What's the same with MEATmission? First off, the format: cocktails we love, burgers we love, food on trays, sauces on the table, kitchen roll, loud music, a boisterous atmosphere.
What's different? Not only is MEATmission bigger, seating up to 170 people, they will also take bookings come the new year so queuing for your burger might be a thing of the past, albeit in the main seating area will continue to be for walk in business. What's more, the venue by the way it's designed is less red than MEATliquor, which, if you've been there, you know exactly what we're talking about. The low red light of MEATliquor caused a serious amount of squinting when trying to read the menu and with the music pumping, it perpetually feels like a cross between a nightclub and a student union. On our visit to MEATmission, the music volume was a little less aggressive and with the back-light behind a ceiling of yellow, red, blue and even white glass, a full spectrum of light allows you to actually see the place giving it a stylish and energetic vibe without being too scary for us old people.
With the venue open less than a week, the menu will develop further (we're reliably told), but for now is a blend of classics, so there's a Dead Hippie Burger and a Dirty Chicken Burger, and some new fare including Pastrami & Swiss and the Garbage Plate, either Beef or Chili. So what's on the 'Garbage' plate? Simply everything: burger patty, fries, cheddar cheese, smothered in gravy and garnished with onions, crispy onions, sweet pickles, pickled beetroot, horseradish. We tried it. It's huge and even eating half the plate leaves you no room for dessert, a good job because for now at least, desserts don't feature on the menu.
The cheeseburger is its usual brilliant self, done the MEAT way and for our money, it is the best burger in London, though admittedly we are a little behind on sampling all of the recent burger openings (there are simply too many to stay current it seems), but how can they improve on this? Not being the Borough of Westminster, there's no problem getting it done medium rare, I don't remember asking, I think it just arrived that way, and keep your sliders too, the MEATmission burger is perfectly proportioned to pick up, bite in to and satisfy. A shared Dirty Chicken Burger was equally irresistible and struck us, like the burger, as the best of its kind out there. And the fries, they're damned good also; a full house then.
For the type of food they do and love doing, our view is that it can't be bettered. Despite opening week, it all felt pretty slick, with both the food and service down pat. If you like MEATliquor's food, well, here it is repeated in all its glory. If you love MEATliquor but would like it even more if it were a little less like a nightclub, you'll adore MEATmission. With bookings taken, a larger restaurant and its Hoxton location, this will undoubtedly be huge. Our only concern is that we might spend too much time there, for in the mission's new guise, we're already converts.