BBQ Special | Meat & Shake (Ealing)

Tue 6th October 2015

BBQ Special #3—yes, we have visited 3 American-style BBQ restaurants in London within a couple of weeks—great for a direct comparison, but perhaps not so good for my waistline (hence my more-frequent-than-usual gym visits). This time we have come to west London, for a change of scene, to the Meat & Shake Southern Barbecue in Ealing, a “new kid in the block”. What makes this restaurant chain quite appealing is that they are halal, making them suitable for the friend we are meeting up with tonight.

Unlike Bodean’s and Red’s True BBQ, there are no animal skulls on the wall at Meat & Shake. The decors here are simple and vibrant; quite a relax vibe. Good choices of music playing at the background—Kings of Leon, “Tetra” by C2C, a bit of “Sweet Home Alabama”… you get the gist.

For the name’s sake, we all ordered milkshakes for drinks. I went for a chocolate shake, and was not disappointed at all—unquestionably the best chocolate shake I’ve ever had. It’s rich, like a thick and creamy molten chocolate drink, with a lot of high-quality milk chocolate pieces floating in the shake—delicious!

[Left] Chocolate Milkshake [Right] Salted Caramel Milkshake
[Left] Chocolate Milkshake | [Right] Salted Caramel Milkshake

We shared two starters between the three of us—Hot Link Sausages, and Buffalo Wings. The hot link sausages is smokey, spicy, aromatic and satisfying meaty, and goes really well with the gherkin and mustard. The jumbo wings are succulent and devilishly spicy, the chilli heat balanced out by the creamy-rich blue cheese sauce.

Two of us shared a full rack of braised ribs, like Bodean’s the ribs here are Kansas City style, dry rubbed, and at Meat & Shake they have braised the ribs in their own cola-BBQ sauce until tender. These are big pieces of good quality beef ribs. The meats are so tender that they are falling off the bones. The sauce is also very well made, you won’t even need to touch the range of hot BBQ table sauces on offer here.

Braised Rib (full rack)
[Left] Dirty Fries | [Right] Braised Rib (full rack)

In contrast, the dirty fries were a huge letdown. I can only use one word to describe the dirty fries—soulless. They do not compliment the delicious meats here at all. Our fries came half cold and soggy, with some stale chili con carne carelessly chucked on top, which tasted like they had sat on the kitchen counter for hours. And what’s up with the mustard and sour cream combo on top?! Avoid. These sharing fries are just awful.

Our friend had a burger, the Smoking Bandit, which was brought to the table opaque in its cloud of smoke. When the cloche was lifted, some residual smoke hung in the air, shifting like ghosts in the breeze—fun. I just hope the smokiness did not overpower the whole dish and detract from the free-range, grass-fed English dry-aged beef burger they are serving.

To sum up Meat & Shake Ealing in a few words: cool tunes, delicious melt-in-your-mouth good quality BBQ meats and the best chocolate shake I’ve ever had in my life. I would overlook (and even forgive) the restaurant for their soulless and overpriced dirty fries (but I’ll definitely steer away from them in the future, and get the sweet potatoes fries instead—a much healthier option and they look significantly better). It’s a nice place, a good spot to catch up with a couple of friends. I just don’t understand why the place isn’t busier…



Cost: allow £20 to £25 per person (for starter, main, side & a shake)

Address: 17 The Green, London W5 5DA

Phone: 020 8840 7373

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