Monday, 9 January 2012

Meat Liquor: Hype Over Substance?

2011 has been the year of the burger in London.  And of all of the places which have opened none have been talked about so much as Meat Liquor

For those not in the know, Meat Liquor started life as a mobile burger van called The Meat Wagon (rather like the excellent Lucky Chip at Netil Market).  When Yiannis Papoutsis' burger van was stolen, an idea was hatched to open a pop-up restaurant in a pub's dis-used restaurant in New Cross Gate. Called #meateasy, the aim was to save up enough money to buy another meat wagon.  This was an untold success, queues out the door every night! I went once, the Fashionista three times - all in all we queued about ten hours for the simple but excellent burgers on offer!

There followed another pop up in Peckham and an appearance on Jamie Oliver's tour of Great Britain food programme.  So when it was announced that Meat Liquor was to open in Marleybone the hype was already fever pitch.

Situated on the ground floor of a modern building behind Oxford Street, Meat Liquor lives by the same code it always has - everyone queues, always, and meat is the order of the day.  The interior is "distressed rock chic", the music heavy rock.

We started with the fried pickles and blue cheese dip - juicy gherkins, light batter and delicious blue cheese dip. We also had the pork slider. Both really good!

For mains I had the Dead Hippie, a double burger with "Big Mac" sauce, gherkins, lettuce and tomato.  The Fashionista had the Philly Cheese Steak roll.  For sides we had fries and onion rings.  We also asked for a mac and cheese but it never arrived.

The burger was good, but a little overcooked and under seasoned unfortunately - certainly not as good as they used to be at New Cross Gate but still a lot tastier than your better than average chains like Byron.  The chips were so salty they were almost inedible and the onion rings were a bit greasy.  The major disappointment was the Philly Cheese Steak roll - dry and boring!

Now I am a fan of Yiannis Papoutsis' burgers. They have, before this visit, been excellent.  I also know that the general consensus is that the burgers at Meat Liquor are up there with the best of them.  But this time it just wasn't that great - in fact it was a little sub-standard (especially the Philly Steak) when compared with places like Lucky Chip and Honest Burgers.  Maybe it was just a bad day.  However I am not sure I will queue for another 45 minutes just to find out if we were unlucky...

MEATliquor on Urbanspoon

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