35 Sclater St, London E1 6LB
You missed us?
You might have noticed we’d taken a rather extended (and unplanned) sabbatical from The Burp at the back end of 2016 – just to add to the depressing nature of the year – but we are back! And that’s a promise…
And what better ways to kick off proceedings than to bring to your attention one of the best restaurants we’ve been to for a while….Smokestak!
Now, any well-respected or self-confessed ‘food lover’ will obviously be familiar with Smokestak but for those of you who are still recovering from December here is a quick recap.
Born in 2013 at Dalston’s Street Feast, just down the road from its now more permanent establishment – Smokestak was a food festival favourite serving up smoking hot street food to happy punters weekly. With their legendary Brisket Beef buns and ribs the size of your head they quickly became a well-established name and a firm favourite of many…but talk soon turned to the question of when would owner David Carter take the leap and immortalise Smokestak with proper bricks and mortar.
We headed east one Saturday evening – happy in the fact you can make an advanced dinner reservation and guarantee a table – arriving to the restaurant in full swing.
Boasting a busy bar you can eat at whilst watching the chefs in action along with other large wooden tables for bigger groups we were shown to our table and we began to dissect the menu….
Obviously aided by a few cocktails!
If you are tequila fan (like us!) make sure to get the ‘Smoke’ – fresh and sour – we guzzled these all evening.
Hating to miss out we thought it would be rude not to try almost everything on the menu (to the bemusement of our waitress) – it just all looked so good…
Wild Mushroom on Beef Dripping Toast…a must order!
A sticky pile of garlicky infused mushrooms unceremoniously piled onto beef dripping toast, absolute heaven.
A rather blurry picture (we are clearly out of practise / the tequila was taking its toll) of crispy ox cheek, served with a smoky mayo, delicious.
There was much talk of the pigtails before our reservation – some were still unsure – but as expected when the Pigtails arrived everyone dived in…
We were expecting something like a pork scratching however pigtails are far more gelatinous plus you had to manouver your munches around a bone. Sticky due to the BBQ glazing these were definitely different to anything we’d tried before…definitely worth trying though!
The brisket buns that propelled Smokestak onto our radar one cold evening at Street Feast those many years ago…don’t be frightened of those red pickled chilli’s, sure they may pack a punch if you decide to go in for one of these chilli’s bare-back but sandwiched between the soft buns and succulent brisket they are the perfect addition – making this humdinger of a dish sing!
Segwaying ourselves away from the meat-sweats we’d gone for a fish dish too.
Monkfish with a romesco sauce. In all honesty this dish was forgotten amongst so many fantastic meat dishes we’d have to say give this a miss – sorry!
Ok – so this was when the dishes we’d all been looking forward to started to arrive at the table.
Everything before had been a warm-up…
Above: We have beef rib with their signature pickled red chillies.
Thick-cut pork ribs with the fabulous addition of pickled cucumber…
Both – 10/10 dishes
Meat that fell from the bone, melted in your mouth and left you wanting more!
(Note to self: Ordering two beef ribs was unnecessary)
Smoked aubergine, toasted cashew, burnt honey – a dish that proved itself against the numerous heavy-weight meat dishes. Get this.
Rather unfocused picture – apologise.
Our questionable camera skills were forgotten at the arrival of beef brisket with a barbecue sauce (yes more brisket).
The BBQ sauce is banging.
Adding colour to our table – their grilled baby gem with a bacon + walnut gremolata.
Order this, a dish that is worth breaking from the meat for.
We were pleasantly surprised by the celery, almond + preserved lemon slaw – decent!
Reading reviews we’d heard that Smokestak’s jacket potato topped with smoked rarebit was not to be ignored.
My mouth waters as I write this…
Sticky toffee pudding and burnt butter ice cream was on the menu….
It was a no-brainer…
Contendor for best sticky toffee in town – right there.
We left Smokestak extremely satisfied.
As we waited for the slow-coaches we were told that the restaurant had already done 200 customers and it wasn’t even 10 o’clock – they don’t stop serving until 11.
That gives you an idea of how great the food is – big up Smokestak, every-time!
The Burp Blog’s Verdict: Five out of Five Forks
Price: £££ (£60 each – sorry JT – 4 people, plus quite a few drinks…)
The Burp’s Top Tip: You can book but if you are a walk-in they’ve got a bar downstairs where you can wait which isn’t half bad!