With a name like Imbiss The Meating Joint , can I say my expectations are through the roof?
I arrive at this hole in the wall and say hello to a glass window displaying everything I want to sink my teeth into: chops, steak, ribs. You can see directly into the kitchen, where chattering chefs are theatrically flipping meat in pans.
The interiors are basic and no-nonsense: wooden stools and booths, with newspaper clippings of Imbiss media coverage adorning the walls. This is a place you come with friends who you’ve known for years, in whatever you feel like wearing.
To say the space is tiny is an understatement – if more than two couples are seated, it feels positively claustrophobic. But this is made up for by the relative jollyness of the staff and relaxed atmosphere.
Upstairs is much larger and more private (relatively) but still a bit of a squeeze. The grinning waiter exudes genuine friendliness and joy. I place my order and instruct him to please bring out each dish one at a time.
My request is ignored and I am left to taste five rapidly cooling dishes.
I die a little inside when I behold the carb content of the chicken burger.
The bun is huge and unfashionably white, with a weeping cherry tomato stabbed through a toothpick as a garnish. I gingerly lift the top part of the bun, searching to assess the quality of the meat. It appears to be invisible.
Not wanting to go digging through the burger, I take a bite. With a bark worse than its bite, the burger is actually not so bad. The combination of chicken patty with melted cheddar cheese, sauteed onion, tomato, mayonnaise and lettuce unites in a cohesive if not comforting union.
The chips are lightly sprinkled with peri salt to go dancing with a sweet chilli sauce. The dish is certainly not rocket science, nor mind-blowing, but is made with care and enthusiasm.
Initially I am agape by the prices at Imbiss The Meating Joint – everything seems so cheap! I order the lamb, mint and rosemary sausage for 120 INR and am tickled to see a single sausage arrive with mash and gravy.
The sausage itself packs a flavoursome punch with strong mint flavours resonating throughout and a hint of chilli. This is as authentic as a lamb sausage goes in terms of taste, which is accentuated by parsley sprinkled on top as a garnish
The accompanying gravy is thin though tasty, the mash rudimentary, with a dash of butter.
The dish would have been more visually satisfying had the sausage been made fatter and the gravy less watery-looking.
I am excited for the next dish – baby back spare ribs to share. They do not disappoint in appearance – the generous serving is more than enough for two people.
As one of the most expensive items on the menu, the taste and texture reveals the amount of preparation which has gone into this dish – the meat is blissfully soft, with the spicy BBQ flavour resonating in every bite.
The ribs are fantastic quality – the fat is succulent enough to be consumed without becoming heavy, the now-supple bones are almost redundant and can either be consumed or picked up to have the meat glide lazily off.
I finish with the steak. Reluctantly complying with the waiter’s recommendation of having the meat cooked medium-rare (I’m out and out, a Medium girl) I cut through a section of the steak to see it well done.
I am perplexed. I cut through another section of the steak to see it medium. Though admirably soft for buffalo meat and well-seasoned, this discrepancy in cooking throws me somewhat. The steak however is not difficult to get through, when hot.
The accompanying vegetables are again simple and home-cooked, the gravy and mash serving as a palatable accompaniment.
The food at Imbiss The Meating Joint is just about okay – the meat quality save for the pork ribs was not outstanding. The menu is impressively expansive, but admittedly everything sounds better in print.
Imbiss The Meating Joint could look at revising its food presentation – small tweaks such as slightly increasing the price of the sausage dishes to include at least two, to avoid disappointment.
It is one thing to maintain the illusion of cheap prices, but the dish should also appear as though it is value for money, rather than just getting what one paid for.
For those occasional meat eaters wanting to be adventurous and experience the flavour of each meat within an affordable price bracket, the food at Imbiss is acceptable.
Ambience 5, Food 7.
Imbiss The Meating Joint is located at 14 Ben O Lil Haven, Waroda Road, Off Hill Road, Bandra West.