“ Address: 74 Welbeck Street / London / W1G 0BA „
The restaurant, Meat Liquor, is based just off Oxford Street in London. I visited London earlier this week and having heard friend rave about this place I thought I would check it out. It was reasonably easy to find, we did get a little lost trying to follow the map on my phone, but only a 5 minutes detour, for tourists that isn't bad :)
I ordered the Bacon & Cheese Burger, my Dad ordered the Chilli Burger (I think) and my Mam ordered the Cheese Steak. When they took our order, they asked how we would like our burgers cooked and that the standard was medium rare, my parents were happy with this and I asked my mine well done. We all enjoyed the food, the meat was well cooked and my Dad who ordered the chilli burger said it was very spicy. We also shared a portion of fries, which would have been too much for 1 person but perfect for between 2-4 to share.
The other menu options were essentially different types of burgers and traditional american sides such as onion rings, so there is not a lot of choice (no point taking someone that does not like burgers).
The food is presented on a canteen tray, which is OK when we are sitting 2 on one side of the table, 1 on the other, but as burgers can get quite messy, I imagine this wouldn't be idea for larger groups, where everyone cannot lean over the tray and eat. I would have preferred to have the option of plates, to make me feel less like a group of farm animals eating out of a trough.
Alongside our meat, we ordered some liquor. I ordered a mojito (referred to on the menu as a meatjito) and while it was very tasty, with a nice combination of alcohol taste, mint taste and syrup taste, there was a lot of ice, so my cocktail was gone in seconds. My Mam had another cocktail, "Fallen Angelita" a take on the conventional margareta, this was a delicious strong alcoholic drink. While my Dad had a pint, first impressions weren't great when the waiter came out with a tankard and a coke can size beer, my Dad said it tasted fine but would have liked a full size beer can.
They also offered soft drinks, spirits and mixers and other cocktails, but not a great beer / lager selection.
The atmosphere was grungy, black and red interior, a little like a punk club rather than a restaurant. It did seem clean from what I could see in the dimmed lights, but the tables weren't sticky which is a good sign. Not really suited to my parents though, who asked me to get my torch light out so they could read the menu ... I am guessing this would be an issue for people of any age that have poor sight. I quite liked it, because it was nice to be able to get stuck into the burger without worry that people would see you ... the eternal dilemma of trying to eat a burger while remaining lady like.
We went quite late at night, I think it was around 10pm, it is great that a place was open at this time and you didn't feel as though you were being rushed in and out so the staff could get home. However, I would have a preferred a little more service.
The drinks were brought to use quite slowly, it must have took around 10 minutes for drinks and 15 minutes for the food. I think that is acceptable for food but drinks should have been a lot quicker, especially as there were quite a few members of staff and very few customers. I could sense my Dad get restless waiting for his beer.
Later I went to the bar for a second round of drinks, our waiter told me I could order drinks though him as our waiter, his tone seemed slightly put out by the fact I had gone up to the bar, but we had not seen him since our food had come to the table. I understand that in the dark, it is probably difficult to spot if people are low on drinks without coming over every 5 minutes (which is also annoying) to check everything is OK. Maybe installing lights like at "YO Sushi" where the customer presses a button and waits for the waiter to come over would be useful.
The food was good, the drink were tasty. The bill for 2 cocktails, 1 beer, 3 burgers and a side of fries was £45, which is £15 a person and in my eyes that is fairly reasonable. Although the mojito could do with less ice and more drink to make it better value for money for it's £7 price tags.
I would definitely go here again, as the burger was great. I think I would probably go with friends around the 20-30 age range rather than my parents next time as they had problems reading the menu and my Dad generally seemed uncomfortable, but my Mam thought it was "different". I have heard that there are often massive queues but at 10pm on a weekday, I got seated immediately.
EDIT: 28/05/2013 based on comments.
Meat liquor is a restaurant in Central London just behind Oxford street. Meat liquor sell meat... And that's about it.
The restaurant itself is incredibly dark. Upon arriving, you'll wonder if it's even open such is the gloom within. They also have numerous notices on the front door that from a distance also make it look like its closed down.
Once inside, you'll need to adjust your eyes because it really is that dark. It's a little like going to the cinema during the day, and the same applies when leaving. We went for a business lunch on a bright day so the contrast was all the more apparent. Decor, that you can see anyway, was fairly simple involving wooden tables and leather upholstered booths and seating. This is soundtracked by pleasantly volumed music which mostly involved country and rock tracks from 60's and 70's. It was unobtrusive and if, like me, you like that kind of thing then it was an added bonus.
It was fairly busy when we arrived on a Wednesday lunchtime and we got the last table available.
The menu is straight forward - burgers and sides. Burgers are mainly a variation on a beef burger but they also had a couple of chicken options. Sides are classic diner style sides ranging from fries through to coleslaw.
Given the limited selection, I ordered a cheese and bacon burger with fries. This was in my opinion excellent value given the location, with the burger at £7.00 and fries at £3.00. I washed it down with a diet coke.
The food arrived promptly and the portion sizes were enormous! We could just as well have had a portion of fries between 2 of us such was the quantity. i was surprised to find that it wasn't served with any crockery! You are expected to eat off the tray on which the food is provided (fries and coleslaw obviously came in a bowl) and you are only given a fork to eat with. The burger itself was big, juicy, sloppy and delicious. We weren't offered how we wanted it cooked to I assume they just cook them to one level of well done-ness. The fires were thin and very crispy and delicious.
Service was fairly standard. It was efficient but with no frills... Much like the way in which the food itself is served. The restaurant, of what I could see of it, seemed relatively clean although given the dinginess has the feeling of being dirty. The lavatories were fairly basic but clean enough.
In all, if you like meat and you're not out to impress, then this restaurant provides good value for money and good quality without frills.