29th Feb 2012
A fabulous little establishment in the crux of Essex Road and Upper Street in Islington (in the old S&M place), tastefully decked-out in an eclectic mix of pie & mash tiles, cafe stainless steel, Scandinavian panelling and 60s print wallpaper. Not as busy as it should have been upon our arrival, it instantly became quite crowded as we elbowed ourselves into occupying a full half of the restaurant. I’d speculate that the lack of patronage may be due to the chef’s almost ruinous distain for salt, perhaps that the food was not salty enough, or it could be that almost every dish needed a little more salt. I know that sodium chloride is the current pariah of dietary health but when one is indulging in already cardiac-arresting red meats and saturated fats one might, at least, enjoy them.
Otherwise, they did us proud with the menu: a smorgasbord of meatiness veering between guaranteed favourites and slightly off-piste I-ought-to-order-that-more-oftens; the staff were delightful and didn’t seem to tire of being so, even after our 20th bottle of wine; the sweetbreads* and springbok were spectacular; and the prices very reasonable.
All in all good, but use the salt shaker.
Meat People, 4-6 Essex Road, London N1 8LN
020 7359 5361
An aside note to the proprietors: Your site lists your phone number as “0207″ 359 5361. This is a one of those bugbears that drives me to disproportionate apoplexy. The “7″ is part of the phone number and not the area code – if one wants to call the restaurant from within London, one would need to dial 7359 5361 not 359 5361… And it’s not just you, it’s bloody everywhere. I can’t understand how a first-world educated population of such a broad cosmopolitan city can demonstrate such obtuse parochiality. Also, with an indifference to modern navigation, you don’t have your postal code on your website. You instead refer to “… just off Islington green”. With a lower case “G”.
* And – before I get off my horse – “sweetbreads” is one word, not two. I was expecting fried brioche…