Was it really a girls dinner? It was more a reunion of friends and whilst David could be considered an honorary girl, I’m not sure how he would take that!!
So maybe the better name for this post would be ‘meat fiends do Smokestak’?!
Which is all the introduction you need really….
So it’s smokey?
Well yes, Smokestak is a BBQ restaurant with an open kitchen and all the large smokers inside. You get a big whiff of smoke just walking outside before you open the door and you walk away smelling very tasty!
Tiva and I were early for our table, so we waited in the downstairs bar. This isn’t really a destination in it’s own right, as the bartender told us it was more a waiting room for the tables above… However it felt like a speakeasy or a saloon out of a Western.. all rough cut wood (lots of wood!) and exposed metal fittings, including telephone/bell wires (nice touch!). We sat at the bar and chatted to the bartender (a fine arts student who, fittingly for Shoreditch, dabbles in street art too).
On the bar were 3 very pretty decanters containing different bitters – think peach, angostura and something else I’ve forgotten but may have been plum.
Cocktails are focused on the strong stuff: think bourbon, whisky, rum. I tried the Plantation, a rum based cocktail, Tiva went off menu with a dirty martini (vodka = not my fault!!). When David arrived they tried a Burnt Peach Old Fashioned (like a sweet peach ice tea spiked!) and the Penicillin (to be prescribed to cure a lot of things, including colds), whilst I started on a bottle of red wine.
Our bartender recommended the ox cheeks, so we totally had to go for those, and the waitress recommended the brisket bun, so we had a large one to share between the 3 of us.
The recommendations were spot on, the ox cheeks slow cooked and then formed into deep fried balls of goodness. The brisket bun a great introduction to the brisket, with all the juices soaked up into the bun, it’s making me drool thinking about it!
In addition we tried the pork ribs; the brisket plate; the mushrooms in beef dripping gravy on toast; the beetroot with hazelnuts and goats cheese; the twice cooked jacket potato – welsh rarebit styles; the fennel and citrus salad; the smokey red miso aubergine; the dressed iceberg lettuce (we need some veggies with all the meaty goodness going on).
And we were stuffed!! (Note we ordered way too much, 3 plates each should be the limit and we went waay over that in our excitement).
The pork ribs were super tasty and falling off the bone, the brisket plate was different cuts to that in the bun (which reminded me more of the American burnt ends), so tasty but also so tender (I really don’t know how they do it!).
The veggies were good too – I loved the aubergine and the jacket potato was a revelation. They cook them, then scoop the potato out, mix in with cheese and other ingredients for the welsh rarebit taste, then recook. The result is a deliciously moorish filling (like a mashed potato), inside a crispy skin (maybe even deep fried?). The salads were there to add green to the plate, but also to cut through the richness of the other food. The mushrooms were the only dish that didn’t do too much for me – not a bad score!
They have 3 desserts, there were 3 of us = we ordered all the desserts to try between us!
The salted caramel was so good that I couldn’t get a shot before it was half eaten! The plum crumble beautiful and David was so happy with the sticky toffee pudding (the sauce, the sauce!!)
I am totally coming back here – soo good, both food and drinks!!