A "temple of meat" - that's this top Brussels eatery

While recent trends may have veered away from meat eating, less has been heard about the health benefits of eating meat.

It has perhaps been made less publicised that meat contributes to carrying out vital metabolic functions.

Meat also gives one a lot of energy and, since meat contains a large amount of protein, this could be beneficial to the body .

So, what’s not to like about eating meat?

Happily, there is one restaurant in Brussels that not only concentrates almost totally on meat but also happens to serve some of the best you will find anywhere.

The place is called (what else?) – “Meet Meat” and, for once, the description applied to it – a “carnivore’s temple” – is spot on.  

There are a couple of Meet Meat restaurants in Brussels and the first, at Schuman, in the shadow of the European Commission, has actually been around some time now.

That one opened 11 years ago and, like most good things, word about how good it was spread quickly and the owners decided to open a second one at Uccle.

The Uccle “branch” followed in the footsteps of what had been a real culinary fixture in these parts. Mozart, the name of its predecessor, used to open all night and often attracted people like Miles Davis and Johnny Hallyday, who called by to eat before/after a gig at the nearby Forest National.

However, Mozart eventually struck a duff note, closed and had been empty for many months before the current co-owner Philippe Wiener took it over.

A huge transformation ensued while ensuring that some of the delightful interior features, such as nice original brickwork, were retained. The work was overseen by a Venetian architect who has done a terrific job: there’s a nice blend of the formal and intimate in dining here.

The décor and style of its “sister” restaurant, situated in a townhouse at Schuman, is quite different.But the menu is the same at both and that means quality all the way.

Meat is obviously very much the “star” on the menu here and it is not an exaggeration to say that this really has to be among the best available in Brussels.

One of the main reasons for that is that it is Argentinian beef that is used at Meet Meat and even those totally unacquainted with meat will know that this is as good a quality recommendation as you can get.

 The meat that ends up on your plate here started its long transatlantic journey from South America in the best possible way.

The beef is sourced from the world-famous Angus (and Herefordshire) breed and the cattle are grass fed on the vast Argentinian pampas with a maximum of two animals per acre.

Philippe and this team, importantly, are also able to track the traceability of their products all the way along the line.

All this attention to detail and quality control shows in the food that is served at his restaurant.

This begins with the sensational starters, ranging from Spanish charcuterie to a plate of truly authentic Argentinian items such as empanadas (a pastry filled with hand diced beef), chorizo criollo (small grilled sausage) and provoletta (grilled provolone cheese).

There is also beef carpaccio, beef (as opposed to the usual veal) tonnato, bone marrow with toast and salmon. Any of these delightful dishes will set you up perfectly for what is to follow.

Before making a choice, though, the staff make a point of showing you the selection of raw cuts.Listening to them do this is a bit like watching an artist at work, such is the passion and sheer  enthusiasm they put into it.

There are several cuts brought to the table, including rib eye, rump, sirloin and filet.

A very detailed description of each is provided and, just to make the decision making even harder, you can also choose one of the “special cuts” which are cooked particularly slowly on a grill.

The grill they use here is, in fact, another reason why their meat is so special. It’s specially imported from Argentina and is v-shape so as to ensure that all the fat drains away.

Also worth mentioning is that the meat is served according to the weight of your choice, from 200 to 500 grams.

Whatever your preference you’d be advised to come here with an appetite because the meat (served with frites or jacket potato and Argentinian sauces) is not only exceptional but filling.

Philippe himself comes with a top CV: he studied at a hotel management school in Switzerland and, after a spell with a leading accounting company, decided to branch out and open a restaurant with his business partner.

He has cleverly made the most of his Argentinian contacts to ensure that only the most reliable suppliers are part of the Meet Meat supply chain.

If steak does not happen to be your thing, there are other nice items on the menu,including Iberico pork, pasta and burgers.

Brussels-born Philippe also knows a thing or two about the great selection of wines which are stocked in a cabinet visible to diners. There’s some seriously good Argentinian wine available but, and this is important, all at very democratic prices.

To round off a great dining experience, there’s even a car parking valet service available.

The meat here really does melt in the mouth like butter - little wonder that this eatery is widely known as a “temple of meat.”

Meet Meat

541 chaussee d’Alsemberg 1180 Uccle

02 219 1652

www.meetmeat.be

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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