The weekend just gone was primarily spent in London, as it was the weekend of Meatopia, a festival of barbecue, meat, and music. Now in its third year, and I’ve been to each one.
I like the Grillstock festival (which is similar) but it’s still not a par on Meatopia, which really does bring in some of the star chefs in the barbecue/steak/brisket/burger sector of the industry, and there’s always some spectacular stuff on the list.
Meatopia is also more about smaller dishes – it’s more like a set of courses on a tasting menu, and you get to try a bundle of things. Grillstock’s stuff tends to be more meal-sized, so you don’t have as many, although there are also less/fewer (whichever) stands/cooks, so it kind-of balances out.
But if the two were ever to run on the same weekend, Grillstock would lose. For me, it’s that simple.
Because I knew I’d be eating a fair quantity of meat, I was (vaguely) sensible about it, and parked at the Barbican Centre (my new favourite parking in London) and walked to the venue at Tobacco Dock – about a 5km walk – which I really enjoyed. I know most people don’t see 5km each way as “a stroll” but for me that’s what it was – and improved by fun things along the way, like turning a corner and seeing the Tower of London, with the Shard directly behind it, which was a nice surprise.
As for the food, we did well. In no particular order, I had…
- Kid Shwarma (Shwarma from Goat Kid)
- Chargrilled Herdwick Lamb with Smoked Cream Potato
- Picanha (cut of beef)
- Smoked Shortrib Sandwich with Pickles and Sriracha Cocktail Sauce (awesome)
- A fistful of pigs (pig cooked different ways)
- One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer (Beef, Bourbon-braised peppercorns, beer cheese) – awesome
- Anatolian Spiced FlatIron Steak with Babaganoush
- Chicky Chicky Bang Bang (Barbecued Chicken in a bun, but with extra burger because the chef decided it wasn’t meaty enough)
- Hawksmoor’s ‘Spitalfields Burger’ with braise short rib (excellent)
- Bourbon-glazed Tomahawk steak surf’n’turf
- Oh, and ice-cream, and a cider
Being a bad, bad person, I think also stopped of at Honest in Liverpool Street (it was kind-of on my route back to Barbican) to have their new Oktoberfest special burger, which was also ace. Although I couldn’t face the chips that came with it…
- Dirty Jerk Ribeye on Beef Dripping New Potatoes (Amazing)
- Pit-roast Middlewhite Pigs, Yorkshire Pudding, Onion Gravy
- DuckHearts with Apple and Kohlrabi salad (my least-liked of the weekend)
- Aged Venison Shoulder, Leek and Potato (Excellent – Joint Favourite of the weekend)
- Herdwick Lamb Chop with Lamb Fat Hollandaise (Mega)
- BBQ Chicken Shawarma, Garlic Tahini, Dill Pickle, Chilli Sauce (Joint Favourite of the weekend)
- Spicy Old Cow (48-58 (opinions varied) day aged beef, chillis, beef dripping, sourdough roll)
- Hawksmoor Tomahawk Steak with Bulgogi (I don’t know) Hollandaise.
- And ice-cream and cider again
All told, an excellent weekend, with a total of 30km walked over the two days – which balances out a lot of the food intake!