REVIEW: The Meat Co
"There's a place in South Africa," The Meat Co's manager tells us, "where if you ask for a steak to be cooked ‘well done', the chef will come out to your table and politely ask you to leave." We had no intention of asking for our meat to be overcooked - we're not monsters - but akin to seeing a police car in your rear-view mirror, there was an instant flash of panic. "But of course, you can have it however you want here," he smiles. Phew.
It's all part of the warm welcome and genuine hospitality you get at Souk Madinat's South African meatery. We're immediately at ease as the knowledgeable staff guide us through the sprawling menu of options. From the plethora of cuts to in-depth marbling grades and what they mean, The Meat Co will happily help you out with a smile and the occasional quip.
To kick off our meatfest, we go for their famous cheesy garlic bread and the intriguing rib meat cigars. We're still unsure why the former is "famous" as it was a fairly unremarkable starter served on a crisp baguette. Thankfully, it was just a small blip as the rest of our lunch was an incredibly tasty affair, starting with the decadent rib meat dish. Presented in a cigar box, these filo pastry treats are filled with braised rib meat, truffle pesto, roasted mushrooms and tossed with kimchi mayo and smoked paprika. After taking the obligatory selfie pretending to smoke one, we were surprised by just how well they come together. Crunchy, succulent and moreish, they're not to be missed.
Here's a quick tip: be careful how many dishes you order. The Meat Co pile their plates high and you really need to pace yourself otherwise you'll be stuffed before the dessert menu is brought out. Trust us, we almost made that very mistake.
There are no prizes for guessing what we had for mains: steak. We opted for the Australian wagyu fillet and, sticking with the Down Under theme, the Australian Angus ribeye. One medium rare, one medium - you know, so we didn't offend the chef.
Sides came in the form of steak cut chips, mashed potato, creamed spinach and seasonal vegetables, which, if we're honest, was almost too much food for us.
We're delighted to report that both mains were on point. The Angus ribeye had a light char to the outside which did a great job of containing the burst of flavours with each mouthful. As for the wagyu fillet - have you ever had a meal so good you never wanted it to end, where you slow your pace and trim smaller pieces in an effort to drag out the experience and tastes? Well, in a word, "that".
We get to sample a lot of food in our line of work, and honestly, the wagyu fillet might have topped the lot. It's easily in the top three. Our only regret was pouring a touch of blue cheese sauce over it. Not because the concoction was bad, it wasn't, but because the meat was tasty enough without it.
Even as we're tucking into the delicious banoffee profiteroles and rich Nutella cheesecake, we're still thinking about that steak. The Meat Co are rightly lauded as meat connoisseurs, and how anyone could ask for anything well done here is beyond us, and would fully deserve to be asked to leave. Even though they never would here.
The Meat Co
Where: The Meat Co, Souk Madinat
Contact: +9714 368 6040, website