Some might argue there’s a little lack of imagination in the Ronseal approach of this restaurant’s name – “it does exactly what it says on the tin” – but it does serve a purpose. If you’re a vegetarian teetotaller, then this is not exactly your dream venue (though to be fair, there are tasty veggie options like Halloumi Cheese at £8.50, or Organic Roquette, Pear & Goats’ Cheese Salad at £9.50, as well as a good choice of seafood and chicken dishes). The real stars of the show, however, are undoubtedly the succulent speciality steaks – all clearly marked with their provenance (Shire Beef, provided by Parker Fine Foods of Leicestershire).
Situated in the food quarter of Westfields Shopping Centre, the Meat & Wine Co has to be the perfect place to make a pit stop and momentarily lay down your bags while you refuel. The decor is sleek and dark, with walls dramatically lined with row upon row of wine bottles, and dark wooden floors, which Joe quickly realised were ideal for trying out his new mini skateboard (thankfully, the restaurant was not too busy, and the staff were patient).
For meat-eaters, there were some serious decisions to make. I went for a 200g fillet (£24) – and wasn’t for a moment tempted to try the Kangaroo (£18), Kudu, Springbok, or Ostrich (£18). When it arrived, the steak was so delicious, I almost wished I’d gone for the 300g size. Grace – our birthday girl – went for the Prawn & Beef Skewer (£19), which arrived on rather treacherous looking huge spikes that the waitress kindly removed for Grace, her best friend Abi chose the Famous Original Burger (£10.95), while Joe went for a Cheeseburger (£5.50) with accompaniments of fresh steakhouse chips (there was a lot of chip-nicking from each other’s plates, so they must have been good).
I felt very pleased to think my children would be getting a good dose of their daily iron intake. All that good, however, may have been evened out by the ample sugar rush that followed. Just as we were getting impatient for dessert, a parade of waiters ambled out of the kitchen with a Warm Chocolate And Pistachio Fondante (£7.50), complete with sparklers and a heartfelt rendition of Happy Birthday To You – certainly enough to bring a crimson glow to the cheeks of a just-turned 14-year-old.
Contact: tel: 020 8749 5914; www.themeatandwineco.com
Address: Westfield Shopping Centre, Ariel Way W12 7GA; nearest tube station, Wood Lane.