The Meat Co truly understands a diner’s quest for good quality halal meat. There are a wide selection of halal dishes containing chicken, lamb or beef. The halal steaks in particular are sourced from Britain, the United States and Australia
What struck me as impressive was the meticulous effort the restaurant goes to in order to ensure a pure halal experience. There are two menus, one of which is entirely dedicated to halal followers. The waiter ordering system alerts the chefs about whether the food is halal or non-halal. In the kitchen, the delivery, storage and preparation of halal meats is entirely segregated to the non-halal meat. There are two grills, one of which is entirely dedicated to halal food. There are even colour-coded utensils to prevent cross contamination! This restaurant really understands how to please its halal customers.
Located in the outdoor Southern Terrace area of Westfield shopping centre (Shepherd’s Bush) is the Meat Co. Despite the large number of covers, I’d advise making a reservation on the weekend as it is more often than not fully booked!
Reminiscent of its South African origin, the restaurant is coloured an earthy red with tribal accents. A show-stopping open kitchen can be seen from all four corners of the restaurant and I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the delectable plates of mouth-watering meats coming off the pass.
For a celebration you can even book the private dining room, which can accommodate up to 14 people in its sophisticated surroundings.
The clue is in the name… This place is famous for its meat! In particular, the steaks are to die for! But lets start at the very beginning..
The meal began with some nibbles of juicy olives and a South African speciality of Biltong – small pieces of dry cured beef which have an intense flavour.
There were mocktails a-plenty. The ‘Capetown Crystal’ was a mellow drink of elderflower, mint and soda water. I found it a perfect accompaniment to the rich meal. For those looking for a fruitier punch, the ‘Red Dawn’ combines raspberries, apples, lemon and basil.
On to starters, for a bit of indulgence, I’d recommend the rib and scallop trio. Succulent rib that melts in the mouth placed on a bed of buttery mash potato and topped off with a plump scallop… Multiplied by three!
A large salad of tangy goats cheese cut through sweet flavours of pear. These were topped with crunchy pecan nuts which brought a new dimension of texture to the dish.
We made a beeline for the steaks next, although there was a large selection of other dishes on the menu such as the burgers and meat skewers that looked pretty appetising.
I’m usually partial to a fillet steak and the USDA one at the Meat Co never disappoints, however on this occasion, I decided to try out the 300g Australian Wagyu. The cut was marbled with fat and tasted yummy with the creamy peppercorn sauce.
My dining partner had the 300g British fillet steak which was flame-grilled with the house basting and topped with a generous helping of pan-seared fois gras.
If this was not rich enough, he chose to add a ‘premium’ topping of half lobster just to be ostentatious! The British steaks are dry-aged upto 30 days then wet-aged to ensure a tender and succulent taste. The meat was cooked to perfection but unfortunately the lobster was slightly overcooked which made it a little dry.
The steaks are served with hand-cut chips and there are loads of other sides to accompany the main meal. The onion rings are of a shoe-string variety and were particularly crispy and addictive. We also tried the broccolini with chilli and the grilled asparagus, both of which were nice and provided some balancing greens to the plate.
We thoroughly enjoyed our steaks and trying new dishes, however having eaten at the Meat Co many times previously, we both felt that our experience of the North American Black Angus steaks were superior to the cuts from Britain and Australia.
Feeling quite stuffed at this point, we thought about foregoing dessert until we saw a fellow diner tucking into a gooey chocolate fondant and soon changed our minds! Unable to decide on a pudding, we opted for the chef’s dessert tasting platter which had five mini-desserts. The boisterous platter showcased a summer pudding of raspberries and cream, chocolate brownie pieces with vanilla ice cream, a mandarin crème brulee, hot chocolate fondant and the signature ‘Madiba Charity Malva Pudding’. Everything was delightful but we 100% agreed with the late Nelson Mandela on his choice of favourite dessert. The moist caramelised cake with apricot jam was simply food ecstasy!
The prices are certainly not cheap but the quality of halal meat at the Meat Co is superior to most places I’ve been in London and the attention to detail is excellent so in my opinion the experience is worth the cost. The steaks are roughly around £50 and if you’re going for 3 full courses, you’re looking to pay around £100 per head.
The quality of top halal produce keeps bringing us back. Furthermore, the elegant dining environment and friendly and attentive service provide a very positive dining experience. So if you’re looking for a carnivorous meal, you cannot go wrong with the Meat Co! (And for the veggies out there, there’s a fair bit of choice for you too!)