Smoke Gets In Your Eyes | Meatopia, Tobacco Dock, London
It really doesn’t get much better than meat and smoke (unless you’re a vegetarian, of course). Meatopia is a carnivore’s dream, it’s just a crime that it only happens once a year – we could personally visit every weekend (but only if they gave us free tickets or otherwise we’d be living off bread and water for the rest of the week).
In case you don’t know, you should by now as it’s been going for few years, Meatopia is a massive barbecue event held at Tobacco Dock in London every September – founded in the US by the late Josh Ozersky and brought to the UK by chef Richard H Turner of Turner & George. Some of the best and most passionate chefs in the land congregate over charcoal, fire and meat – what could go wrong?
One of the things we loved was the value of it – yes it is a fairly hefty fee to get in (£30 for adults) but the tokens are reasonable at £5.50 for one – allowing you to try a fair amount of the dishes being served without skinting yourself. We have been meaning to attend Meatopia ever since it arrived in London but for one reason or another, we missed out. I started to wonder if perhaps it was meant to be and that we’d find it a huge let down – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only that, the kids (Oliver 15 3/4 and Charlotte 13 1/4) enjoyed it just as much as we did, which wouldn’t have happened a couple of years back that’s for sure.
A little advice for your first visit to Meatopia? If you can, do a lap of Tobacco Dock first as seeing what’s on offer in the flesh (sorry, couldn’t resist), is the best way to choose what to have. Our personal highlights included: Uri Navon from Machneyuda‘s smoked burnt and chopped short ribs – all the way from Jerusalem (a destination that I’d so love to explore).
Charlotte, the fussiest eater known to man shocked us all with her love for Trenchmore Farm beef with smoked offal ragu by Tom Griffiths of Flank and also, some time back, The New Club in Brighton for which were great fans – give yourself a pat on the back there, Tom. Oh and she had her very first taste of Hawksmoor steak – Tomahawk to be precise, think they’ve got a new fan.
Oliver headed straight for Gill Meller of River Cottage‘s Cheek, blood, squid and skin – that’s our boy. We know it’s a little against the rules but we very much enjoyed Nathan Outlaw‘s Mackerel and pickled vegetables – even Little Miss Fussy had some.
It was great to be served by none other than Yotam Ottolenghi himself when we ordered his delicious and vibrant Koh Moo Yang with Blythburgh pork neck. Oh and we mustn’t forget the best BLT of our lives from Lewis Hannaford of Foxlow followed by an indulgent brownie with bacon popcorn from Fattie’s Bakery. Now we’ve eaten a lot of brownies over the years and most have been pretty mediocre but this was gorgeous.
We know the next Meatopia is a whole year away (unless we get our way) but if you’re a meat lover – most likely if you’re reading this – then stick it in your diaries, sign up to the newsletter and buy yourself some tickets.
Find out ore about Meatopia here
We visited as guests of Meatopia, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.