When I first heard of Meat The Cheese, I shrugged.
Mind you, I love cheese. And I mean good cheese. I can easily burst into song declaring my love for cheese and naming each variety of cheese in the chorus. But I won't, I'll save that for my musical on pizza.
But from the name, Meat The Cheese called to mind the likes of Hot n Spicy or Burger Lab, which are amazing but just fast food places. I promised I'd give it a try but wasn't inspired. Until I found out what they mean by "meat the cheese." Basically, I saw this:
Meat The Cheese is a restaurant that's been in the making for the past two years. It can serve a variety of cheese with your meal and is the first restaurant to bring the famous raclette cheese wheel to Pakistan. You know what I'm talking about, the huge wheel oozing cheese that is served right on your meal. There's so much cheese that they don't cheese the meat, they meat the cheese! Okay, you get it, I'll stop now.
With this new information, I head out to the restaurant with my colleague, intrigued but still guarded. It can't be that good, right?
Where to go
Located at Bukhari Commercial, which is fast becoming one of Karachi's most happening food spots, Meat The Cheese can be found next to Grotto Cafe and right across The Grid.
The restaurant's interiors are a pleasant surprise. It dispels at once all thoughts about Meat The Cheese being an ordinary fast food joint. Floral patterns decorate the furniture and we were very fascinated by a wall decoration full of greenery. It gave me Jumanji vibes but in a good way.
When to go
Meat the Cheese is open from 12:30pm to 1AM, which means no breakfast plans there... yet?
What to order
We got in touch with Meat the Cheese owner Mustafa Totana to know more about the restaurant and also to help us with our order. He was happy to assist.
Mustafa Totana is the owner of the popular Fit in 5 weight loss programme so for him, getting fresh and healthy ingredients was a priority. The variety of cheese available at his restaurant are all organic and thus way healthier than processed cheese.
One of the most popular appetisers at Meat The Cheese are the wicked mushrooms and we totally understand their appeal. Mushroom caps, pepperoni and cheese are rolled in batter and fried — it's like having pizza by the mouthful.
But it loses flavour if it's not hot, so don't dally before popping these in your mouth. Served with honey mustard, but it's good without too.
The cheesy chick on a stick is an interesting appetiser, which can also be a decent main for those with a small appetite. Marinated cheesy skewers served with fries, the chicken is perfectly cooked and tender.
The best part is you can have raclette cheese poured on your skewers which adds so much to the flavour. Remember, the cheese is not processed, so it's not that unhealthy. Let me have this.
The state of the art-ichoke (kudos for the creative names) is a cheese and spinach dip served with pita bread. While the dip was good, it couldn't get the attention it needed what with the mushrooms and chicken we were happily devouring. The dip is flavourful and makes for good comfort food.
Moving on to the mains, Mustafa recommended the chipotle bee-eff-eff burger and yes they are nailing it with the names. I was expecting an average burger but it was so much more.
The burger's patty was juicy in a way not many patties are. Mustafa admits to having a trade secret that makes their patties different but wouldn't reveal it.The bee-eff-eff burger has this minced meat patty, chipotle sauce and, wait for it, sweet potato. Also, you can add raclette cheese to it and trust me, you should.
There is barely any place in Karachi that has sweet potato in their burgers and I was glad that Meat The Cheese has it. The sweet potato adds texture to the burger and enhances the flavour of the meat.
The crackpot pie makes for a fun dinner and a show but it was the least favourite item on the table. A hybrid of pizza and chicken pot pie, it has Wisconsin brick cheese holding the dish together.
I loved the brick cheese but it was the seasoning of the chicken and the additional smokey flavour that actually had me reaching for it the least. This is a dish that maybe the children will enjoy.
The winner at the table was the tenderloin steak. This is definitely one of the best steaks I've had in Karachi, if not the best. At Meat The Cheese, steaks are slow-cooked and smoked for a period of 9 hours. They are then seared on order and at the customer's preference and this means you can get your steak in less than 10 minutes of ordering and also that the consistency can never go wrong.
Don't be fooled by the picture of the steak! It is way bigger than the picture shows, just vertically. Our steak was tender, flavourful and had us dreaming about it at night. Okay, maybe just me.
The steak is served with either a blue cheese dressing, which was warm and went well with the steak, or a peppercorn sauce. It also has baby potatoes and mushrooms on the side and Mustafa strongly recommends that if you want extra cheese you put it on the vegetables and not on the steak. We agree. Seriously, the steak at Meat the Cheese is amazing and we have yet to try anything like it.
We enjoyed our meal with Meat The Cheese's in-house blend of drinks. According to Mustafa, they didn't pay much attention to the drinks as the mains were their focus. Still, the Brazilian punch is a wonderful light and fruity mocktail that is a perfect match with the mains while the strawberry cheesecake smoothie wowed us with how flavourful yet light it was. Give it a try, folks!
Meat The Cheese may be gaining popularity for their meats and cheeses but they took it up a notch with their dessert as well. The restaurant serves a 20-layer chocolate cake, which is a great way to end a meal there. This definitely needs to be shared with the team!
The cake is light and airy yet full of chocolaty goodness and the restaurant serves the cake with vanilla ice cream, which helps balance the chocolate flavour.
However, Meat The Cheese needs to work on their crème brûlée which had too thick a layer of torched sugar on top and the dessert itself was a little runny in consistency. We did like that the dish was served with berries, it was a welcome addition.
Damage on the pocket
With its high-quality ingredients, Meat The Cheese is fairly priced, with mains ranging from Rs600-Rs1200. The appetisers and desserts are a little steep, though, with appetisers ranging from Rs400-Rs630 and desserts ranging from Rs450-Rs650. The raclette cheese can be added for either Rs150 or Rs250.
Considering their quantity and quality, the prices at Meat The Cheese are justified and the restaurant definitely warrants a visit or two. I'm going to be heading there for the steak because it has been haunting my dreams ever since!