16 November 2012
Meatliquor steps up its game with North Highway Diner popup
Last Sunday, hoards of burger lovers descended upon Bond Street to celebrate the first birthday of Meatliquor, the restaurant manifestation of the ever popular burger van, the Meatwagon.
I can imagine the queues. Stretching their way around Wellbeck Street, past the back door of John Lewis Burger evangelists waiting patiently, balloons in hand, eager for a taste of (half-priced) bacon cheeseburgers and deep fried pickles. Call me faithless, but I just couldn't face the prospect.
Instead I sat, less than a mile away in what can only be described as an underground abandoned diner. Another Meatliquor has opened in Holborn? Yes, but only for 4 days.
Stepping into as yet unchartered territory for the restaurant group, Meatliquor teamed up with game producers Activision at the launch of their new Call of Duty, Black Ops II game to present The 'North Highway Diner' (The concept is based on one of the locations in the game). The Diner was developed (i'm told) with a rip-snorting five-day turnaround. Stepping inside the diner, lit by neon signage and the glow of industrial heaters, the attention to detail is apparent. Customised napkins, cans of 'Zombie Lager' right down to the greaseproof tray liners.
The menu, a collection of favourites from across the 2 (soon to be 3) Meatliquor restaurants contains 'Single Player' offerings such as the Zombie Double Cheeseburger, the 12-Gauge Chilli Dog and Monkey Wings and Brain Fries (a deadringer for the 'Hot Mess' that can be found at affiliated Wishbone).
The Zombie Double Cheeseburger isn't as good as I've had in previous experiences, but then again, nobody is at their best when cooking in someone else's kitchen. Later on, the Diner will serve sweaty gamers, bored girlfriends, all-star footballers, Grime artists and members of the celebrity A-list. Quite the coup for an outfit which just a few years ago was trading out of a reconditioned ambulance.
Among the staff there, a few of Meatliquor's top brass. There are whispers of MEATmission, the latest restaurant which Yianni and Scott have in their sights. Due to open in Hoxton Square 'definitely in the next 4 weeks'. Three restaurants in just over a year? Meatliquor, on form, have hit this restaurant game right between the eyes.
MEATmission opens in Hoxton early December