I experienced a stressful 15 minutes last Friday night when I thought I might never find MEATmarket. Turns out that a) I was being a moron and b) @faerietalefoody gives enigmatic directions. Although she did give me a plus-1 to this preview evening, so a BIG thank you there.
MEATmarket is the new sister restaurant to MEATliquor. And it’s bloody marvellous. It’s very different in concept to MEATliquor and all the better for it. As much as I love ML’s food I don’t really agree with its setup, the restauranty vibe, the waiting (see previous post if you care). MM, however, seems spot on. In fact it’s pretty much what I always wanted: FAST FOOD.
The restaurant takes up a narrow mezzanine above Covent Garden Jubilee Market, the one just south of the piazza full of proper market stalls selling t-shirts and tat. You enter from Tavistock Street, up a modern staircase and into the narrow mezzanine. 3 metres away to your left is the view over the market, noisy with people packing up; to your right, the tills for ordering, menu above written in magnetic letters. It’s like walking drunk into a late-night dirty fast food joint only to find they serve some of the best burgers in London.
The layout is linear so you order at the till, shuffle along to grab food further down the bar, then move onto the seating area with its tall tables and high stools, and finally exit at the other end of the mezannine. It’s quite standard fast-food joint method. No table service. Chefs constantly cooking. It’s hard to be sure because it was a preview, but I think it’s going to work beautifully.
And of course the food! The new Black Palace burger is another winner; double-stack, plenty of cheese, steamed and wet and with so many fried onions. I inhaled this thing. Oh, but what’s this? Poppaz you say? Yes, hot burgerette, I will have one. Habanero peppers chopped up with cheese, breadcrumbed, deep-fried, the resultant object a spicy, melty, crispy parcel of awesome. These may have changed my Life.
Bonus: @FredSmith_ instantly reckoned he could improve on these. Crikey.
Booze came in the form of Vedett beers and Miami Vice cocktails, a double swirl of Slush-Puppy pina colada and strawberry daquiri. They were filthy, but great. I heard talk of there being an alcoholic milkshake once they’re fully open, sort of a Mr.Whippy with Jaegermeister.
Oh and there are some great-looking hot dogs which appear to be served Danish-style covered in pickles and whatnot. And a philly cheesesteak too. And did I mention the poppaz? Changed my life….
If it’s not obvious I bloody loved this place. Same great food, but much better setup. So many people rightly love their food and therefore there’ll still be queues, but the setup is so much more efficient I really think it’ll move along quickly. There’s no waiting for a waitress, nothing really making you want to stay longer than you need to.
Go now, before everyone and their mum hears about it.
Unit 1A, The Mezannine, Jubilee Market Hall, Tavistock Street, London WC2E 8BE
(entrance on Tavistock Street)