The people behind the hugely successful MEAT micro-chain insist on a no-reservations policy in some of their restaurants, so the queues at MEATliquor off Oxford Street and MEATmarket in Covent Garden are usually the kind of length you’d expect in front of Jesus Christ in leper country. Fortunately, their outpost in Hoxton – MEATmission – does offer reservations, which is good because I have a policy not to wait more than twenty minutes for a burger.
(Sidenote: the internet is full of reviews from people spreading their butthurt because they joined a monster queue for MEATliquor and ended up waiting two hours for table, after which any burger is going to be an anti-climax. It’s not like there’s any shortage of decent burger places in London either, there’s somewhere hawking ‘gourmet’ beef inna bun everywhere these days, so don’t be a twat, use your head and find somewhere else for dinner if the queue’s a beast.)
The inside of MEATmission, which once upon a time was an actual Christian mission, is decked out like the bastard lovechild of a church and an abattoir. There’s a huge stained glass ceiling, and the walls are covered in weird art with waistcoated bullocks glaring down malevolently at diners. Sort of fair enough really as everyone is feasting on the flesh of their brethren, but still eerie as fuck.
While we studied the menu, we ordered three-pint flagons of locally brewed beer and some of the restaurant’s signature cocktails, including the Hoxton Fizz (delicious but generic) and a festive concoction that was exactly as sweet and fruity as you’d expect from something called ‘Santa’s Sack’. The menu, which begrudgingly offers a single halloumi and mushroom by way of vegetarian option, is really just twenty different configurations of dead animal, cheese and gravy. Which is fine by me, even if it does read like cardiac arrest waiting to happen.
I ordered the bacon cheeseburger: a big, juicy package of beef, smooth American hamburger bun and a flavoursome mash-up of condiments that smacked up the taste buds in all the right ways. The whole thing was wrapped in greaseproof paper and presented without knives, which meant it had to be picked up and sucked down as quickly as possible to avoid dropping it all over one’s lap. I’m the sort of person who likes cutting up burgers and eating them slowly (because I don’t like lap-burgers, and also because I’m a fucking lady), so I wasn’t too keen on this, but at least they give you kitchen roll to mop up the juices. (For this reason I would strongly advise against taking a date here. Despite the low lighting, it is only a good idea if you’re shagging a feeder and they think mustard beef face is fit.)
We also ordered the chili fries, which although nothing to write home about were still monstrously proportioned. The blue cheese dip, though, was something I would buy in tubs if I could, just so I could take it home and bathe in it, Cleopatra-style. That shit is fantastic.
Our meals came to about £15 a head, plus drinks. That’s enough to fill you to bursting and leave you with a savage meat hangover for the rest of the day. You can find MEATmission at 14-15 Hoxton Market, London, N1 6HG, or peruse the menu at www.meatmission.com.
Author: Emily Gibson
Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and
glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in East London and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.