The Meat Co: Top South African restaurant has moved to London
As the holiday season becomes a distant blur in our social calendars and we slowly adjust to the monotonous routine of our working schedules once more, it seems that we have once again fallen victim to the workaholic syndrome. All of those New Year’s resolutions pledging to “take more time for me” and to “leave the office by 5” seem long-forgotten, replaced by endless hours spent craning over press releases and consuming our lunches at the desk, with our phones balanced against one ear and our free hand frantically typing away. But life is nothing without a little escapism, and Your Coffee Break has found the perfect remedy in the award-winning The Meat Co Restaurant.
Situated on the Southern Terrace of the Shepherd’s Bush Westfield Shopping Centre, The Meat Co is the only UK branch of the internationally renowned group that has taken four continents by storm with its delectable food, exquisite décor and immaculate service. Set on two levels, the intimate ground-floor bar offers a fabulous selection of cocktails and bar snacks, with a breath-taking ‘wine wall’ displaying nearly 2000 bottles to leave your taste-buds spoilt for choice, whilst upstairs the restaurant is warm and inviting with ample seating for 260 people. From the moment you step foot in the vibrantly decorated Meat Co, the stress of your schedule will melt away, to be replaced by the succulent aroma of the best quality meat – sourced around the globe and flame-grilled to perfection – and the unavoidable beckoning of a refreshing beverage (or 5?).
Initially established in 2000 in South Africa by Costa Tomazos – one of South Africa’s most successful restaurateurs – The Meat Co has developed worldwide with a design and decor concept lifted out of the realms of a traditional steakhouse. Costa brought refined definition and a unique concept to the steakhouse dining experience which caters for meat lovers in a sophisticated yet relaxed environment. However, they also pride themselves upon the availability of their diverse Halal menus, with kosher options available on request.
It is to no surprise that The Meat Co was announced as the winner of the coveted South African Restaurant of the Year in the UK at the South African Achievers Award on 13th April 2013. Barbara Grobbelaar, GM of The Meat Co at Westfield, commented, “We are always striving for excellence and to make sure our customers enjoy a memorable and authentic dining experience, so to have this formally recognised feels like a great achievement.”
While we pondered over the extensive menu – from freshly-baked breads, through salads and tantalisingly irresistible starters, to Connoisseurs’ Choice of Rib-Eye On The Bone, T-Bone and Wagyu Cut Of The Day, with the choice of the very best beef in the land, dry aged up to 30 days and then wet aged to ensure succulent, tender steaks of the highest quality – we each enjoyed a refreshing cocktail suggested to us by the friendly waitress.
After much deliberation, we decided upon the lightly-fried Szechuan Calamari served with nam jim sauce and fresh lemon, and the delicious pan-fried Peri Prawns with shallots, garlic and peri-peri sauce to start. The perfect way to start a meal of indulgence. The Calamari was beautifully presented, and the zesty sauce was the perfectly refreshing way to begin our meal. We found that both starters were complimented by a well-deserved fruity second cocktail; Bellini and Cosmopolitan.
After a much needed pause, we were ready for our main courses, which of-course had to be steak. While I opted for the Bone Marrow Fillet Steak, served with herb-crusted roasted bone marrow, Your Coffee Break’s Founder Charlotte decided upon the U.S Fillet, both of which were accompanied by delectable sides of spinach, grilled asparagus and garlic mushrooms. Each meal was complimented beautifully with a glass of full-bodied Malbec Goyenechea, Mendoza, 2011. While we wouldn’t recommend this particularly red if you selected something other than meat, the rich, vibrant flavour lingers on the lips and compliments each cut of meat exquisitely.
If you even have a hint of room left over, you have to try the South-African Malva Pudding; Nelson Mandela’s favourite dessert from which £1.00 of every sale at The Meat Co. is donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. The sticky toffee pudding is served with a scoop of Häagen-Dazs style ice-cream and maple syrup sweet enough to send you soaring into a sugar coma (while grinning the entire way).
For an authentic South African experience deep in the heart of London, tear yourself away from your deadlines and venture over to London’s Sheperd’s Bush for a gastronomical experience.
For more information, or to book a table, visit The Meat Co’s website here!