This week has probably been the hottest summer as far as I can remember and what better way than to spend a Monday evening with hipster Reid than to check out a place in the Islington area which has been on everyone’s list recently (as well as featuring in this weeks Metro newspaper) called Smokehouse.
Being a Spurs fan I had to have a beer to calm myself down at the thought of going into Gooner territory but anyways football aside, the weather was awesome and I was ready to go drinking and chow down on some blinding food.
As we usually do when we meet up, Alex and I had a few beers and a good catch up and I probably ordered one of the campest cocktails which was made in homage to the tennis at Wimbledon called Love Deuce. It was basically strawberries and cream mixed with gin (or at least I thought it was). I’m not gonna lie, it was bloody nice.
Anyways after hydrating ourselves and intoxicating our bodies with ice cold beer from the finest pubs in North London, Reid and I made our way down to Smokehouse.
This place looked seriously cracking and the staff were quite simply a bunch of incredible and lively group of people. They were very chatty and made sure that the pair of us were well looked after and having a great dining experience.
I loved the menu as it had influences from many different cultures such as Jamaican, Korean, Thai and French. All of the dishes looked so appetising and if I could stomach it I would have ordered everything off it.
In true FoodPunk fashion even though it was baking hot I was going to tackle a variety of dishes. Besides I had a refreshing homemade lemonade to cool me down.
This is what we started with:-
- Chopped brisket roll & gochujang
- Burnt leeks, fried egg, Portobello mushroom, truffle & parmesan
- Foie gras, fried egg & apple pie
The starters look good right!?!?!? and indeed they were. Its hard to pick which one was my favourite because they were all equally as delicious. You simply can’t go wrong with a croquette jam packed with a load of smoked shredded beef or mouth watering melt in your mouth foie gras.
Even the vegetarian option was out of this world, mountains of layered grated parmesan all over the leeks and mushrooms was too good to turn down. I’m a man that’s never been a fan of truffle but I have to admit that they got the balance spot on with it, it wasn’t overbearing as we all know truffle can be and talking about balance even the brisket wasn’t too overpowering with the smokiness.
It was a perfect start to proceedings and those small plates set myself and Alex up for the main event which was:-
- Shortrib bourguignon
- Smoked pork belly, tattie scone, black pudding & apple, beurre blanc
Wait until you see these mega mains!!!!!!
Oh and that wasn’t the only thing that came out. When I go out to eat with my friends, I’ve gotta order sides as well.
- Caramel roast potatoes
- Korean pulled pork
Now I know what you’re probably thinking, its summer and the food looks quite heavy and you would be right, the food was rich but after sharing three starters of course it was going to be a bit of a challenge for us, but we came with a game plan like we always do, hit it hard, hit it fast.
Ultimately this is why I love my food. The mains were perfect examples of simple, great tasting honest plates of food. The pork was thick, juicy and tender and underneath it was sweet chunks of apple, crumbly black pudding and a rich beurre blanc to mop it all up with. As for the short rib, it was to die for with bits of meat just falling from the bone, soaking up the jus with crispy shallots, decent sized salty lardons of bacon and smooth creamy mash to go with it.
I admit I wasn’t a fan of the Korean pulled pork. I know shock horror being half oriental but I couldn’t work out why. I honestly don’t know what it could have been that was in it but you can’t like everything in life and it certainly didn’t put a downer on the meal.
Somehow Alex and I tackled our orders. I definitely was suffering from a food coma the next day, I didn’t touch anything for at least a day but it was worth it.
So Foodpunkers get your asses down to Smokehouse especially whilst we are blessed with a great summer. The combination of refreshing drinks, down to earth staff and moreover banging food gives this place such a great vibe. The food they produce here is honest grub and you certainly won’t be upset.
Restaurants like Smokehouse deserve to be visited again and again and I know for a fact I’ll be going back for more smoked meats and delicious sides. I also need to squeeze in a dessert or a cheeseboard when I go back.
If you can’t get to the Islington one, they have another one situated in Chiswick.
Fantastic place and it was such a pleasure going there, no wonder these guys are getting more and more exposure from magazines and newspapers.