I’m supposed to be the burger expert around here and I think it’s gone too long without a burger review! Enter MeatLiquor: a chain of American style burger joints with a penchant for loud and expressive interiors. They started off in a van, experimented with a pop-up and then couldn’t stop growing. Today the chain has nearly a dozen locations across London, and I’ve found each one of my six visits so far to be superb.
Food - 8/10
Ambiance - 8.5/10
Service - 8/10
Value for Money - 9/10
MeatLiquor is the definition of ‘burger joint’ for me, with it’s American style of dining and large portions. Try visit Mon-Fri before 3pm to take advantage of their unreal lunch deal!
Price range: ££
Telephone: 020 7240 4852
Address: Jubilee Market Hall, The Deck, Tavistock St, London WC2E 8BE Nearest Station: Covent Garden
Starters & Mains
On my visit last month I went for my usual order of the Dead Hippie burger – a superb coming together of two mustard-fried beef patties, lettuce cheese, pickles and onions between a lovely brioche bun. One the menu MeatLiquor makes a strong point of saying that their fries are “not chips”, and they’re certainly right about that one. The fries are slender, long and crisp – definitely not your average tatters from the local chippie. I also opted for an additional side of their onion ringers to round off my meal.
When it all arrives on the metal rectangular tray, you start to ask yourself how you’ll ever finish it all. The answer to that question is always “with a lot of sauce”, and MeatLiquor provides the usual staple of condiments. While I’ve seen better assortments of table-side sauces at burger joints – check out my GBK review for info – the trinity of ketchup mayo and mustard is the undisputed minimum any burger joint worth their salt has to provide, in my opinion. So, off to a good start there.
With it being a fast-food diner and all, your food does arrive fairly quickly. You’ll still get enough time to check out the interior aesthetic though, which is suitably edgy and expressive for a brand like MeatLiquor.
Let’s talk about the burger construction first. I’m never one for eating burgers out of wrappers so I always take my mine out of the sleeve if they arrive in one. The Dead Hippie is bottom heavy so the top of the burger does not quite align with the lower half of its body. It requires good control in the hands, but that’s not a problem for me. The contents of this burger go really well together: the patties are succulent, the mustard is match made in heaven for the gherkins, and the extra mustard sauce in between it all just elevates it to another level. Yes, you have to like mustard to enjoy this burger. If you’re not a fan of mustard I would recommend the Black Palace instead which has a similar construction but is not as heavy on the mustard as the Dead Hippie.
The fries (not chips) are what you expect – no fuss pieces of fried and crispy potato. They are not as fancy as in other burger places (in other words they’re not Honest Burgers’ glorious rosemary salt chips, or even Five Guys’ cajun spiced fries) – but they’re not trying to be either. If you like McDonalds fries you’ll like these. Soda is definitely a requirement here and if you are here with the aim of finishing your meal, then I’d advise you to stay away from the shakes. They’re great, but not what you need when you’re trying to eat a whole tray of fried stuff!
In addition to the burger + fries and soda combo, I opted for the MeatLiquor onion rings. Now these were gigantic, and there were five of them. Did I mention that this was a meal for one? These rings were so saturated with oil that they were leaking their greasy bodily fluids, but that didn’t put me off and I soldiered through the meal. MeatLiquor described these as big and fluffy on the menu, and while they’re invariably big they are certainly not fluffy. They were pretty rigid and had a ‘cardboard’ texture on the outside. The onion itself which was situated in the middle of all that was relatively thin and came out plain. Slight knock on points here for the Food rating which is a shame as everything else about this meal was as desired and expected.
That was a massive tray of food for one person. But it’s joined the ‘clean plate club’.
The ‘MEAT’ location I usually go to is referred to as MeatMarket, which is situated in Covent Garden. It’s suitably named because when you go up the stairs and take a seat in the diner, you’ll have the great Jubilee Market Hall behind you, with the hustle and bustle of traders selling their wares to the public. It makes for a more unique eating experience with it in view! And it’s a great part of London to explore afterwards too, I always take a quick look around when I visit the MeatLiquor diner next door. The market sells different items on different days, so plan your trip accordingly – the Covent Garden information site has all the details you need.