Yes, it’s not supposed to be the same, and yes it still says “chicks” and “dicks” on the door, but there’s a few reasons why MM isn’t a patch on ML. Namely:
You can wander in to Meat Market
While earnest foodies (myself included) have been huddled in hopeful lines down Welbeck Street since the dawn of time to get into Meat Liquor, and critics like Zoe Williams wait an astonishing 90 minutes to get the downlow rather than tell their editors to stick it, there’s no wait at all down the Market. In fact there’s more “no queue-jumping” signs than there are people.
The burgers aren’t as good
I know it’s against the law to say their burgers aren’t great, and they were great, but they just weren’t burgers. Mine looked like something out of Prometheus, and was more of a burnt onion soup with oversized (and to be fair delicious) chunks of chuck beef patties squelching within. All of their offerings come with two massive patties, and all are even harder to eat than their predecessors.
Of course, half the charm of the Meat chain is the sloppy mess you get yourselves in eating them, but these leave you literally dripping in oil, onion and bits of beef and feeling like a Game Of Thrones mountain savage. Plus they look about as sexy as Chris Huhne.
Jubliee Market aint no Welbeck Street
Their first foray into bricks and mortar was a compelling dive bar, a semi-subterranean gloombox dedicated to dirty burgers, festooned in filthy slogans, and fuelled by rocket-grade cocktails. Its urban art and rough ‘n ready aura shot it through with all the illicit thrills of an east end fight club.
This new place, meanwhile, is in the armpit of Covent Garden, due south of the jugglers and men dressed as out-of-work actors in gold paint, tucked behind a pearly king put out to pasture and several stalls selling car boot-quality Jubilee tat. The bright and funky signage, meanwhile, smacks of Apprentice brainstorm rather than their usual effortless chic.
There’s no liquor
Or hardly any. Frozen vanilla Jäger ices are on offer, but this place is geared towards the in-and-out maximise-bums-on-seats philosophy of Maccy D.
It probably won’t be around in two years
Only a fool would bet against this franchise going from strength to strength, but I can’t see this branch lasting. Hard to find and identify, and just up from a Byron that will suck any burger-hungry tourists in a flash, this needs the “foodie buzz” more than anywhere. And I’m not too sure it’s that forthcoming this time round…