Mr Smith goes to Meatopia, held at Tobacco Dock in Wapping.
2 Days of meat, fire, fun, music and friends…
September 2014 was my first Meatopia experience and when I left I knew I would be back in 2015. This time round it was just as good if not better. 2 days of meat filled deliciousness, with some great entertainment (see previous posts about that), and catching up with friends.
When I booked the tickets I was scheduled to be doing a half marathon the weekend before and after and it sounded like a great excuse for a protein filled recovery. The first one went ahead, but sadly due to injury I had to pull out of the second, but that did not dim my enthusiasm or appetite!
On the first day of the event I was with Mother Smith (she was back for the second year as well) and after meeting at the station we made our way across London to Tobacco Dock. We knew there would be a queue, but were early enough to be quite close to the front.
After a short wait those with the early bird tickets went in and then it was our turn. I had pre booked ‘Meat Tokens’ and after a short delay while they found them we headed off to explore. The delay was due to the fact that I had booked a different type of ticket for Sunday and they had been put in a different place, but that was not a problem.
While we were waiting to head in we were given a news paper with details of what was on offer and to be honest there were about 15 things I wanted to try, this was going to be tricky!
So for me on day 1 I restricted myself to 5 dishes, plus an ice cream! I knew I had to leave some room for day 2 and with the injury I was not going to be able to do my expected pre day 2 run.
Mother Smith had another good day. Will she want to go for a 3rd year? Who knows, but possibly. It was also great catching up with a couple of family friends who had come down from Leicester for the day. They loved it as both of them love good food and trying new things. They will definitely be back next year and for both days!
- I started with a lovely dish from Uri Navon of Machneyuda (Jerusalem), Jerusalam Mix which was Chicken, Sweetbreads, Spices and Pitta Bread
- So after Sweetbreads it was time for some goat. Kid Shawarma from James Whetlor of Cabrito Goat (Devon). The nearest thing I can describe it as, in terms of how it is prepared, is a Donner kebab, but not like one you would got anywhere else, it was stunningly good
- Next up was an Anatolian Flat Iron Steak from Hus Vedat, which was with Babaganoush & Freekeh, amazing flavours
- Then it was on to a Dirty Cawl from Sam Evans & Shauna Guinn of the Hang Fire Smokehouse, rich and deep and a technique I have not seen before with the meat cooked directly on the coals. I might have to try that!
- Finally for day 1 it was Cochinta Pibil from Brad Macdonald of The Lockhart (London), a great way to round off day 1
So on to day 2. This was a day where I was back to the normal Mr Smith and was focused solely on myself and the food. The difference for day 2 is that some of the chefs change and the ones that do both days do a different dish. The other change is that it was not as busy as the Saturday, which made it a lot easier to get about and get the food.
I am not entirely sure how I managed it, but I got through 8 dishes on day 2! I had decided to try some of the smaller dishes to start off with, but Sunday lunch was also on the cards. I was also planning to spend a lot of time at The Cutting Room to get some lessons in food and listen to interesting talks, so a lot of the afternoon was spent doing that and then nipping off for another course
- The starter, the fantastic Duck Hearts with Apple & Kohlrabi Salad with Brown Butter Dressing from James Knappet of Kitchen Table (London). So good it reminded to get a reservation with them before Xmas
- This was followed by Sunday Lunch, the perfect Pit Roast Middlewhite Pigs, Yorkshire Pudding & Onion Gravy from Mirek Dawid of Blacklock (London)
- When I was enjoying the Duck Hearts someone gave me a tip to try the Buey Treats (Cecina, Aasado De Tira, which is Short Ribs cooked in 2 stages and a Steak tartare) from Jose Gordon of El Capricho (Spain), so I got in the queue and it was the most amazing small bites, perfection. That was a great tip
- After a bit of a breather it was time for lamb (gradually working my way through as many different meats as possible) and it was quite possibly the best lamb chop I have had, the Herdwick Lamb Chop, Charred Baby Gem & Tomatoes with Lamb Fat Hollandaise from Shaun Searley of The Quality Chophouse (London), was incredible
- Last year the highlight for me was a lamb chop from Dan Doherty of Duck & Waffle (London), so I had to go and try this years offering, Duck Wings with Harissa & Pomegranate Molasses, Blue Cheese Ranch & Pickles. Oh my, he had done it again! Gorgeous
- I had spotted the Aged Venison Shoulder, Leek & Potato from Jock Zonfrillo of Orana (Adelaide, Australia) when I was getting the lamb from Shaun Searley. I had to go for it and I was not disappointed. Rich and scrumptious
- As the afternoon was wearing on I was debating whether or not I could fit any more in, but there had been some mutton that had been catching my eye, so why not? I had the Low & Slow Mutton from Ben Williams of Redborne Farm (Bedfordshire) and it reminded me why we need to eat more Mutton! So much flavour and when cooked well very tender!
- Surely that was enough? Yes it was, but I could not help myself, a Spicy Old Cow from Luke Findlay of Patty & Bun (London) just jumped in to my hands and I had to eat it! What a way to finish!
I could not manage anymore and headed off back to the hotel to collapse and fall asleep!
What a great weekend, brilliant food, great entertainment and some really good fun and education at the Cutting Room. Roll on 2016!
Everything (expect the Ice Cream) that I ate in my 2 days
Some general photos to show the atmosphere and some more of the food in preparation
As well as the specific posts on the entertainment, these photos show some more of that and some of the Cutting Room antics and education, definitely worth getting a seat, watching and listening
The previous posts to check out:
One final thought, no idea how the organisers got such good weather for the second year running, but long may that continue