Getting to The Meat Co. is super easy. Tube to Shepherd’s Bush turn left out the station and 3 minutes away is The Meat Co. a huge dining vicinity, perhaps a spacial reflection of their slabs of meat. With a fantastic menu, high ceilings and cool décor, with tables next to a large glassed front, perfect for people watching. With my arrival being fed over an intercom and an option to have a lift take me up to the restaurant I had high hopes for their service.
Unfortunately, I was left with my menu for quite some time and with a pretty much empty restaurant floor over an early lunch, this was pretty disappointing. At first I thought this may be due to them thinking I was waiting for another diner to join me but the table behind me had to shout to get the waiter’s attention so I was not the only diner being neglected.
There were about 5 members of staff in the area, all appeared to be busy preparing for the evening shift, but this did give me an opportunity to observe that they all seemed to get along extremely well and clearly enjoyed working with one another. When I did have interaction with them they were all really friendly and smiley.
I decided to start lunch with an Apple Crumble vodka cocktail- it was Thursday so it counts as the weekend! It was strong and made well so I later in the meal decided to try another being the Strawberry Basil Martini, which was even better. A perfect balance of flavours, it beckoned me to take the afternoon off and have another, but I reluctantly resisted.
With The Meat Co’s menu boasting interesting international dishes like Braised Rib Meat Cigars & Balsamic Mayo, Eggplant & Mascarpone Tart, and South African Sausage Boerewors, I asked to try the Chef’s Soup of the Day. The soup was some version of leek & potato which was okay, but I was really hoping for something a little more exotic and in tune with the rest of the menu.
I chose the South African sausage Boerewors to start. The sausage was laced with interesting spices served curled up with polenta that was cooked very well, which can be a difficult thing to get just right. Alongside was a smoky sweet glossy tomato sauce that brought the dish together – all in all, a good starting point.
For main I chose the Kangaroo steak which comes with a potato dauphinoise stack, and ordered grilled asparagus on the side. The potato stack was not cooked through and tasted of just raw potato. Luckily, the kangaroo steak which came in a generous portion was cooked perfectly, easy to slice and adorned in a deep red, rich lightly spiced sauce. The asparagus was also cooked well.
The dessert menu is full of goodies with interesting twists; Passionfruit brulee, Peanut butter cheesecake, Tiramisu with Churros. I went for the Toasted Coconut and Raspberry Vacharin – which was fantastic. It arrived in 3 small tasting experience bowls.
One a sharp raspberry sorbet, terrine style, with toasted coconut. Lovely textures and flavours. The next a coconut cream with a sharp raspberry jam-syrup, and finally chewy-crispy morsels of meringue (just how I like them) with fresh berries. A very clever, pretty, sweet toothsome dessert from The Meat Co. I would be tempted to revisit The Meat Co and explore the rest of their dessert menu.
I genuinely believe The Meat Co. serves great food- but on this occasion, it is such a shame that simple points such as; a bland soup, uncooked potato, and pre-occupied staff let them down. Unfortunately, I cannot score based on a belief and have to go by the experience that I had, which is why I have scored two stars. The meal did have some fantastic qualities; the spices in the South African sausage, kicking kangaroo meat and a beautiful dessert so I would still say to check this place out, but perhaps do not go at lunchtime as I did, and head for dinner time where there hopefully will be a little more focus.
Reviewed by Jordan Lohan
ADDRESS: Unit 1026, Westfield London, Ariel Way
VENUE PHONE: 0207 930 8408
STAR RATING: ★★
TIPPING POLICY: Discretionary service charge of 12.5% added to bill