We need a Meating.

My diet is 70% vegan, so it is quite unusual to see me in a place called Meating, especially when it isn't halal either. But one thing I like about being a blogger is being invited to places that I haven't yet tried or wouldn't even think to try. So, when I got invited along to Meating in The Arcadian, I was both intrigued and excited to see what would ensue.
Meating is located on the upper level of The Arcadian, it has a look of a Cowshed to it, which is quirky and in fitting with it's menu. It has a very quiet but relaxed atmosphere, I visited on a Wednesday so I wonder if it gets busy on the weekend. I asked the waiter and he said that it was busy when they first opened but now the initial buzz has died down and it seemed that most people are gravitating towards Grand Central.

They had an allergen menu, although it is one that is still being worked on, which made it easier for me to choose something to eat. I initially had some trouble with ordering, as the chefs appeared to think that egg was a dairy product (as did the allergen menu), which showed me that there is a lack of training or research being undertaken at the restaurant, something that does not set me onto a positive state of mind especially when the manager tells me that they on top of their allergies. I ordered Salt and Pepper Squid with Harissa Mayo (pictured above), but I was told the mayo was not dairy-free so got harissa barbecue sauce instead, which was an invention of the waiter's.

I love the barbecue sauce with harissa and liked the salt and pepper batter on the squid, although it was a little crumbly, but found that the squid was overdone; as it was chewy and tough to eat. It was also quite thick and the batter was too thin in comparison. Nowhere near to the awesome Chilli Squid that I get at Wagamama. I think if that was altered and it wasn't overdone it would be quite nice.

Initially for my main I wanted the Grilled Swordfish with Lemon and Tomato Salsa but they had sold out, so I went for the Marinated Fish with Hash. I found the fish to again be overdone and chewy but the lemon oil that was used was tasty and went well with the fish. The hash is meant to be diced potatoes with caramelised onions, the potatoes are meant to be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. But they were just soft. There was nothing in this dish that stood out that I could say was amazing. I do like the home-like feel to the food but I find I would make it better at home and it would be cheaper too.

There was also a salad bar at the venue, for which you are presented a bowl for, after your starter. The salad bar consisted of 6 dishes, 2 of which you could tell were store-bought and the rest were nothing to write home about. I like the idea but it needed to be executed better.

Overall, I am not enthused to go back to Meating but I think that is because it does not suit my dietary requirements and personal taste. I heard mixed reviews before I went, one on the Birmingham Mail and another on The Foodie Couple's blog, so I didn't know what to think beforehand. But after talking to a friend that visited the venue recently and seeing for myself, I can see that this restaurant is best for a meat eater and not for someone with dietary requirements, although looking at the Birmingham Mail blogpost the meat eater preference is questionable. So I would advise checking it out for yourself, whilst I head off to Wagamamas. If you do then please let me know what you thought. I would also advise Meating to learn more about allergies and how they differ, as it would be beneficial for themselves and their customers.

Food - 2/5
Overdone, lacking imagination and homemade feel.

Dairy-free options? - 2/5
Amendments can be made to dishes but selections already on the menu are scarce.

Service - 5/5
My waiter was Callum and he was ace. You could tell that he hadn't been given any training on dietary requirements but he tried his best, was very friendly and made a cracking harissa barbecue sauce.

Cleanliness - 5/5
Very clean.

Location - 3/5
Easy to find, once you know it is there.

Value for Money - 2/5
Expensive for the low quality and homemade feel.

Worth trying? Yes, for a meat eater

Instagram worthy? No

Overall - 19/30

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