In late 2021, it was announced that Redefine Meat, an Israeli alternative meat start-up, will be launching in several major cities across Europe including London as part of its global expansion plans. The company, known for its 3D-printed plant-based whole cuts, managed to partner with the famed celebrity chef Marco Pierre White to launch its products across the multiple restaurants that MPW owns. As someone who is based in London, I am very excited to finally try my first 3D-printed food product, let alone 3D-printed plant-based steak!
The restaurant that I decided to visit is Mr White’s located in Leicester Square in Central London. Upon looking at the menu, I was impressed to see that Redefine Meat’s steak options are put alongside the ‘traditional’ steaks the restaurant is known for and is priced at a similar price point with a range of £26.50 - £29.50 (Rp 495.000 – Rp 550.000). Other than the steaks, Redefine Meat also offers its burger, sausage, and minced meat in Mr White’s.
When the steak arrived, it looked like a filet mignon steak that is served with mushrooms and spinach with a side of chips. To tell the truth, I was expecting a steak that is much bigger in size given the price point that is the same as a 200g dry-aged ribeye steak that a friend ordered. That said, I was still excited to finally try the 3D-printed steak, nonetheless. When I first cut into the steak, I immediately noticed the softness of the steak where the knife immediately sinks into it rather than giving the knife some resistance like a ‘traditional’ steak would.
However, I immediately noticed the strands of meat the steak has which was very promising. Just from visuals alone, the steak reminded me of beef chuck, similar to the cut of meat you would typically use to make dishes like Rendang. Additionally, the steak itself also has a meaty aroma which really reminds me of animal meat.
Upon tasting it, the texture was definitely soft, but I did not expect it to also be chewy. It reminds me of the texture of beef chuck that is not cooked until tender although, for a plant-based steak, I have to say that this product bears the most resemblance to a beef steak in terms of texture. The flavor of the steak itself was more similar to lamb rather than beef. The steak had a meaty flavor with a hint of gamey-ness at the end. It also had an underlying acetone flavor that is commonly found in plant-based meat products, especially those that are made using pea protein.
Although I wouldn’t say that I’d be fooled to perceive this steak to be an animal-based meat product if it was given to me blindfolded, I have to say that the steak was very impressive in terms of how realistic it is when compared to ‘traditional’ steak. In the past, the plant-based steak products that I’ve tried were either too spongy or too firm which is why this product is definitely a leg up.
Despite the hefty price point, Redefine Meat’s steak was worth a try given the novelty of the product itself. Given how I have not had any other 3D-printed food products before, I have nothing to benchmark this against but if this steak is of any indication of what is to come in the alternative protein industry, we can only expect a more and more realistic plant-based version of ‘traditional’ meat products we may be familiar with. This is especially true as more companies join the 3D-printed alternative protein industry and the products get more refined over time.