Ailsa Whyatt heads to Medina Centrale for a steak fix and finds that Meatsmith is a place where beef cuts ‘meat’ their match.

Right in the heart of Medina Centrale, Meatsmith has an industrial and unfussy feel to its interior, which matches the simplistic but striking presentation on which it prides itself. This food needs no fluff, it holds up on its own. The concept was spawned by American Michelin-starred chef, Dave Pynt, who set up the first Meatsmith in Singapore, and passed on all his trade secrets to his Executive Chef, Oscar Engmann, who runs the kitchens here at Meatsmith, Doha.

We are seated by Tia, who is extremely knowledgeable and very happy to make exceptional recommendations on what is good to eat here. Some complimentary popcorn, beef bacon and Parmesan snacks immediately appear, which are extremely moreish and make me worry immediately about making sure there is enough space for what smells like a sizzling onslaught of meaty deliciousness wafting from the kitchens.

After a chat with Sairdal, Restaurant Manager at Meat Smith, who supplies us with a mixed berries mocktail (strawberries, raspberries, lemon juice and soda combined together for a fresh yet sweet flavour), the starters arrive. The Brisket Springrolls are my favourite; so perfectly crunchy on the outside, hiding smoky and tender beef brisket, all drawn together with a BBQ Aioli. I must also mention the Buffalo Wings, which are simultaneously crispy and gooey, as well as having the biggest kick I think even a buffalo could muster! A cool, blue cheese sauce sets the dish off to a meaty T. Yum.

Before I tell you about the mains, I would like to talk about food prep. Meatsmith takes ‘made in-house’ to a new level. It has its own set of three fridges on display in the restaurant, into which are placed striploin steaks, with rock salt blocks reminiscent of amber tiles at the bottom of each. These fridges are kept at slightly different temperatures and humidity levels, and the striploins are rotated across each of the fridges over a three-tofour-week period. The result is a striploin steak that is so soft that it barely requires any effort to cut.

Ok, maybe I will tell you about the mains – 300g Icon Dry Aged Striploin is the only aged meat on the menu, and its weeks of effort in the fridges are definitely our gain. Served with a simple mixed leaf salad, fantastically garlicky Chimichurri sauce and Meatsmith BBQ sauce (the only BBQ sauce I have ever tasted which contains both treacle and hot sauce), it is melt-in-yourmouth tender, flavoursome and cooked to perfection.

Not only are there the meat fridges, but Meatsmith has its own smoker hidden away behind them (with a 1,400kg meat capacity, no less), in which to smoke constantly rotating beef briskets for 12 to 14 hours. We are served the Meatsmith Cheeseburger, for which beef and smoked brisket are combined into perhaps the most succulent burger I have yet tasted, and then comes out the Smoked Beef Brisket. Yes please, we have arrived. The smokiness of the brisket goes all the way through this tender, fall-apart cut. It is the flavours you smell when you have been sat by a crackling campfire all evening. This has been infused into the taste and there is a pinkness to the meat, showing just how slowly and perfectly it has been cooked. The BBQ sauce adds sweetness to complement the smoke and it is served with Meatsmith slaw; white cabbage and sultanas made creamy with sour cream, lime juice, a kick of pepper and a hint of maple syrup. Speaking of campfires, we are treated to the Smore’s Tart; blowtorched marshmallow set over a creamy chocolate filling, on top of a digestive biscuit base, reminiscent of those American campfire favourites, where biscuits engulf toasted marshmallows and pieces of chocolate to make a camping sandwich like no other! We finish with the Fig Tarte Tatin and 30 Bean Vanilla Ice Cream. The figs are sweet, with a gentle crunch from their seeds, the caramel sauce is plentiful but not overpowering and the roasted almonds on top are the nuttiness that this dish needs to complete it. Served with home-made vanilla ice cream, this is a firm winner in our camp!

BBQ is not a sufficiently expansive term to describe the food at Meatsmith. It is a flame-grilled, smoky feast in a trendy setting, and we will be back! ✤