Meat Market is the second outlet in the ever growing MEAT burger chain that began so momentously with the arrival of MeatLiquor in Marylebone. Yianni Papoutsis and Scott Collins’ second venture is rather smaller and even more casual than the first eatery. Located on the outskirts of Covent Garden Jubilee Market, at mezzanine level it is rather tricky to find. However the alluring smell should lead you up there if nothing else.
Once I’d found my way upstairs I was surprised by the interiors… not dark and brooding like MeatLiquor but bright and diner-like… reminiscent of a scene from Grease the Musical. High tables with stools encourage quick eating, and food is bought at the speedy counter. A neon sign reads MEAT MARKET and amusing decoration covers the walls.
The menu is a down-sized version of the one from MeatLiquor, with fewer burger options and less choice. Four varieties of burger are available: Dead Hippy, Double Bubble, Black Palace and Philly Cheesesteak and three HotDogs: Ripper, Kraut and Corndog. All the burgers are quite similar but with varying garnishes and sauces! The taste and flavour is as good as the commendable MeatLiquor burger, but we found the whole thing far too sloppy… it is impossible eat, either by hand or with cutlery as the bun just disintegrates with the excessive juices, and once the surrounding paper starts to go the whole thing just becomes too messy to handle.
On the upside the food was ready impressively fast – in just a few minutes we had our red striped trays in front of us. The rich beefy patties are thinner here, so a double cheeseburger doesn’t seem like such a ridiculous idea. With the lettuce, minced onion, pickles and mustard, it is certainly high flavour, perhaps even a little too overpowering. Fries are super thin and crunchy, not dissimilar to McDonalds in appearance, but noticeably better.
This fast food phenomenon just keeps growing. Convenient, quick and queueless, Meat Market seems to have the best of both worlds, but in diluting their exclusivity they have also diluted the product, and I’m sad to say these burgers just aren’t as good anymore.