First, there was the truck (MeatWagon), followed by the pop-up (MeatEasy), then came the boozy diner (MEATLiquor), the trendy outlet in Covent Garden (MEATMarket) and now a mission to convert anyone else who’s yet to experience the indulgent joy of a dirty MEAT burger. Kudos to food proprietor Yianni Papoutsis for his ability to re-conceptualise the humble American burger restaurant over the last few years, and attempting to go one better with each creative iteration. With MEATMission, it’d seem the team are keen to push the boundaries on the cultural dining experience, presenting his acclaimed burgers in an East End venue for foodies and coolhunters who are as much about the trendiness of the locale as they are about the hype over the grub – so TCé were invited to find out what burger-lovers can expect from this new kid on the block.
Sticking up a middle finger to its former tenants ( a Christian mission), the venue’s subversive theme goes in hard from the jump; the lighting’s incredibly low, the “inbread” part of the menu is pitched at “sinners”, skeletons are depicted in the stained-glass ceiling breaking bread Last-Supper style – and of course, there’s an all-seeing eye thrown in. It’s a bold statement as even the menu offers a few gags (Bingo Wings, badoom-ching! And you may not want to know the colloquial meaning of “Monkey Fingers“), but it was hard to laugh off the bright red cocktail called, er, Time Of The Month (!?). Still, the Donkey Punch cocktail (ahem) made with lime juice, ginger beer and absinthe and the fruity Tipping The Velvet (double-ahem), were thankfully, quality Plan Bs, even if their names leave much to be desired.
First impressions aside, the food itself had some impressive highlights. For starters, those monkey fingers and chilli cheese fries are an absolute-must – and while we were less wooed by the fried pickles (tempura-style, nothing remarkable), the currywurst served over fries was also a great choice. As for mains, the red chilli burger and cheeseburger were cool and just what you’d expect (although a friend was slightly overwhelmed by the spiciness of the green chilli burger), but my hat goes off to the delicious brilliance that is the roast beef sundae. It looks deceptively sweet, but this creation is simply garlic mash and gravy with roast beef, horseradish cream, topped with a cherry tomato.
Considering there are other burger outlets that are more notorious for their food (Patty & Bun, Lucky Chip and Honest Burgers), time will tell if MEATMission‘s restaurant credentials can match the hipness of their brand. But it seems like the sort of venue that’ll make a killing on the weekends as it’s near the heart of most of the Shoreditch action, it’s not too pricey, the music’s good, there’s yummy cocktails and it has the right kind of starters for grazing – what more could a food-loving coolhunter ask for?
For more info, visit: www.meatmission.com