Finding ways for your business to stand out from the crowd plays a big part in its success. If you’re doing something unique then you will often need equipment that is uniquely adapted for you.
The Clubhouse Steakhouse in Crawley has evolved from a burger restaurant based in the cricket clubhouse from where it takes its name into not just the only Halal steakhouse in the UK but the only Halal steakhouse which offers steaks made with top quality in-house aged beef. This is accomplished with a selection of Meat Ageing Refrigerators which are sited front of house, allowing diners to view the meat they’ll be eating as soon as they walk in to the restaurant.
Looking for ways to expand beyond burgers, owner and chef patron Azam Riyard added dry aged steaks to the menu. “It just started blowing up,” he says.
The rising demand led him to open up a new location, which serves a selection of the finest beef sourced from around the world and dry aged in-house, as well as burgers, seafood and sides. “It’s not your standard steakhouse fare,” says Azam. “We seek out the best meat from around the world, like Wagyu from both Japan and Australia, and then our dry ageing takes it to a new level.”
The Clubhouse offers a comprehensive range of steak cuts, with the most popular being fillet and ribeye. These are then grilled and served with freshly prepared sauces including artisanal peppercorn sauce made with Maldon flaked salt and Sri Lankan pepper, Chimichurri and Béarnaise.
When you’re investing this much into high quality ingredients you want to get the most out of them, this is where dry ageing helps.
“With traditional refrigeration and ageing techniques wastage can be an issue, which means we’re losing money,”
“Dry ageing gives me a way to give meat a much longer shelf life, and the means of offering our customers an amazing taste they don’t normally get the chance to experience!”
Ageing meat helps to concentrate the flavour, giving it a buttery, tender texture. “The flavour is second to none,” says Azam. “We age our beef for 45 days on average, many of our customers say that they can’t go back to standard beef once they’ve tried it!”
Once Azam began researching the ideal dry ageing solution, it wasn’t long before he discovered Williams’ Meat Ageing Refrigerator. “Before opening up the new restaurant I was intent on finding the best equipment,” says Azam. “Not only did Williams score here but as a British manufacturer I felt confident that they would be better positioned to respond to us both before and after the sale.”
Azam was put in touch with Nelson Catering Equipment, who handled the sale of the units. “They were brilliant, the service they provided was excellent,” says Azam. “They were very helpful whenever I had a question or needed
There are four Meat Ageing Refrigerators installed at the Clubhouse, providing ample storage for the different cuts of meat they serve. As they were to be installed front of house Williams adjusted them to reduce the noise produced by the compressor, without compromising their operation. “Williams were willing to adapt them to my needs, rather than us being forced to compromise,” says Azam.
“We built a great relationship, they listened to what I wanted and were able to customise the fridges to what I wanted from them.”
The Meat Ageing Refrigerators create a dramatic presentation for diners as they enter the restaurant. “Customers walk in and they can see the ageing process the meat is going through,” says Azam. “It gives them a great insight into what they’re about to be fed, it’s very appealing!”
Constructed from robust, easy to clean stainless steel each fridge features a glass door, with internal energy efficient LED lighting providing clear visibility of the ageing meat. “They’re simple to use and maintain,” says Azam. “The stainless steel is easy to clean and keep looking great.”
The Meat Ageing Refrigerator features a carefully calibrated internal climate that balances temperature and humidity to provide the perfect environment for ageing meat.
It also features Himalayan salt blocks which both assist with moisture management while helping to improve the flavour of the meat.
This allows for considerably longer ageing processes to be undertaken than other methods. While 45 days is the average length at the Clubhouse, Azam is keen to see how far he can take the process.
“At the moment I’ve got some which has been in there about 175 days,” he says. “We’ve yet to find the limit, and once it’s been aged you can vacuum pack it and keep it almost indefinitely.”
The Meat Ageing Refrigerator features 80mm polyurethane insulation with zero ODP and low GWP and uses a natural hydrocarbon refrigerant.
The superior product that the Meat Ageing Refrigerator creates has proved such a hit with diners that Azam is extremely optimistic about the future of the Clubhouse.
“Being the only Halal steakhouse that serves dry aged beef in the UK makes us unique,” says Azam. “It’s still pretty rare to get the chance to eat dry aged beef, and with the demand we’ve already seen I’m sure we’re only going to get bigger and bigger. We’re going to need more fridges from Williams!”