A Cut Above

We try out Westfield's Meat and Wine Co

There’s something appealing about the simplicity of this restaurant’s name. I like meat and I like wine therefore this place appealed to me – simple. But it also got me wondering whether I’d ever been enticed by a name of a restaurant over its food offering. Certainly in the case of some celebrity chefs, though I’ve pondered on whether naming a restaurant after oneself is arrogance or insurance. Although the latter isn’t always the case as with Roly Saul who founded, but no longer as any links with, Dublin’s infamous Roly’s Bistro.

Anyway back to The Meat & Wine Co which is situated in Westfield’s Southern Terrace. Just a few stops from Chiswick on the No. 94, the restaurant is the first UK branch launched by South African restaurateurs Costa Tomazos and Bradley Michael whose aim it was to take the traditional steakhouse restaurant into a new dimension.

They’ve certainly done that. Everything from the towering displays of New World wine encased in floor to ceiling glass is impressive and, in my opinion, more than a little ostentatious which proved a pleasant escape from today’s minimalism. The gorgeous interiors were created by New York-based designer, Jorge Castillo whose eclectic combination of colours, textures and lighting create an elegant atmosphere.

Behind glass walls the central kitchen is fully visible, allowing diners to watch as their dishes are prepared by the team of chefs.

As its name suggests, the restaurant’s focus is on meat with their impressive steaks being the stars of the show. Prime cuts of aged beef come in three sizes and grilled on an open flame to seal in the natural flavours. Prices start from £19 for a 350g Rib Eye all the way up to £49 for a 300g Fillet.

Their menus also include fish dishes, Kudu, Kangaroo, salads, skewers, ribs and vegetarian options. I discovered, albeit after ordering, that there is also a separate Gluten Free Menu.

Aside from a well priced New World wine selection, the restaurant and Puza Bar on the ground floor, also offer beers including Castle from South Africa, Crown from Australia and Asahi from Japan. Cocktails and snacks are on offer in the bar which is designed in the shape of an African spear called an Assegai and provides a chic resting place after the rigours of retail therapy.

The Meat & Wine Co outclasses its rival steakhouses on quality of food, elegant décor and excellent service but I can’t help feel that the time saved in the restaurant naming meeting would have been well spent looking closer at cost.

The wine list is undoubtedly good value and although the food of an excellent standard, in my opinion the price of is not quite in tune with the current climate especially considering the view from the restaurant takes in a number of 50% off signs on neighbouring retailers. That said I've yet to find someone who agrees with me.

Emma Brophy

April 3, 2009

Related links

The Meat & Wine Co