New menu launches at The Meat Co - Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

 It has been a while coming, but it has happened. The Meat Co is starting to shake things up in its venue at Souk at Qaryat Al Beri as it seeks to offer more than just premium beef. It has always been renowned for high quality cuts which it must be said were often perceived as expensive. When I was invited too have a look at the changes, this is one of the areas I was keen to look at. 

The first noticeable difference is the staff uniforms. Casual jeans, relaxed fit shirts and suspenders keep the relaxed vibe of the restaurant but also takes it up a notch. What is not different is the same old African warmth that is synonymous with The Meat Co. 

I am seated on the terrace, in the cool night air, with views of the Sheikh Zayed mosque and Maqta Canal - you cannot go wrong with that as your view. 

The new menu has a steakhouse feel to it. It is a 2 page leather bound menu that is   much easier to manage and seems more organised. 

The new additions to the menu excite me and I try three appetisers.I start off with the Lobster & crab Croquettes - the presentation has is all about being wowed. A pastry roof covers the lobster and crab while dry ice adds surprising drama - how many times have you had a dish at a steakhouse in Abu Dhabi where this is done? Exciting stuff.

Appropriately, I have a glass of Pongracz Methode cap classique, a South African sparkling wine I rate very highly, made in the traditional Champagne method. At 64AED per glass, I am very happy. It is one of the new additions to a streamlined wine list that is generally cheaper than before, in spite of VAT. 

Incredibly, The Meat Co has not had beef tartare on the menu - until now that is. The Prime steak tartare plugs that gap. After all, it is a standard in a steakhouse, is it not? On the night, it is nicely executed, although I do request some more tabasco to add a bit of zing to mine. It is all about balancing those elements. You will be nicely surprised, though, by some unexpected texture which would usually be provided by a piece of brioche. There is something else here that will delight you!

The changes afoot at The Meat Co run quite deep. Gone is the sterile and soulless white china that was used before. They are also in the process of changing the glassware as well as they aim to mount more of a challenge to other steakhouses. I am told of one more major change coming, but you will have to follow me to what that change will be. Watch this space, as the cliché goes. 

After a glass of Pongracz, I order a newly arrived and just added to the new wine list, a bottle of Kanonkop Pinotage 2015, a steal at 385AED. I cannot help but recommend the South African wine offerings if you enjoy full bodied wines with a lot of character. If you have slightly deeper pockets, do try the Meerlust Rubicon. 

While it is decanting, the final starter is served, and certainly one that evokes even more excitement than the lobster and crab appetizer. The Rib meat cigars are presented in a  box, much like a box of cigars and when it is opened, phyllo pastry stuffed with beef is in front of me. Remove the edible flowers and the play on a  cigar box is sustained right until the end. 

It is creative, fun and memorable. 

The Meat Co has never been short of options when it comes to beef but I often felt a bit overwhelmed. The selection is now simpler. You have a choice of American, Australian, New Zealand and South African aged meat on the one hand and the there is the Connoisseur's choice on the other. While there is an entry level South African cut for 175AED, my recommendation for a value for money steak would be the New Zealand Grade A grass fed - the striploin starts at 190AED for a generous 300g cut. 

However, if you like your beef highly marbled, Meat Co exclusively offers Japanese Ohmi beef grade A5 - the highest level of marbling you can find and surpasses the grade 9 that is found on tables in Abu Dhabi. If 750AED is too rich for your liking, then the Hokkaido F1 Crossbred Wagyu at 650AED is a possibility. I love the buttery nature of highly marbled beef and I am thrilled that beef imported from Japan is on offer at a steakhouse in Abu Dhabi - the only steakhouse actually. 

But, my guest and I choose  a great value for money option - the Prime Tomahawk at 650AED and more than enough for 2 or even 3. It is a monster and what I like about it is that bone notwithstanding, we are still left with about 1kg of meat. This is great for sharing and a tight budget. On a side note, I did recommend that they get the chef to come out and cut it up for the guest to provide a bit of interaction and theatre

The new menu at The Meat Co is a big leap forward. One thing that has been missing for me is value for money and they have managed to add that to their menu now. I remember the Australian Blackmore Wagyu  Grade 9 was about 750AED on the old menu and now they have the Japanese Ohmi beef at the same price - a  far superior option at the same price. The entry level steak is now also more affordable. This sense of value extends to the wine list where the prices have been lowered. Finally, I can say that tremendous cuts of beef and value for money can now go together when talking about Meat Co.


The Meat Co.
The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri between the bridges,
Abu Dhabi

New Menu
+971 2 558 1713

A 2 course Dinner for 2 incl a glass of wine - 700AED

Note: I was not happy with the quality of mypics on the night and out of respect to the chefs and the restaurant, I requested some images from their marketing department. 

Brandon Stoltenkamp
Disclaimer: I was invited to Meat Co as a guest of the restaurant.