Having frequented MEATliquor several times since its much awaited opening last year, to say I was excited to see their new menu was an understatement. We were greeted by manager Dan who made us feel straight at home and even more impatient to try the goodies as he took us through the recent changes to their menu. Perhaps the most noticeable new additions to the menu are the Asian influenced sambal chicken wings and sambal fries. With a new restaurant opening in Singapore these spicy, hot newcomers are inspired by the restaurant’s international expansion and spicy lovers will undoubtedly welcome these with open mouths. The sambal chicken wings were particularly succulent, with the secret in the cooking as these wings are marinated and steamed before being treated to a second coating and fried, meaning they are packed with a moreish flavour and progressive spice. However, these had strong competition in the food-made-for-fingers category with the new BBQ Wings rivalling the sambal tastiness with their own sticky, syrupy goodness.
Next up were the sambal fries which were eagerly awaited after the success of the wings. The signature MEATliquor French fries arrived this time covered in the house sambal sauce and topped with a fried egg. At first curious about the fries/egg/spicy sauce combo I was quickly persuaded of the genius of this new combo and was left tempted to order more. Luckily I restrained myself as a tray of slider burgers arrived, with the Chicken Parma Burger being the new kid on the block joining its partner in crime, the Dirty Chicken Cheeseburger. The Chicken Parma provides an alternative to the staple burger joint choices with a fried chicken fillet accompanied with serrano ham, melted mozzarella, marinara sauce and a dusting of parmesan, making it a lighter but still incredibly satisfying option.
Despite the restaurant not being the obvious foodie haunt for vegetarians or those not driven by meaty cravings the menu was surprisingly veggie friendly as we tucked into deep fried pickles with an incredibly creamy and cheesy blue cheese dip, giant onion rings and a tasty Halloumi and Mushroom burger all in keeping with the indulgent and flavoursome theme of the menu.
While all this food frenzy is going on, it’s essential not to forget the ‘liquor’ element of the restaurant’s title. Slurping on several taster glasses from the extensive cocktail menu, there were some carefully paired fusions that unlike many cocktails were not overbearingly sweet, creating the perfect pairing for their more intense foodie counterparts. A personal favourite was the Tequila and Rosemary newbie which with its refreshingly herby twist proved dangerously drinkable. With a whole new range of sherbet cocktails on offer as well as the array of delicious sounding alcoholic ‘hard’ milkshakes (soft ones available too so the designated drivers and kids don’t miss out) it’s obvious there is only one thing that makes a burger taste better, and that’s liquor.
Although the food and drink pairings at MEATliquor are undoubtedly fabulous, the service from management and the Burgerettes were one of the elements that made the experience different from other similar joints in Leeds. Not only were they friendly and helpful but also genuinely invested in ensuring you had a good time from the honest recommendations on the food and drinks to encouraging a trip to the photo booth and wall scribing activities - the staff had that approachable, not-taking-ourselves-too-seriously style that complemented their hip but relaxed surroundings.
The new additions to the menu offer some brilliant fast-food meets Malaysian fusion cooking options with their sambal specials, as well as the taste of summer with the BBQed wings and Italian vibes with the Chicken Parma Burger. The extensive alcoholic options and the in house DJ land the burger haven somewhere in the exciting realm between restaurant and club. Walking away with a slightly bulging belly after a delicious afternoon sampling the new menu at MEATliquor, it was obvious that these guys had the food-too-good-to-eat-with-a-knife-and-fork thing confidently nailed. To check them out in all their foodie glory go to @meatgram or pay them at visit on Bank Street tucked in the back of Trinity.