at the crossroads!). For the record, I totally agree with Mrs Plug as it makes no sense to fast all day to then miss your maghrib prayer – anyway that’s one for another day, time, and audience.
So, with it being Issa’s big 3-0 the week after Eid, it provided a perfect excuse for us to get the gang together for a meal whilst watching him frantically scan through the profiles on Minder looking for his Bushra. Comms with Rustix were great, a quick FB message requesting the table for 8.45pm and it was all confirmed (they do ask in future we call the shop after 2pm for bookings, which is fair enough).
Mrs. Plug and I were on time, but on arrival we were told there had been a double booking and the next table would be available in around 15-20 mins (Possibly why they ask you to call!). Ordinarily, alarm bells would have been ringing at this stage. However, I wasn’t in a position of strength as the other 6 of my party were still somewhere between the dummy speed camera on the A406 and Barking roundabout. Anyway, it all worked out in the end as the table was ready just as they arrived. It gave us a chance to have a nosey at the decor which was a nice theme of a Texas ranch burger bar, which was made all the more authentic with it’s dim lighting and wooden effect.
Firstly, props to the waiter on our table – boy he had his work cut out that night and certainly earned his money. It had been almost 3 months since we were all last together hence took us a while to settle down and get our ordering game in order. In the end we just muddled through with multiple changes to our order but the waiter exercised patience and kept his game face on.
For starters, we ordered Backyard grilled chops (with all the sauces, BBQ jerk, onion gravy and chilli onion gravy), 6 BBQ Jerk wings, 6 Buffalo wings and Loaded Nachos. Long story short, chops were very good – slightly fatty which you need but they were cooked nicely, tender enough to enjoy but chewy enough to make you work for your reward. They tasted good with and without the sauces. I was indifferent about the wings but the consensus on the table was that they were good – the guys were impressed with the BBQ and for Buffalo it wasn’t your usual Frank’s buffalo sauce which was a nice change and they had a good spice level. Nachos were Nachos..
Onto mains, without going into everyone’s individual experiences, I had intended to order Sirloin steak and so did Mrs Plug. Upon ordering, I could see the hesitation on the waiters face when we asked for it to be cooked medium rare and medium respectively. We then launched into a debate around what medium rare means to us vs what it means to an Indian Chef. In the end, despite some unhelpful guidance from Issa, I heard enough to suggest this would be a typically indian cooked steak with the cow dying in vain followed by a cremation to add insult to injury. As much as I was determined not to order yet another burger, I swiftly changed my order (surprised the waiter didn’t throw a burger at my face) and copied Nikki P’s The Mckburger, which consisted of two 3.5oz patties with double cheese and Rustix McSauce. I added Beef bacon and curly fries (they say you shouldn’t make a decision on an empty stomach..or in a rush..but it was the best last minute decision I have ever made). Issa ordered the Rustix Bandit burger with Rustix cut chips (skin on chips basically). Mrs. Plug ordered a Sirloin MEDIUM RARE (later upgraded to T-bone as they were out of Sirloin). Patty (the person) ordered southwest chicken in a bun with onion rings (each to their own), Selma and Jags ordered King Prawn twist and Jugga basically ordered 2 of everything else on the menu.
T-bone arrives, looks grand, but Mrs. plug takes one bite and its game over. It’s so chewy and over cooked its not worth the effort. I take a confirmation bite and concur this is going to be left to the side and deducted from the bill – poor cow (the steak i mean..Not Mrs. Plug). Despite disliking burgers, mine arrives and looks the real deal. I take a bite and I instantly know I’m winning. The patty (burger) is cooked medium, great taste, delicious sauce and chewy beef bacon. as Patty (the person) pointed out, it’s a nice change from the turkey bacon usually on offer in these places. I split my burger in half and await Mrs. Plugs approval, as her eyes light up and she begins Churchill Dog style nodding whilst she chews and swallows. Everyone else is content with their food; the prawn twist was presented well and the feedback from the girls was good. We couldn’t quite work out the difference between Issa’s Rustix Bandit and our MckBurger, but we agreed they were both equally as nice. Drinks were a standard round of cokes for the lads and a Rustix Special Virgin mojito (passion fruit, pineapple and some other stuff) for the girls which they enjoyed.
The bill came to a round £175 for 8 people (excluding the steak but including the free lollipops as you walk out) which is about par with similar establishments. Overall, I would say this place can be great as long as you order the right foods (chops, wings, burgers, prawns) and stay away from the Steaks. A quirky place, great staff and a nice friendly atmosphere. I have to say after the MckBurger from Rustix, I am developing a taste for burgers and would definitely come back. My one bit of feedback to set Rustix apart from similar South Asian owned establishments, would be to not worry about making sure the steak is fully cooked, as in the age of savvy steak connoisseurs, people expect to receive exactly what they ordered. After all, if somebody wanted their steak well done, all they have to do is say. On a brighter note, at least sharing a burger with mrs plug has helped us to keep the scales in our favour, for another week at least!