Meat and Shake in Ealing
Recent addition to Ealing Green’s thriving restaurant scene, Meat and Shake, is set to become a firm favourite amongst locals on the search for more carnivorous food offerings in the area. Specialising in an array of meats, smoked and barbequed on site, this place seeks to bring a little of the Southern United States’ cooking traditions across the pond. And with wrought iron light fittings, cowhide chairs, distressed wooden tables and red leather booths, this place certainly does feel like it could be somewhere far away from West London.
We start our evening with the Lafayette Wings, jumbo chicken wings coated in a sweet and spicy barbeque and sriracha sauce. These are meaty wings that leave a hum of spice in the back of the throat and an added crunch from sliced spring onions, washed down with the delicious milkshakes on offer here. The Coconut and Mango one is fruity and refreshing, while the Peanut Butter, Brownie and Banana milkshake is sweet and rich, but also surprisingly light in texture and taste.
The selection of burgers is impressive, with all meat patties made from free-range, grass-fed, English traditional-breed beef and dry-aged for at least 36 days. Vegetarian and chicken options are also available, but we decide to stick with meat for the evening.
If you fancy some theatre, opt for the Smoking Bandit: with glass cloche and smoke to boot, it makes an impressive introduction to the table. However, we find it’s more about style than substance in this case as, despite promising all things smoked, including cheddar, turkey bacon and chipotle mayo, it lacks any distinctive or punchy flavours to enliven it and set it apart from the rest.
The offerings from the smokehouse are another matter entirely. The Smoked Ribs are lovingly cared for and mulled over, with the joints cured in beef stock, salt and pepper for 24 hours and then smoked on hickory and mesquite for up to 18 hours. This labour of love exhibits itself proudly in the meat, which literally slides off the bone, its slowly embedded flavours showing themselves beautifully in a red layer on top of the meat. The result is a delicious, gelatinous meat that is soft, sweet and full of smoky flavour.
To accompany the ribs, we go for the Pit Beans, a mix of five kinds of beans slow cooked in tomato sauce and cooked in the smokers, where they are able to infuse with all the aromas of the wood. Sweet, salty and delicious, and made even better by the cuts of meat and sausage mixed within, these are not to be missed.
For lovers of meat with potatoes, we also choose the Stinky Fries. A salute to the usual Buffalo wings found in American-style restaurants, these take it up a notch, leaving out the predictable blue cheese sauce for the real deal – Stilton. These fries are tangy and spicy in all the right measurements and are sure to leave you reaching for more.
Already stuffed but forever curious, we decide to share Meat and Shake’s popular dessert, their Deep Fried Oreo Doughnuts. Arriving in a skillet and drizzled with salted caramel, these are unusual, crunchy with sugar and just a little too dry. And, although helped by a serving of delicious strawberry and vanilla ice creams, they are not as memorable as the milkshakes, which could work as desserts in their own right.
Executive Chef Jasper Aykroyd has successfully devised a menu that will leave meat-lovers satisfied, excelling at the smoked meat dishes, which would do well to feature more on the menu.★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Rasha Barazi
To book a table at Meat and Shake Ealing, 17 The Green Ealing London W5 5DA, call 020 8840 7373 or visit here.