Yes!! Finally Smokestak has opened a restaurant. Smokestak being barbecue/smoked meat heaven in various street food markets. Barjan Dave the founder of everything smoked has been fine tuning his cooking skills for years. He uses a combination of barbecuing and smoking to create, I think the best ribs in London; it is all about the quality of the meat, the cooking, the texture, and finally the glaze.
Now you can see that I am Dave’s number one fan, I immediately booked in to the first night of Smokestak opening. By the time I was walking through the door I was jittering with excitement to see what new creations were on the menu. As you walk in, it has their signature style, barberque smokers in view, raw wood tables and sexy black cutlery.
Luckily I was dining with fellow foodies so we order up most of the menu and the feast begins. From front to back: Crispy ox cheek, cured pigs jowl and pastrami with pickles. The crispy ox cheek comes almost as a croquette without potato, only pulled ox cheek that melts apart as you take the first bite. Cured pigs jowl on deep fried toast looks simple but the quality of meat in this fatty smoky cut was absolutely delicious, really stood out. Pastrami and pickles of course, a classic combination.
The menu is set in small, medium and large plates, all are made to share, and brought to the table with mindful timing, this is not street food anymore. Roasted beetroot with goats cheese and toasted hazelnuts. Warm beetroot, still with a bite next to the silky goats cheese and a crunch of hazelnuts.
On to the mains consisting of Smokestak classics, beef brisket, pork ribs and a beef rib, all served with their signature pickled chilies. If you haven’t tried their meat before, you are in for an absolute treat. The thick cut pork ribs in particular, the meat and fat is ridiculously tender yet still holds together. If you have tried them before, then finally being able to enjoy them in a restaurant setting feels well deserved.
For those who want to see something else new, the cured and hot smoked salmon with horseradish and the side of baby gem stuffed with sour cream and parmesan. It is called Smokestack for a reason, and salmon may not be your first choice, until you taste it, smoked to perfection. When chefs spend this much time focusing on specialties like smoking, the results are outstanding.
The desserts are simple classics, sticky toffee pudding with ice cream and oak smoked ice cream with praline. Not reinventing the wheel but deliciously heart warming.
I have to say I didn’t expect anything less from the Smokestak team, looking forward to more barbecued treats from them.