February 2019 Update:
The vegan options here haven’t changed a lot, which is not very surprising given the focus & name of the venue. There are definitely better vegan options in downtown & Madinat Jumeirah so only go here if you are okay with limited choice and are going with others who you want to do a favor.
Probably you can not imagine a more absurd name for a restaurant a vegan would want to dine in than “The Meat Co” – neither can I. But sometimes you want to show off to your friends, family and colleagues that you can find something tasty and vegan to eat no matter where you dine. Even in Dubai and even in a restaurant mainly focusing on their amazing steaks. Well, I just had one of these days when being invited for dinner and agreed on coming to “The Meat Co” – a steakhouse at Madinat Jumeirah.
The location at Madinat Jumeirah is super nice, during Dubai’s winter you can sit right next to the river with a view on Burj Al Arab. We had a table inside the rather dark interior with an open style kitchen. During the week (in September) it seemed quiet when we arrived but by the time we had our main dishes the restaurant was completely full and I recommend booking a table ahead.
Obviously I had checked the menu prior to agreeing to join just to ensure they’d be able to offer me something. After consulting the waiter I had the choice between the Rocket, Apple and Walnut Salad, the Greek Salad (both without cheese) or the Vegetarian Dish of the Day. The Vegetarian Dish of the Day was Filled Portobello Mushrooms with a side of Quinoa. I had to send the waiter back to the kitchen to ask if it was possible to remove the cheese from that dish as well (he was already really disappointed about me not eating meat at all) and when he came back to confirm I decided to go for the Vegetarian Dish of the Day; not because the salads didn’t sound great, but more because I was afraid they wouldn’t be enough since I was extremely hungry. There are a couple of vegan side dishes available as well (Sautéed Mushrooms, Steamed Seasonal Vegetables, Broccoli).
When my plate arrived the huge and super nice looking portion impressed me. The portobello mushrooms were filled with seasonal vegetables on a bed of spinach and the side of quinoa was seasoned with herbs and vegetables as well. Everything didn’t only look amazing, but was just as delicious. The vegetables were fresh, cooked and seasoned well and I was super satisfied after the dinner. Even though the price was rather high (I paid 100 AED for the dish) it was one of the best vegan dishes I’ve had and I would have never expected to find that in a steakhouse.
Obviously The Meat Co is not a restaurant where you should start another debate about why veganism is beneficial for everyone and the world, but instead of having to have people ensure a vegan will be able to eat something at the dinner location I’ve learned one more time that sometimes you just have to give it a chance without being afraid or having prejudices. Your meat-loving friends will appreciate your confession without you having to sacrifice good vegan food. Enjoy your dinner with a good bottle of wine or two at any of their branches in the Middle East, London or South Africa.
The Meat Co at Madinat Jumeirah
Opening hours: 12PM to 12AM
The Meat Co at Souk al Bahar
Opening hours: Sat – Wed 12PM to 11:30PM, Thu – Fri 12PM to 12AM