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Saturday, 25 July 2015

A day of meat and more meat....

I don't eat meat every day. Not even every other day, and I've never bought a beef burger. A veggie burger yes, but a beef burger. Nope. It's not just the beef bit of a burger I dislike, I can't stand the bun either. It's usually what I call a plastic bit of bread. Yuck!

So, what a revelation it was  on Wednesday night, to be not only eating a beef burger, and the bun, to be actually enjoying it. I ate ribs too...chunky, moist ribs with a smoky flavour, and finished off with with a veggie burger which turned out to be my favourite.

I was at Meatcure , a new joint in town..on Highcross Street in Leicester. It was their launch, the second restaurant belonging to owner Rob Martyniak and partners and a stable mate to their Market Harborough.

Launches of new events or products can be interesting....sometimes in a car crash kind of way, where no one turns up. The executives/owners are sweating with nervousness, the PR dollies are over you like a rash and  yet they're rationing out the warm glasses of fizz in case hundreds suddenly turn up.

That wasn't the case on Wednesday night, the place was heaving at just ten minutes after the specified opening time. Glasses of ice cold Prosecco were being thrust into everyone's hands or beer for the boys. Within a moment, the first of the tasting trays were being carried through the throng.

I sat down at a table to check out the first offering...a big, fat juicy burger.

Suddenly, the light was stolen, I could hardly see, the sunlight streaming through the windows disappeared. I turned to my left, and realised that half the Leicester Tigers rugby  team had turned up. With shoulders the width of buses, and nearly as tall, it was they who were blocking my light. They pounced on the beer and everything else offered with gusto.

So did everyone else, there were quite a few familiar faces there from work, from lots of chats, more fizz and more food. It all just kept coming, including the ribs

The kitchen staff were busy as was owner Rob Martyniak.

I managed to have a quick chat...where the hell did you get these brioche buns for the burgers I asked. He smiled..."from an independent bakery in Market Harborough. It took four and a half months to perfect the recipe." That's what I call dedication, and the meat is from the butcher I always go to in the village of South Kilworth.

Rob and his team also do street and festival food, that's how they started.So, they obviously are experienced in delivering food that people want, but Leicester seems to be a magnet at the moment for other burger restaurants, an indie or two as well as the big boys, the big names.

So why here? Just around the corner from the huge Highcross Centre ? Surely there's a lot of competition? Rob smiled again..."I reckon we're different enough to attract others. We're not a big, impersonal place , and we're friendly."But he also adds that although everything has to pay it's way, for him, for him, opening a restaurant, serving food is all about the adventure, and the people you meet along the way.

By now, I had to go, just another glass of prosecco , time to say goodbye, and inch my way out of the crowded Meatcure. In a couple of hours I had just eaten more meat than I usually do in a fortnight.
Oh, and I'd also had the best and biggest onion ring I've ever eaten.

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