Meat Co Westfield review – halal steak done well
Meat Co Westfield review – halal steak done well
I’m sure many of my halal-meat eating friends feel this pain – it’s damn hard to find a decent steak. Halal chicken and chips are everywhere, but when it comes to good old-fashioned steak dinner, we’re sadly lacking.
Growing up in Wales, and having to trek an hour away to Manchester to access a halal butchers, I’ve pretty much missed out on the steak experience my whole life.
Upon moving to Manchester, some Indian restaurants cottoned on to the fact that Asians don’t always want to eat curry, and started offering halal steak dinners too.
It was interesting times, but any excitement at the prospect soon fizzled away when I was presented with a well-charred, filling-dislodging piece of meat.
You see, in a curry house, steak is largely an after-thought added on to the menu. And as any meat aficionados would know, nobody puts steak in the corner.
So in short, I resigned myself to the fact that I’d never enjoy a good steak, and consoled myself with chicken and chips.
After moving to London, hubby and I paid a visit to the Meat Co (previously known as the Meat and Wine Co) in Westfield shopping centre, a place that is all about steak, and has a dedicated halal menu to boot.
A lesson in steak etiquette
My first visit was a couple of years back, and I remember being super impressed by the staff and how knowledgeable they were about the different cuts of meat. The meat itself was of top quality and I loved the starter of Caesar Salad.
However, I made one fatal error. After being exposed to over-cooked steak in the Indian restaurants, I assumed that medium would be a good option for me.
However, little did I know at the time, the Meat Co DO NOT over-cook their steak, so medium meant rather pink (read: blood), and that is not my thing.
I also didn’t know at the time – but was told afterwards by friends who regularly dine there – that if it was too pink for my liking, I could always send back and they would brown it a little more until it is to my taste.
So I abandoned my pink steak, which meant more for my husband.
Anyway, I hadn’t visit the Meat Co after that, mainly because occasion didn’t call for it. But then the lovely people at the Meat Co reached out to me, asking if I’d be interested in reviewing the restaurant.
Giving Meat Co another try
I decided that it was high-time I gave the Meat Co another try, and I am pleased to see that after seeing the error of my ways, I have found a place that does halal steak to perfection.
Just like my last visit, the staff were faultless. Our waiter talked us through the different cuts of meat, and explained the nuances between the British and American beef (FYI, the British cows were grass fed and the meat has an iron-y meaty taste, while the American cows are corn-fed, giving them a softer, buttery taste). So I felt like I was making something of an informed choice, rather than just opting for whatever sounds fancy.
Having had the chicken Caesar salad previously at the Meat Co, I knew we were onto a good thing. The chicken wasn’t overcooked, and the lettuce gave it a lightness… the perfect prelude to the meaty main.
The peri-peri prawns were succulent and meaty, and almost reminded me of a creamy curry dish. It wouldn’t have been out of place at an upmarket Indian restaurant.
Onto the business end of the meal…
So after my previous ordering faux pas, I was tempted to ask for my meat well-done. However, the lovely waiter suggested that I try medium-well, and if it’s too pink, I can send back for a little more cooking.
I took his advice and had a North American Black Angus fillet, which didn’t have blood in sight, yet was still succulent. With eyes bigger than belly, I also opted for half a lobster premium topping.
This was less of a topping and more of a big lobster to go with your main. I tried half as I didn’t want the mess I experienced at Burger and Lobster.
I totally didn’t need it and I’d probably just order the steak alone next time. My sauce of choice was creamy mushroom, which was flavourful enough without overpowering the steak.
Needless to say, for a place that does meat so well, their hand-cut chips are the perfect companion with their chunky, carb-y deliciousness.
Hubby had the Wagyu beef, which was a Japanese cut and the best dish of all. It was super-tender with delicate marbling (fat) throughout.
I initially opted for a fillet as I wanted zero fat, but I do see the benefit of having thin marbling through the steak, as hubby’s meat was much more tender than mine.
My cousin opted for the rib-eye on the bone, which was a prime cut, but no contender for the supreme Wagyu, at least in my opinion. He also added a side of mash, which was less fluffy and more full-bodied as you’d expect from a steakhouse.
For dessert we shared the Meat Co brownie, and the Clementine Brulee. The latter had a delicious sweet-citrus topping, but the former won it for me, with its rich chocolatey-ness.
Not for the tight of budget
One thing worth mentioning however, is that like all good steak places, Meat Co is not cheap. If you opt for steak (they have burgers too, but you’d only really go there for the main steak event), prices start from £26 and go up to £70. But in return you’re getting great food and excellent service, and for halal eaters, a dish you’ve been denied for years.
So while it might not be everyone’s standard weeknight dining, the Meat Co is great for treats, birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions, or just any time you’re feeling flush. And as someone who’s partial to the occasional bit of fine dining (read my reviews of Benares, Trishna and Baku),the Meat Co is up there with the best of them.
Meat Co in a nutshell
Price: £26 and £70 for a steak
Halal: Yes. With its own halal menu to boot. Alcohol is served though.
Great if… you want a dining experience boasting the very best meat.
Not so great if… you’re on a budget, or you don’t like meat (obviously).
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I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.