X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Food

Zelman Meats: a flesh-obsessed restaurant for the age of hard Brexit

It is a restaurant for men, or very drunk women, and in north Soho there are plenty of both

26 November 2016

9:00 AM

26 November 2016

9:00 AM

Zelman Meats — catchphrase ‘great meat’ — is sustenance for a hard Brexit — a harder Brexit, if you will. It is a snorting meat shack in north Soho; it is also, comfortingly for the reader, mid-market. It is from the owners of Beast, who display their meat in cases, as trophies — and Burger and Lobster, where you get burgers and lobsters for £20 a head. It is thrillingly monomaniacal and simplistic: what do you get at Zelman Meats? Meat, that’s all, comrade. It could theoretically be a butcher’s shop; no, it could be a cow sitting on a bonfire wondering what went wrong. Don’t come here if you don’t like meat because they have nothing for you. Go somewhere else.

I did intend to review one of the fashionable ‘clean eating’ or ‘glamorexia’ restaurants which serve air pollution foam (or demi-soufflé) and the nail clippings of Victoria Beckham in muffins made of air. They are popular now, as anorexics get more mobile. But I knew I didn’t want to. I went to Zelman Meats instead.

There are many meat shacks in London. Hawksmoor is the best of them, but it has a fragile baroque vibe, and this is not the time for it. Zelman Meats — I wish they would capitalise MEAT, so it is Zelman MEATS, like an article in the Soaraway Sun — is more brutal than baroque. It is a place specifically to get high on flesh. It is a restaurant for men, or very drunk women, and in north Soho there are plenty of both. They get drunk on tequila and try to make love to benches in Soho Square. Then they fall over, or come to Zelman MEATS.


It is red and livid, the kind of steak house which wants you to imagine that you are actually inside the steak you are eating, in a kind of crazy full-immersion steak-eating experience. The rest is post-industrial chic, so you can be both inside a steak inside an industrial kitchen and hear the screams of your fellow Brexit warriors bouncing off the ceiling. It is not subtle — but why should it be? What is, these days?

It is a lunchtime on a weekday, though, and Zelman MEATS is almost empty. Without its normal clientele, who I imagine are Nigel Farage and his gaggle of acolytes fretting that women don’t clean behind the fridge — and all to spite them — I like it. It is pleasingly spectral.

They bring, swiftly, a pile of excellent cow flesh. It is as loved as dead flesh can be. It is soft and charred and bloody and, thanks to the dull sociopathy of the day, precisely measured: 400 grams ‘dirty steak’; 200 grams chateaubriand, and something called ‘holyfuck mayo’. I do not know why it is called that, and I am not impressed.

At meat restaurants it is a source of pride that everything but the meat be inedible and that is true of Zelman MEATS. (At Beast they do not even attempt anything that is not meat. They have an embargo on chips. They might possibly have a picket line on chips.) We let the chips grow cold — when did all the chips get fat and rectangular, like the feminists, eh? — but we devour the flesh with all the fervour of resurgent nationalism. Then we share a gloopy chocolate brownie, because, despite everything, there is still good in this world.

So, Zelman MEATS is a fine place to suck on bones. It is certainly better than any Angus Steak House although I still lay my hat at Hawksmoor Guildhall. (They serve bacon chops, and the menu is done in a delicate calligraphy which makes me weep.) But I am here now, eating meat. Brexit me, baby, I think, throwing a cow bone at a radiator. Brexit me harder.

Zelman Meats, 2 St Anne’s Court, London W1F 0AZ, tel: 020 7437 0566.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close