Let’s shake things up a bit, forget Soho, forget East London, and forget alcohol – before you scream with horror let me finish – Things are happening in the suburbs of London. They’re onto us. Locals are no longer happy with low chain food stop-offs and frozen pub meals. They want in on the action that’s happening in the more fashionably well-known parts of the city. Not satisfied with just a standard burger, it has to be 28 day aged Angus beef dammit, smothered in foreign cheeses and rock n’ roll hot sauces. Don’t even start on the buns. If it’s not a brioche, we’re not talking about it.
For those Londoner’s who rarely make it South of the river, you now have the perfect excuse, and that is Meat and Shake. Tooting Bec is one lucky area now this gourmet burger joint has landed on its turf. Meat and Shake is another wonderful addition to the ever growing ‘American burger invasion’ of London. Leather sofas, reclaimed wood, exposed light bulbs in coil, rustic brick, ambient lighting, its all the things you need to set the mood whilst chowing down on burgers, chips, fried chicken and coleslaw.
When we visited Meat and Shake on a Friday night there were queues. Inside the air was filled with happy chattering and waiters on ipads racing around taking orders. The air smelt of wood-chips, due to the restaurants Pièce de résistance, the Smoking Bandit Burger. This popular burger arrives encased in smoke under a plastic lid, which is then removed by delighted customers who become enveloped in the haze.
Jackets off and sitting comfortable on our sofa chair, we started with the drinks list, but were unable to find the beer. My dining partner queried the waiter only to become very confused at hearing there wasn’t any. After a couple minutes silence the information registered and he settled on lemonade. Burgers without beer, scandalous! But in the end irrelevant as the food started arriving at our table and we quickly become ravenous wolves, first diving into a plate of dirty fries covered in chilli con carne, jalapenos, cheese, mustard and sour cream. These chips get a 10 out of 10 for filling the quota of utterly satisfying comfort food.
Next came a soft bun rib n’ cheeseburger with pulled pork covered in sticky bbq sauce, aioli and Monterey jack cheese. Southern American favourite Chicken and Waffles was a surprise, the cheese filled waffle dipped into maple syrup and blue sauce accompanied by crispy cornflake coated chicken thighs, producing an amalgamation of flavours that balanced just right.
Each table has fantastic selection of hotter-than-hot hot sauces (supplied by Swizz based company pyschojuice.com) with 4 varying levels of heat and flavour. Be warned, these sauces are not for softies, but hardened chilli freaks will love them. We splashed them all over everything that arrived our table. I was sad when the meal ended. I wish my stomach were bigger. I wanted to try everything on the menu. But we left full, satisfied and happy to know that Meat and Shake exists.
Meat & Shake
47 Upper Tooting Road, London SW17 7TR
020 8355 4496
Written by Justina Terese, Food Writer and Recipe Developer www.foodforaking.com