Sunday, December 07, 2014

Shopping & Steak at TheMeatCo, Westfield

So the season of goodwill is upon us, or as I like to think of it, ‘one present for them, one for me…’ and one of the best things about Christmas shopping is that I can more often than not, combine my two favourite things, that’ll be spending money… and eating!

Westfield London is a fantastic place to do both – a mall which never seems crowded, and that also has Zara, Prada and Topshop all under roof?  How could you possibly go wrong?!  And so it was during another mammoth shopping sesh last week that I discovered one of the best steak restaurants ever – TheMeatCo.

Located on Westfield’s ‘eat street’ just off ‘The Village’, you’ll find this impressive, understated-from-the-outside, unbelievably-amazing-from-the-inside enormous steak house.  With an inviting reception area, a beautiful bar area and a stunnng staircase which leads up to the restaurant, MeatCo is my top recommendation for a lavish dinner after a day of frivolous spree-ing.

You’ll see from the photos, just how spectacular the dining area actually is - cosy and warming red hues and browns, thick swirly carpets, the twinkling flicker of candles and fire light everywhere.  I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a glass of red wine so much!  (By the way, the wine list is also extensive.)

The crowd is a good mix – lots of couples, friends, groups of men who clearly know where to head for a good cut of meat; it’s an instantly comfortable restaurant where you can just relax and enjoy the brilliant service.

The company started off in South Africa in 2000, then branched out to Dubai and into the whole of the Middle East, so if you’ve been to steak houses in that part of the world, you’ll notice the grandeur, the ambience and the attention to detail which Middle Eastern restaurants are known for.  Although there’s lots of South African influence on the menu, which provides a great choice, there’s also some dishes which have been adapted or created specifically for the British market, the sauces for the steaks are a good example, as are the desserts, although you can still order the Malva Pudding which was a Nelson Mandela favourite and remains a bit of a classic.

The staff are also exceptionally knowledgeable when it comes to the wines and of course the dishes.  Ask them anything!  They’ve been highly trained and the company pride themselves on sending their managers to eat at every other steak house in London and once a year in the Middle East, to ensure they’re going above and beyond by sampling the competition and learning from it.  It most definitely shows…

Our server happens to be the Manager, Tiago – a charming gentleman, who during a busy rush hour, still spends long enough helping us select wine and starters for us to think we’re a little bit special!   We’re encouraged to (and I’m eager to) try some South African delicacies, so we go for Bilton – thin slices of chewy, flavour packed meat – somewhat of a South African tradition.  It’s beautifully presented and goes fantastically well with the wine we’ve chosen.  We also try the Boerewors – African beef sausage with chakalaka sauce and rocket leaves on a bed of polenta.  They’re just sooooooo tasty.  I want more, but know the steak is on it’s way…

I decide to go for the North American rib-eye, as I like my steaks quite well cooked, while Leo opts for the fillet as she likes hers rare (like, really rare!), so she’s advised that a softer meat is a better choice with less marbling content.  We’re both blown away when they arrive.  The glaze on the steaks (which hopefully you see from the photos), makes you salivate immediately!  It’s apparently a secret recipe which we couldn’t manage to bribe out of the staff (we did try!)  The steaks are served with chunky chips and amazing sauces which we manage to consume in about five minutes flat, while the wine which Tiago has selected for us is a perfect choice (and now one of my favourite reds of all) – it’s a 2010 Chocolate Box Truffle Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia, which blasts the tastebuds with blackcurrant, vanilla oak and chocolate notes on the finish.  

For dessert, we actually end up getting three (yes three!) as we really can’t decide, which include dark chocolate fondant literally ooooozing chocolate just as it’s supposed to (a text book example!) served with salted caramel ice cream - now how good does that sound?!  But then the Peanut Butter Cheesecake is also a very close second...

This restaurant is just so comfortable and so ambient that we really don’t want to go out into the cold.  We don’t need any persuading, and decide it’s he perfect excuse to nightcap with a gorgeous dessert wine and forget we actually have work the next day.  

Eventually, we do have to leave though!  But not before booking up for next time which of course will involve a huge pre-banquet shopping spree.  (Probably time to take my bank balance…!)

TheMeatCo is the only branch of this international chain, although we’ve heard whispers that’s there’s another restaurant opening in the St Pauls area next year.  Watch this space.

Unit 1026
Westfield London Shopping Centre
Ariel Way
W12 7GA


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