The Meat Co II
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to dine at The Meat Co. Formerly known as the Meat & Wine Co., you all know that I have been to eat here numerous times. This is time I learnt a little more about the company and was able to meet with the manager.
For those who were not aware, The Meat Co. has a South African twist behind every one of its dishes and with its huge popularity in the Middle East and Africa, it only made sense that the UK branch went halal allowing the Muslim Londoners to taste a real steak
The amount of care that goes into the preparation of the halal food in this restaurant is simply amazing. It all starts from the meat suppliers who are all certified and this is clearly stated on the menu. Once the meat is delivered to the restaurant, it is stored in a massive fridge where all the halal meats are kept separate from the non-halal meats. In fact, any pork products are kept in a tiny small fridge well away from all other meats.
The restaurant itself offers two distinguishable sections, one halal and one non-halal seating area, to satisfy the requirements of all its diners. The halal section is so well defined that even non-alcoholic wine is not permissible to be served in this certain area of the establishment.
For those that are worried about cross contamination when dining with the non-halalarians, The Meat Co. firstly offers two menus – one halal and one non-halal. The dishes that are ordered from the halal menu are then cooked specially in the halal section of the kitchen, which is kept well away from the non-halal cookers. The kitchen is completely open for diners to mien inside through a glass panel and a divider between the two cooking stations is clearly visible.
All these special touches make it easy to understand why this restaurant is so popular among the Muslim customers who make up a hefty 55% of the clientele. One example of an extra special touch is that once Ramadhan begins, dates are postulated to the Muslim customers to break their fasts with, along with soup and other Iftari treats kindly offered by the restaurant.
Enough chit chat for now and lets get down to what this post is really about – the food! Seeing as I have already visited the restaurant, I thought I would try new items on the menu to ensure there is a variety on my review.
Kiwi Crush & Red Dawn
Recommended to us by the waiter, both these mocktails were refreshing and sweet. The Kiwi Crush was more of a soft drink with some bubbles added to kiwi syrup, but the Red Dawn was a potion of basil, raspberries and apple juice all “muddled” together.
Right before tucking into a hefty steak, its good to have something light and healthy e.g. a salad. Well, because it’s me, it doesn’t need to be completely healthy and instead I chose to glitter my salad with a nice unhealthy amount of velvety feta cheese.
The prawns came covered in a peri-peri sauce, which had a creamy tomato base. Although the dish was good, the sauce itself could have given the prawns a bit more “oomph” (sounds better when said aloud with emphasis) and was just slightly bland.
Rib Eye on the Bone
Most times I have visited I have safely chosen a fillet and simply because it’s a small piece of meat that manages to fill my belly. This time I thought I would be different and perhaps adventurous for al my readers, plus feeling a little fat, so I ordered a 500g rib eye steak. The kind waiter reassured me that some of that weight was bone subsiding any feeling of guilt within me, which is until this big mama arrived in front of me.
Albeit the massive size, the meat was cooked perfectly to my preference, meaning a nice red centre and with every bite you could tell that the meat was aged (which is a good thing!).
The wagyu, like you saw in the picture above, is marbled with fat throughout the steak so once it’s seared, the fat melts into the meat creating that natural flavouring. The basting was a bit too overbearing for the wagyu, so it was difficult to define the actual wagyu taste, however it was easy to distinguish the excellent quality of the meat itself.
This is a must order for anyone who enjoys crispy, stringy onion rings. Even when they’re cold, they still manage to maintain their slight crunchiness.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
On rare occasions, I like to treat myself to dessert. Okay that was a lie. Dessert tends to be a must these days especially if it happens to be soft and creamy peanut butter cheesecake drizzled in a rich chocolate sauce. Delicious!
The bill totalled to £160.99, which considering we had ordered the wagyu seems like a fair amount. The service was excellent, with the waiter informing us on the quality, cut and history of the steak we inquired about. If you are at a loss as to what to order from the menu, don’t be shy to ask the waiters/waitresses who are well educated about the vast variety of steaks available. The atmosphere was calm, cool and serene, however the tables are so wide, it can be a bit difficult to converse with your dinner partner when too many other diners are around.
Steaks wise – if it’s your first time here, I suggest starting small and order from the super aged meat section seeing as it is their speciality. Once you build up your particular preference of steak cut, move on to the “Connoisseurs Choice” where your favourite steaks are made with a twist, such as a foie gras fillet steak or a bone marrow fillet. If steak isn’t your fancy, The Meat Co. caters to all tastes, which is perfect if you feel like a skewer of big, juicy lamb chops or succulent grilled chicken.
Although I have reviewed The Meat Co. prior to this visit, any restaurant needs to have consistency when you visit more than once and I can gladly say that The Meat Co. has lived up to its name of one of London’s best halal steakhouses. Aside from consistency, there is also something very exciting in the pipeline regarding this restaurant so keep your eyes peeled and all will be revealed on September 30th!
Please see my previous review for ratings and information about the restaurant.
I was invited to review here