I do love me a good steak, so it brings me great joy to tell you about a steakhouse that I recently visited which truly deserves its moment in the limelight.
Located in Westfield, The Meat Co. isn’t a restaurant that many have heard of, or would perhaps consider travelling for, but I hope to convince you otherwise.
With numerous thriving restaurants in South Africa and the Middle East, The Meat Co. has already made an international name for itself and, having visited their London branch, I am certain it won’t be long before it makes its mark here at home too.
A sizeable, stylish space spread over two floors, The Meat Co. has got its décor and ambience spot on.
Its innovative design and striking decor is inspired by its South African heritage, and encompasses an “eclectic combination of colour, texture and oversized bespoke elements to create a sense of theatre for its diners” – no kidding – a portrait of Nelson Mandela stared down at us whilst a life-size statue of an elephant’s head was placed casually to my right.
I loved the central glass kitchen, as I find watching the chef’s hard at work really adds to a restaurant’s ambience & charm.
And with a table as beautiful as this given front row seats, I would be more than keen to return with a large group.
In light of The Meat Co.’s experience in the Middle East and the large Muslim community living in and around Shepherd’s Bush, The Meat Co. also offers a halal menu for its diners; the only top-tier steakhouse that I’ve personally visited that does so.
With a most appealing menu and walls of wine surrounding us, it was seriously hard to choose what to have. In the end, Michael & I picked the ‘Seleccion de la Familia Malbec, Humberto Canale, 2012’ (£50.00), which we really warmed to over the course of our meal and would safely order again.
With chocolate & beetroot bread (£3.50) coming highly recommended, it would have been rude not to.
And I’m so glad that we did, because it was absolutely brilliant. It was sweet & salty, with just the right amount of chocolate to appreciate its presence, but not so as to feel that you were eating dessert before your meal.
An absolute unequivocal must order.
For starters we shared the salt & pepper calamari (£8.00) and bruschetta (£7.75).
The calamari was well-cooked and seasoned, with an incredibly light and grease-free batter. In fact, I’ve decided to class it as healthy.
The bruschetta was good, although not the best I’ve had. I would have preferred rubbed garlic in place of the chopped raw red onion, but that’s a matter of personal taste. And, naturally, I could have done with more balsamic glaze on the plate, but that’s just a personal problem.
With baited breath our expensive cuts of meat arrived. I don’t think I’ve ever ‘paid’ so much for a steak before, so expectations were truly sky high.
I had the 300g rib-eye (£47.00) cooked rare, whilst Michael had the 300g New-Yorker (41.00) cooked medium-rare. Both came exactly as requested and were served with chips.
I don’t want to lose the plot here, but I can’t recall ever having a better steak myself. Yes, it was a million miles better than MASH (which I still can’t believe how bad was), Gaucho, M, Flat Iron, Zelman Meats, the City’s beloved Hawksmoor and my personal favourite, Goodman. My rib-eye was so tender, juicy and flavoursome. It melted like butter in my mouth. It was better than Michael’s, which I found chewy in comparison, but thankfully he thoroughly enjoyed.
I cheekily added a premium topping of foie gras (£15.00), as I’ve never had it paired with steak before, and now honestly don’t know how I’ll ever enjoy apart again.
We shared sides of garlic mushrooms (£5.00) and creamed spinach (£5.00).
Both were very generous portions and bang on the money.
The chips, although a hybrid of a chip and wedge in my book, were really rather excellent. Crisp, soft and surprisingly light – despite their appearance they were not stodgy or dense at all.
We mopped the lot up with béarnaise (£2.25) and green peppercorn (£2.25) sauce, the former of which was perfect, whilst the latter we both felt would be improved with the inclusion of the whole peppercorns.
Absolutely stuffed but needing to sample as much of the menu as possible, we opted for the Chef’s tasting platter (£15.00) for dessert, which offered sizeable portions of the “Madiba Charity malva pudding”, clementine brulée, dark chocolate fondant, ice-cream platter and some sort of berry cream concoction.
We might have also ordered The Meat Co. brownie, y’know, for sampling purposes.
All of the puds were very good, but the star of the show was without a shadow of a doubt the malva pudding, a South African delicacy which it seems I’ve been deprived of my whole life. It’s a sponge cake with an immensely gooey, caramelized texture; basically an improved sticky toffee pudding, and utterly delicious.
A bit of a chocolate dessert snob I must say that I take my hat off to The Meat Co.’s chocolate fondant and, although the flavour & texture of their brownie was on point, I would have preferred it served as a whole block versus as broken pieces. Still, considering that’s my only criticism, I think you can tell how much of a winner all of the puds were.
Service was fantastic; attentive, friendly and genuine.
The restaurant was impressively full for a Wednesday evening, and so it seems the only ones missing out are us central Londoners too stubborn to make the (short) journey.
I for one will definitely be hopping on the tube to visit this gem of a steakhouse again, and urge you to as well!
I dined as a guest of The Meat Co., but all opinions are my own.