*Renamed as The Wood Shack.
Colombo has more than its fair share of BBQ spots to get your meat on. And one of the more recent ones to join this wave that delights every carnivore in the city limits is Meatwood Shack.
They happened to pop up on our Instagram a while back and given how quirky the names of their food was, we decided that we had to pay them a visit at some point. Plus, even if the restaurant opens at 7 pm, it's a solid 10-minute drive from our office (with traffic). Thus, come one fine Friday evening, we went in hopes of satiating the meat-loving side of ourselves, and boy did we.
Found on the side of the main road, the restaurant essentially comprises of one small room that is the dining area and an even tinier space at the back that serves as a part of the kitchen.
There's enough space to squeeze in around 16 people but they do have a bit of seating outside if you're interested. However, the best part about the ambience for me happened to be the vintage posters on the walls.
Whether it be Superman, Robert Di Niro or even Casablanca, the entire restaurant is curated to make it look like it's from old Hollywood. The slightly warm-toned lighting to the rustic furniture to even the menu is made to make you feel like you've gone back in time to when Marlon Brando still wore a mouthpiece on the set of The Godfather and we absolutely loved it.
The food, like the ambience, more or less goes back to a time when vegans were people who ate grass and the effects of the meat industry on global warming was a myth.
Aside from all the meat-centric stuff, they had an option for people who feel PETA's pressure on Instagram. The Curryna Kapoor is a spicy Indian curry made of Chickpeas and is served with steamed rice or parathas. Unfortunately, we decided to skip on it and dived headfirst into the meat side of things.
The Chicken Winglets (Rs. 400) weren't necessarily on the menu, but by some sorcery, we managed to snag a plate of them and boy were they good. Leaning a tad towards the undercooked side of things, the wings weren't boney at all, were packed with meat and had tons of flavour in each bite.
Fall off the bone soft, they had been grilled till certain ends had bits of charcoal stuck to it and that combined with the buttery, garlic marination, it was brilliant. Rich in just the right way with a mix the acidity of the garlic kicking in with the sharp kicks of pepper, we literally could not be happier with the way our meal started off.
The curry was a mix of thinly sliced up pork in a broth that essentially tasted like tomatoes, salt and pork fat. Unlike most curries, this wasn't all that thick, instead, it leant more towards a brothy side of things. But, the addition of tomatoes helped latch on to the rice when you eat it.
It wouldn't be fair if we ignored the rice. Because while the rice is meant to be served as the side, the rice happened to be one of the best takes of garlic rice we have had in a long time. Buttery and packed with flecks of cooked garlic seeping in through every bite, it accompanied the curry beautifully and it's all in all a 10/10.
While the coleslaw was more or less just fresh veggies with mayo drizzled on top, the garlic bread hit a lot closer to home by how it was made. Fresh bread tossed in the oven with garlic and butter oozing from the middle with a crunchy outside, it was brilliant. But, what really stole the show was the pork.
Marinated to perfection with just the right amount of spice to kick things to the next level without getting in the way of the flavour of the meat, this was a dream come true for any pork loving individual. Yes, the slab did have a thick layer of fat that accompanied the meat, but the thing is, it didn't really bother us. The fat had been grilled till it had a wonderfully crisp outside that combined with the bitter black charcoal bits turned out to be packed with flavour.
I, personally am not the biggest fan of pork fat, but this take on the slab of meat made even me eat every bit of it.
The staff at Meatwood Shack tuned out to be really friendly. The only real issue was the fact that the food took a while to arrive, but given how well the dishes were executed, we had to let it go.
Colombo has a whole load of places to get your fill of meat and our experience at Meatwood Shack proves that it's a worthy opponent for the next time you go looking for some great goodness to kick off your night.