Tanya Gold Tanya Gold

Meat and greet

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

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.

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