I’ve been waiting to try Meatliquor for months. Like real, honest to God, months. It is, therefore, just possible that my unrealistic expectations compounded with obscene amounts of Twitter hype mean that I’m being a harsh critic. Still, it took twice as long for us to get our meal as it did for the Titanic to sink. And that’s never a good start to a review.
We arrived at the restaurant at 7pm on a Thursday to find a queue of around 50 people, which took an hour or so to clear. This wouldn’t have been so painful if the queue hadn’t been full of hipper-than-thou douchebags looking at each other’s trashed shoes and trying to decide who was the most boho. The very air was thick with breathy murmurings about new underground German techno nights and places to get the deepest V-necks known to man. But that was fine, I’d expected all this.
On entering the restaurant, it was much smaller than I expected. I had been hoping for a pseudo-derelict Gotham City-esque ballroom (note to restaurateurs – build this, and I will come every night.) but instead found a large bar whose decorators seemed to have used Charles Manson’s Tumblr for inspiration. Still, I get what they’re trying to do and it works, especially alongside the eclectic musical mix of bass heavy tracks by artists like Kele Okereke and Joy Division.
We ordered our food – wings, bacon cheeseburger, dead hippie (a double patty burger) and fries to share. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Everyone else’s food was arriving, so we questioned whether the order had gone through. It hadn’t, and another waitress offered us cocktails on the house. We went for a Donkey Punch (lol), a fizzy gingery concoction, and a Mai Tai that were both amazing. Like ‘The Savoy’s American Bar amazing’.
A generous helping of wings eventually arrived (though they still took about fifteen minutes after we lodged our complaint) and they were…fine. I don’t see how people can go wrong with wings, but these were far too dry for me. Still, I was just glad enough that our food was on its way. Or was it? Around an hour later, we had to complain again (hello, more free cocktails) and it quickly became apparent that the order for our burgers hadn’t gone through. Fantastic.
Another half an hour later, our burgers arrived in the hands of an extremely apologetic waitress (not our original waitress, who seemed to be avoiding us…) who told us that our entire meal was being comped, which was nice. Again, the fries were…fine. I regret not going for the jalapeno covered chilli cheese fries, because what I got was only just better than McDonald’s fries. Mind you, I do like McDonald’s fries. The burgers were admittedly pretty good, but no better than a great diner burger. After waiting around for three and a half hours, I expected a lot better than a great diner burger. About three bites in, I realised that I wasn’t even really hungry anymore. Hunger had tagged out and gone home, and that feeling in my stomach was now just disappointment. We left the restaurant close to midnight in a haze of more apologies. Although not one of them came from our original waitress.
Ok, I get it – apparently it’s now ‘cool’ not to offer reservations. But if you insist on doing that, at least make sure that every customer receives service that’s efficient, lightning fast and friendly beyond belief. The service we received (from our original waitress, at least) was none of these things. Sorry I’m not toe-ing the party line and raving on Twitter about how amazing Meatliquor is, but it’s really not all that. It’s just…fine. Try the Hard Rock Cafe instead; fewer hipsters and you might get home before midnight.