My gorge Northern friend Jenny and i were long overdue to meet for a catch up, while she was down in London, back in December.
Jen had previously told me about a place that does the best pork ribs and beef brisket, and its safe to say that the pics alone had me dying to try this place out for myself.
So with dinner reservations made, i embarked on my journey to Shoreditch to meet Jenny our impending dinner date.
It was a little hard to find, especially as they had just opened that week so there was no signage yet, but i mean who needs a sign to announce its presence, when the thick woodsmoke smell does it for you. Even the dirt-frosted, Victorian looking workhouse-esque windows, complete with the obscure lighting from inside really didn't give much away, which summed up the restaurant perfectly, its just one dirty little secret.
The whole look and vibe of this place is so quirky, so Shoreditch!
I fell in love instantly with the deliberate dark, and dingy decor.
Lots of black, chrome, wood and textured walls.
I joined Jen at our table and needed a moment to take it all in, the heady wood scent smell, and the hipster looking staff, all adorned with very on trend hairstyles or tattoos.
I was quietly comforted at the fact that the chef and proprietor David Carter was sat at the bar working away on his Mac, it made me, dare i say giddy, to see the man who was responsible for this place sat working away amidst the buzz, and when he looked our way i gave a small nod of knowing and approval.
The menu intrigued me, so short and simple which didn't spill over into the food, as there was nothing simple about the taste at all.
Jenny decided to order some pork scratchings, which i was adamant not to try, as i was trying to lower fat intake at the time(clearly i was in the wrong place). But on their arrival this was all quickly forgotten. They came with a seasoned mayo which complimented them well.
You can't go wrong with scratchings to be fair, but these were so morish. Every scratching was said to be my last.
Onto the main; of which i ordered thick cut pork rib, with pickled cucumber and to accompany it, roasted carrots, and parsnips smothered with honey and thyme.
The main was decadent, rich in flavour, and just stunning to look at.
Jenny ordered the pork ribs too, and beef brisket with grilled baby gem lettuce, bacon + walnut gremolata.
The way the beef brisket was cooked took me back to America, undoubtedly the last place i've had brisket that good.
The pickled cucumber really helped cut the richness of the pork rib, once id smothered it in the punchy bbq ketchup.
It all tasted so authentic, and like the people who had cooked it cared about the taste and flavour.
As our food arrived the first timers stood out, as they looked on in an awe like envious fashion, and a few proceeded to come over and ask us what we had ordered, what we recommended and if we had been here before. I left the floor for Jenny to take center stage with the answers.
I literally gasped as they presented our food on the matte black slate and was so impressed with this meal as a whole, but i'll be honest i did struggle to finish it, although at the beginning of the meal i was certain two pork ribs just wouldn't fill me up. I sadly couldn't finish my food and had to take what was left to go, which they kindly boxed up for me.
Unfortunately i didn't get the chance to try any of their famous cocktails, but i will definitely be back to try them!
The food, service and decor was just so good, i almost didn't want to share its location, i was tempted it to keep to myself, as this place is a real gem.
This is a grown-up barbeque joint, no microwaved pulled pork swimming in bottled bbq sauce here. With the per head pricing staged at about £30 including a main, starter and a drink, its worth every penny, for the very welcoming genuine yet attentive staff, and memorable food.
This is street food with the passion, and attention to detail like that of a fine dining restaurant, simply astounding.
Click below to make a reservation and get yourself down to Smokestak too!