The first time I ate at The Meat Co. was about a decade ago. Last week, Seb and I were invited to come try out their brand new menu – which we were obviously more than happy to do. I’ve never met someone who loves steak more than Seb, so you must know how excited he was.
I’ve always loved that this branch of The Meat Co. is set in an original farmhouse (like 100 years old or something) in the middle of Melrose Arch. It’s so charming and unexpected. Being a cold Thursday night, there was nobody seated outside. However, I’m sure that in summer it would be wonderful.
Seb and I, along with some other Joburg food lovers, were hosted in one of The Meat Co.’s many private rooms. Given that it was a quiet evening though (and the fact that we didn’t know the other guests from a bar of soap) I would have preferred to have been in the main restaurant. Our private room had absolutely no music <insert awkward cricket noises here> and the fireplace hadn’t been lit, which I felt compromised the ambience a bit.
What was great about my meal here is learning that, although they are known for doing a mean steak, The Meat Co. has so much more to offer. We were welcomed with possibly the best gluhwein I have EVER had, and enjoyed a beef and vegetable broth to start. The flavours took me back to winter holidays at my gran’s house as a child. I loved it.
Next up, we enjoyed their five-spice crusted calamari; and another dish of boerewors, holoumi and mediterranean vegetables. The five spice calamari, although well seasoned, was cold and tough. Pretty disappointing. The boerewors on the other hand was sooooo good. Globally, boerewors is The Meat Co.’s most popular dish and it’s easy to see why. I’m not even the biggest fan of boerewors, but combining it with the holoumi and vegetables worked so so well.
Following that, the meat platters arrived. Steaks, ribs, and espetada; with mouth-watering salads and roasted baby tomatoes. The meat was exactly as I expected – nicely cooked pieces of good quality meat. Nothing was particularly outstanding for me, but I enjoyed them all nonetheless.
Side note from Seb: The steak was amazing. Alex doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
Anyway. So at this point, I thought it was all over. Little did I know that the chicken and fish platters were still to come. I didn’t have much room, but I had a try of everything anyway. Honestly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the fish and the butter chicken curry with naan was nothing more than decent. That’s the trouble with having Indian friends who cook amazingly – everything else is just shmeh in comparison. (Jerome, I’m looking at you). In light of this, I think that they should probably stick to doing a fewer number of meal options really well.
As full as I was, there’s obviously always room for dessert. I enjoyed the Malva Pudding, and could have easily put away a second helping. It was moist and not too rich – something you don’t often find.
All in all, our evening at the Meat Co. was pretty good. Clearly, if they’ve been around for fifteen years, they must be doing something right. If you’re a steak lover like Seb you’ll be in your absolute element. And if you’re not, that’s fine. They have loads of other good options to try.
*Unless you’re a vegan/vegetarian. Then you should probably, definitely give this one a miss.