Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Accidental Eats: MEATliquor

I came somewhat late to the party on the 'no reservations' restaurants thing.  Partly because the thought of queuing to eat sounds like hell on earth to me; how good can one burger be? (Answer: not so good that it makes hanging out in a long queue with a hungry, snarky London blogger worth it.)  But also because I'm probably not quite cool enough for that kind of eatery.  So, months (nay, years in some cases) after the latest resto-de-jour opens its artfully distressed doors I may finally get round to eating there.  And so it was with MEATliquor, a bar and burger joint open since the end of 2011, which I finally dragged myself to last week.


I visited MEATliquor horribly early on a Monday evening to avoid the queues of eager diners who were reputed to line its entrance on Wellbeck Street.  As a result there was no waiting outside for me, and I was able to head straight on in out of the evening sunshine.  Score!  (Eating rather too early or rather too late is the secret of 'no reservations' dining it seems.)  Not that you would know such a thing as evening sunshine existed from inside the restaurant; Meatliquor's lighting seems to operate on a scale somewhere between gloaming and full-on gloom.  When I and my dining companion where asked if we minded being seated next to each other at a bar rather than being given a table where we could face each other, I replied that it hardly mattered, given that I would have little idea who I was dining with in the dark anyway.

Within MEATliquor's dingy interior is a mixture of wrought iron pillars, bar stools, and angry-looking artwork; the walls and ceiling are covered in fierce owls, snarling wolves and naked figures with skulls for heads.  (It doesn't exactly scream 'Stay a while, settle in. Get comfy, friend.')  Black, white and red are the staple colours.  The vibe in here is 'macabre TGI Fridays'.  Only with less moronically-grinning, badge-wearing wait-staff.  (No staff uniforms here either, which makes for a less formal/commercial dining experience but does run the risk of you hailing a fellow diner on their way back from the bar to ask for some more mayonnaise.)

Both the food and drink menus are briskly simple and uncomplicated.  There is plenty of liquor (as the restaurant's name suggests) but the barman will also summon up a beer or a glass (sorry, an artfully shabby jam jar) of wine should that be more your thing.  Then, pick your burger and a few sides and you're all set.  Between us, my dining companion and I despatched a cheese burger (he pronounced it 'good' - damned with faint praise there, MEATliquor), a chicken burger (a little too deep-fried for my liking, and also waaaay too big for its bun...), perfectly salty fries, decent slaw and half a portion of onion rings; we only managed half a portion as each ring was the size of a freaking donut!  By the time we were done we were stuffed.  And very messy.  There appears to be a no knives policy at MEATliquor which makes for some rather indelicate eating and stuffing way more into your mouth than you should.

So there you have it.  MEATliquor - eat early, avoid the queues, have the cheeseburger.  And maybe don't go there on a date if you've not yet seen your potential datee with burger grease dripping down their chin.  Keep it classy, MEATliquor!
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9 comments:

  1. Hmm. It sounds like something of a hipsterception. Like that point when things pass from terminally hip to terminally awkward.

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    Replies
    1. Ha, that is a brilliant term, Rashbre! And I think that's exactly what's happening. Less hip, more people who'd just been shopping at John Lewis round the corner currently I spotted a couple of JL bags in there when I went (awkward!)

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  2. I hadn't even heard of it. It looks funny but I am not sure that i would eat there with kids. I will stick to Byron for burgers. that's what all families do now, right?

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    1. Byron is probably a bit more child-friendly, yes, Muriel! Maybe MEATliquor is one for a grown-up night out...

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  3. Thanks for a brilliant review. But hrm......somehow I don't think I would fancy eating there much. I don't care for my meals to be dark and malevolent :)

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    1. Bit offputting eh, Jenny? I prefer a cosier, more relaxing attitude is a better aide to digestion!

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  4. The wise people hi up 'meat market' less prevention and a more fitting environment for essentially the posh junk food they serve a meatliquir

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  5. Replies
    1. Maybe half 6 in the evening, Veronica...

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