Meat & Shake (American) – Ealing
We recently returned to Meat & Steak in Ealing having last visited two years ago in 2015, and following the publication of our exclusive interview with the company’s Director, Osman Ahmed.
It only remained to be seen whether things have improved past the 3/5 rating we adjudged a month after they first opened.
For the sake of convenience, therefore, we’ve revised the previous review, with minor adjustments to the original text, as well as a new introduction and conclusion, as part of this update.
Note also that while “all our menu items are halal, a discretionary 12.5% service charge will be added to the bill for groups of 4+”.
MILKSHAKES, FLOATS & MOCKTAILS
Each shake was as equally thick and luscious as the last, with all three offering preciely what was promised. As such, the strawberry was cold and sweet with fresh bits of the fruit therein to hold one’s attention, while the black cherry married perfectly in countering the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate. Similarly, the toffee and butterscotch shake was perfectly balanced – sweet, yet not overly so.
As for the Apple Elixir, then the mellow sweetness of the honey was there in the background to counter the tanginess of the apple and lime infusion. A truly refreshing beverage that went perfectly with the BBQ Smoked Brisket Burger (see Burger section below) it was ordered with.
SMOKED & GRILLED
When they say: “You can have it all,” they certainly mean it!
This Smokestack Platter that’s intended for sharing between 2-3 persons, was both visually arresting and mouthwateringly appealing.
Sadly though, and as much as we were hoping it would, not everything hit the high notes. Although we all enjoyed the deep flavour of the sausages, they were somwhat rubbery in texture; and while the half chicken looked appetising from the outside, it turned out to be bone dry.
Having said that though, the smoked brisket, while also a tad dry, was full of that smoky, meaty flavour, and marinated in a sticky, caramelised glaze that added enough depth of flavour to have us tearing away strips of beef during the course of the meal.
As to the two sides of BBQ pit beans and slaw, then these were an excellent accompaniment.
If you’re in a group of around 5-6, then this is worth getting as an interesting addition to your mains.
This small portion of thinly sliced cuts of smoked beef brisket were far too dry, and, therefore, unmemorable.
Alas, only one of the two compulsory sides were available (we were promptly refunded for the missing one), i.e. the Eggs Benedict, which, with an avocado and egg combo, didn’t quite work!
The burgers we were told are all “free-range and grass-fed English traditional breed beef [that] is dry-aged for 36 days or more”.
The last time we had the Luchador in 2015, we reported: “On the other end of the spectrum, however, was this confused and jumbled mess of a burger. Abhorrent salsa sauce, non-existent sour cream, and don’t get us started on how nachos found their way in a burger? Just a wrong combination of ingredients – period!”
Whatever they’ve done this time round, however, has certainly worked in turning this burger around somewhat.
It just goes to show how perceptions can be changed with minor necessary adjustments. Where nachos didn’t work in the original version, this time they were there to serve a purpose in adding an intriguing touch of crunch to an otherwise soft textured sandwich.
What we had here was a burger with the sour cream countering the chilliness of the jalapenos and beef chilli, and combining well with the tangy-sweet salsa. Good combo of flavours is what now defines this new and improved Luchador.
This rather stingy BBQ Smoked Brisket Burger wasn’t quite the visual spectacle we were envisaging.
Rather than a thick, chunky sandwich reflecting the seemingly chunky nature of the title, the few slender slithers of the 14 hour smoked brisket meat didn’t do justice to its overall taste.
While the meat was just on the right side of chewy, it was smoky and succulent, with crispy edges that added a textural dimension. The addition of tangy gherkins also worked in countering the slight bitter tone of an otherwise deliciously sweet barbecue sauce. Couple that with the gentle heat of the jalapenos, then despite being a visual let down, it tasted good.
#meatandshake #ealingbroadway Von Longhorn burger was as full of flavour as a burger could be. The taste of the bacon was superb; the burger was succulent; ergo, one notch below the mighty Stax Diner. Von Longhorn Burger – Aioli, Tomato, Lettuce, Monterey Cheese, Sautéed Onions,Candied Turkey Bacon, Onion Ring,Stanton Sauce, £9.50. #burger #burgers #feedthelion #halalfood #halalfoodie #halal #foodblogger #foodie #food #halalfoodlondon
Von Longhorn Burger – Aioli, Tomato, Lettuce, Monterey Cheese, Sautéed Onions,Candied Turkey Bacon, Onion Ring, Stanton Sauce, £9.50.
This burger was as full of flavour as a burger should be.
The taste of the bacon was superb; the burger was succulent; ergo, one notch below the mighty Stax Diner.
As it states on the menu: if you don’t specify, then the default cooking of the burger will be medium.
Smoking Bandit – Smokey Chipotle Mayo, Leaves, Smokey Cheddar, Smokey Turkey Bacon, £10.90
The Smoking Bandit was, according to our young Feed the Lion cub, “very tasty”, with moist, succulent meat and a soft bun. Enough said!
And though they don’t currently offer a Kid’s Menu, the good staff were very flexible and accommodating.
They were kind enough to rustle up a quite scrumptious chicken burger, with onion rings as a side, for another very satisfied young’un.
You guessed it; we were sold by the description! Did it live up to expectations? Not quite. It was more a Chiwawa than a Pit Bull if we’re being brutally honest.
The sausage simply didn’t have that deep sausagey flavour you’d expect from a gourmet hot dog.
What’s more, the cheese detracted from the taste rather than enhance it. For that price, you’d expect a hot dog packed with flavour. This failed on so many levels.
This was just wrong on so many levels. We’ll let the complaint we left below, do the talking:
On a positive note, and unlike many other restaurants, at least Meat & Shake provide such a service where they’re seemingly willing to listen, learn and rectify mistakes.
As promised, this steak had a deep beefy flavour, and though slightly chewy, this went down a treat with the rich buttery sauce.
Not pleasant at all! Just salty and slimy morsels of near-tasteless fat.
Avoid at all costs!
This was a pleasant surprise though. One of the best things we ordered actually.
Imagine having creamy rich, buttery corn, and you have this concoction!
You could really taste the truffle on these. Pretty darn good actually.
Oh boy! What do you get when you pour cheese along with a sauce over chips? The above joke!
Homemade fries were cooked to perfection!
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
As you can see from the above, this new branch is a bit of a hit and miss affair, which seriously seems to undermine boasts made by the owner that they've "taken on board a corporate executive chef who … has worked with Michelin starred restaurants".Things, however, have certainly improved since then. The proof being the Luchador burger, which we absolutely slated back then, but which this time was far better.
Now unless this chef had a day off when we visited, chefs with such experience simply do not produce some of the sub-standard food that was served us. And since "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", we have to honestly say that there's simply no evidence here that comes remotely close to supporting said boast, which is a shame given this place's uniquely impressive interior.
Unfortunately, it seems more time has been invested in the decor's design than the practical side of this new and ambitious menu.
Perhaps time will be a remedy; or perhaps you completely disagree with our review. If so, then leave your feedback below.
Our return visit after a two-year hiatus wasn't exactly perfect, but a half-a-mark improvement is still an improvement.
See our review of their Tooting branch.
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