Claire Cumming, our delectable columnist and city party girl rubs shoulders with the city’s socialites at the newest sumptuous restaurant to open in Leeds – MEATliquor.
A sure sign that a City is up and coming is the arrival of MEATliquor. Having set up in London and Brighton, their next stop, to conquer the North was Leeds. Conveniently situated on the ground floor of our famous Trinity Centre, their long anticipated arrival meant their launch night was awash with Leeds socialites and local businesses dying to get a sneak preview.
Like many of you, I had already heard of MEATliquor, both for its popularity in London; where people will queue for hours to get a table but also from its ‘pop up’ event at our very own Neon Cactus a couple of years ago. With rave reviews, my expectations were high.
As you walk in, the floor to ceiling windows give it that nice open feel. There is a cocktail bar area where you can enjoy a pre dinner drink or if you fancied, just pop in for a couple of beverages. Having collected a ‘Donkey Crunch’ from the upstairs bar (word of warning these are not for the feint hearted), we wondered downstairs to the main restaurant. Another huge bar with some familiar faces serving behind, faces I knew for their infamous cocktail making skills; this was a good sign. Throughout the evening they brought out samples of some of the food to try including ‘Monkey Fingers’ a battered chicken finger in a secret spicy sauce and ‘fried pickles’ with blue cheese sauce; both were delicious. Then came the burgers…. this part of the night felt a bit like being in a jungle and the guests transformed into predators. Everyone was so desperate to try the burgers first; the poor waiters were almost fighting them off! I would wait until I came back to try the full version. I suppose I would just have to fill myself on the delicious cocktails instead (it’s a hard life).
The overall theme seems to be a working mans club with a disco light covered DJ box at the end of the room. The walls are covered in pictures of 1970s Northern Soul clubs, newspaper clippings (obvs with a bit of veggie bashing) and gig posters; it all added to the vibrant feel of the restaurant. On the left side there are booth areas with curtains which can be rented out for private events. There is a pool table and dart board in this section, again in keeping with the theme and bringing a bit of fun to the restaurant.
The following week we went back to see the restaurant in action and try the food properly (washed down with a few more cocktails naturally). We sat downstairs and browsed through the menu; it was split into three sections ‘Bits’, ‘Bobs’ and ‘Burgers’. We settled on two of the ‘bits’ the slaw and chilli cheese fries; fries smothered in beef chilli, cheese, onions, jalapeños and mustard. I am rather picky about my slaw but theirs is perfect. The balance between fresh crunchy veg and creaminess was spot on, plus the portions were huge! We then decided on two burgers to share because I like to have the best of both. I had to try the ‘dead hippie burger’ after watching the scramble for them the week before and the ’dirty chicken burger’ looked like a winner too.
Now most of us love a good Burger but I have had ‘good’ burgers before, how much better could it get? Well in the words of Paddy McGuinness ‘let the burger see the bun’. The two top quality juicy meat patties cooked to perfection, encased in a soft and slightly sweet bun, smothered in their secret sauce and topped with crunchy lettuce and a tangy gherkin. I don’t know if I could have used any more descriptive words if I tried but I think I got my point across. Then the equally delicious chicken burger; a hearty chicken breast fillet caked in delicious batter with lettuce mayo and onions. Simple burger, beautifully executed. Couldn’t say which I preferred, I think I will stick to half and half if I can convince my dining partner.
I have to mention the service we received, it honestly was fantastic. We were looked after by a lovely gentleman called Joe, he was friendly, informative and made our experience all the more enjoyable. He even helped me choose from the many cocktails by asking what my favourite ingredients were. Rob (behind the bar) then made me a ‘Paloma’ which included my favourite things, tequila and Ting; now that’s service!
I went hungry and I left drunk, this restaurant really lives up to its motto. With its sumptuous burgers and delectable cocktails, Leeds has got itself a new front runner.
a: MEATliquor, Trinity Centre, Bank Street, Behind Victoria’s Secret, Leeds, LS1 5AT
t: 0113 8346 090
Mon – Thurs: 12pm – 12am
Fri – Sat: 12pm – 1am
Sun: 12pm – 11pm