‘Asian-fusion’ steakhouse Meet Bros in London PaddingtonHALAL STATUS Fully Halal
Some of you might remember FtLion having visited Lebanese restaurant The Village in London’s Paddington back in 2020.
What made this a memorable visit wasn’t so much its menu (rated just 3/5), but its aesthetically-impressive interior, with the original owner having imported the remains of the Lebanese village he lived in before its demolishment.
The result was a venue on Craven Road with one of the best basement conversions we’ve seen, with brickwork-arched seating rooms, a huge ornate wooden door featuring in the main dining room, and a stunningly designed VIP area for 25.
This place was then taken over virtually unchanged earlier this year in May by the team behind the well-known steakhouse chain in Malaysia Me’nate Steak Hub.
With the grand opening ribbon cut in person by her majesty Queen Azizah of Malaysia, Meet Bros is a fully Halal steakhouse which describes itself as “a fusion of semi-fine dining experiences, Asian-Fusion cuisine, and premium steaks”.
With a prayer room located on the ground floor, among the few changes they’ve made is the inclusion of a huge display refrigerator downstairs, which proudly showcases all the cuts of Halal steaks available on the day, including Wagyu (Japanese A5 has also been sourced from time to time, we were told).
Always important for any higher-end, fully Halal establishment, let alone a steakhouse, to make certain it offers a strong non-alcoholic menu. Meet Bros served us two out of three which got us excited.
The best was the Assamenta, with an almost syrup-like texture that boasted a complex flavour profile defined by the sweet and tangy, followed by the freshness of the mint lingering through.
The Lychee Mojito on the other hand was the sweetest of the bunch, with the true flavour of the lychee being enhanced by the addition of palm sugar and a touch of lime.
The weakest was the signature Meet Bros Tropical, with the floral flavours being subdued. But at over £10 a drink, these were some of the most expensive mocktails we’ve encountered!
Their spring rolls aren’t just deliciously good, thanks to a rich Angus beef filling that’s subtly spiced and extremely moist, but also inhouse made. Had with the lovely sweet chilli sauce, this deserves being their signature starter.RECOMMENDED
First things first, it was great to see freshly-made pancakes being served. And this extra effort was certainly justified, with moist shredded duck, slithers of cucumbers, and a superb smoky hoisin sauce.
But it was the chilli oil condiment that turned out to be a master-stroke, with a touch of heat making this a wonderful eat.RECOMMENDED
We can understand why these White Prawns are one of Meet Bros best-selling dishes. The beautifully tender prawns were drizzled in a subtly sweet and spicy “jam oil”, and came with a trio of fried mantao – savoury doughnut balls that were light and fluffy on the inside.
Subject to availability, and with the price per serving around ±280g, this Black Angus Ribeye was actually marinated in one of Meet Bros’ secret marinations.
The result was a magically tender, medium rare piece of thick and succulent beef, that was nicely seasoned, and expertly charred on the outside to impart a hint of smokiness with every bite.
However, and much to our surprise, this was not quite in the same league as the Black Angus, having been underseasoned.
But once our request for salt had remedied this shortcoming, the steak itself, while being nice and tender, wasn’t as well executed as we’d have liked.
Though cooked bang on medium, what we would have preferred was the fatty-edge of the steak being rendered down some more.
While cut into convenient strips, it was visibly obvious that here was another case of inconsistent cooking, with some parts clearly undercooked.
What we were served, therefore, was a combination of enjoyably chewy chunks interspersed with quite a few others, especially those closer to the bone, which were left rare and impossibly chewy.
Having said that though, the accompanying sauces of Thai danok (7 ingredients), garlic confit, and peppercorn (again inhouse made) were glorious.
The delightfully rich and creamy curry sauce coating the al dente spaghetti noodles struck the perfect balance between the sweet and savoury, with the addition of the sambal chilli taking things to the next level.
As for the lobster, then we did question whether this brought anything meaningful to this dish, other than the element of luxury and to justify the £40 price-tag, especially with plump prawns having already been thrown in.
What’s more, the effort of extracting the tender and chewy lobster meat from its shell definitely proved to be a fiddly affair, particularly with it having been plonked on top of a hot broth.
Apparently the inclusion of lamb ribs to a biryani is a Malaysian-inspired thing. And though the ribs were decent enough, and the rice fragrant and moist (though lacking any real depth of flavour), the dish never really came together as a coherent whole.
Unlike a South East Asian biryani, where the direct addition of the meat helps to infuse the rice with its natural flavours and aroma, the lamb ribs seem to have been cooked separately before being added later.
Their signature dessert was a brilliantly executed dessert, with the crispy-cum-crunchy phylo pastry actually hiding a piece of baklava, and the orange blossom syrup and pistachio gelato adding that extra dimension.RECOMMENDED
What a wonderously innovative dish this Fried Banana Fritters was, with the kataifi pastry serving as a delicately crispy wrap for the banana inside, which itself was cooked in palm sugar to help caramelise it.
Sprinkled with candied nuts, and topped with a soft scoop of vanilla ice cream, this was a satisfying ending to our visit to Meet Bros, made even better by a brew of their rich Teh Tarik (£4.00).
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED ACCESS
With such a diverse menu, inspired as it is by what Meet Bros call "Asian-Fusion cuisine", this ostensible steakhouse certainly talks a good game with its impressive range of steaks, which includes the sought-after Wagyu. But, while their starters were magnificent, and their desserts brilliantly innovative, their steaks didn't live up to expectations. And, of course, when you're paying the kind of prices Meet Bros are demanding, you expect your steaks to be on point.
As a steakhouse, therefore, they aren't yet in the same league as the legendary Cona in Bradford or #FtLionAwards Restaurant of the Year 2022 Ribeye in Manchester.
Nevertheless, in addition to the decor and interior, there's plenty to admire here, with all the ingredients in place for success.
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29-31 Craven Rd, London W2 3BX.
T: +44 (0)20 7723 7101 | W: meetbros.co.uk
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-23:00