MEATliquor expands it's empire but does it deserve a place in Brighton's food scene?
MEATliquor, Brighton Review
MEATliquor starts life as the MEATwagon burger van in London, run by Yianni Papoutsis and Scott Collins. They now how restaurants in various parts of London, Singapore, Leeds and Brighton. There’s even a book!
The focus is of course on meat and booze, with burgers being the mainstay of the menu and as well as a range of cocktails, there’s a large but pretty generic whiskey menu with American, Rye, Scotch, Malt, Japanese and Irish varieties on offer.
The Bits & Bobs section of the menu has some mouth-watering options including Chili Cheese Fries (£6.50) – fries, beef chili, cheddar cheese, onions, jalapenos and French’s mustard, Gunpowder Shrimp (£8.00) – fried Cajun-spiced shrimp served with chili sauce on the side and deep fried Mac n Cheese (£4 .50).
Having been to the original London location and hating most of the experience apart from the food we were looking forward to more of the same good food but without the queueing and general faffery that goes on in London.
MEATliquor’s Brighton location opposite St. Peter’s church isn’t exactly a prime location but I’m sure they got a cracking deal on the lease of this cavernous space and this area is constantly being improved. I’m also pretty sure French’s mustard chipped in as it’s used in pretty much every dish, whether it’s welcome or not.
The decor matches the same vibe as the pretty unique style of the original London location, which is pretty hard to describe… Think dive bar meets psychedelic american diner meets abattoir meets brothel. Got it? No? You should probably just check it out for yourself…
Antonia had the Dead Hippie™ – 2 French’s mustard-fried beef patties, Dead Hippie sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and minced white onions and I went for the Green Chili Cheeseburger – beef patty, cheese, spicy chili butter, red onions, pickles, lettuce, French’s mustard and ketchup.
Both were £8.50 and both were disappointing in their presentation and flavour. Our buns were dense and the flavours in each burger were dominated by all that French’s mustard. The patty in mine looked cooked to a perfect medium but ate more like it was well done and any beef flavour that may or may not have been there was kicked in the face by mustard and chilli butter, which was on the verge of being too hot…
The portion of Sambal Fries (£5) covered in house sambal sauce with a fried egg and crispy onions that we had on the side with a generous portion of Slaw (£3) were a completely different story however, with an impressive balance of flavours on display. I highly recommend these as the sambal had just the right level of heat and all the elements and textures worked beautifully together.
The venue’s definitely an interesting to hang out but lacks any element of comfort or relaxation. Much like I said about our visit to the first London venue, it’s a place to hit early to avoid queues or late, with a group, when you’ve been drinking anyway, want to carry on and need some food to keep you going.
But if a burger is what you crave and with so many excellent local options to choose from, such as Coggings & Co, Burger Brothers, Burger Kult, Troll’s Pantry @ Hobgoblin and Lucky Beach to name but a few, does MEATliqour even deserve a place in Brighton’s vibrant food scene? The jury’s out.
|Dead Hippie Burger||£8.50|
|Green Chili Cheeseburger||£8.50|
22 – 23 York Place
Brighton BN1 4GU