Sunday, 6 April 2014


We seem to be chasing Neil Rankin round Islington. We just missed him at John Salt and were keen to try the meat centric menu on offer here. 

It's a nice laid back vibe with a good buzz. It was unsurprisingly full on a Saturday evening. We had a very good snd effiecient waitress who took time to answer all our questions. We were sat right at the pass which was bordering on the almost too warm so I wonder what they will do in the height of summer. I also wonder how this menu will translate into the summer months as the beef bourgingnon and Barnsley chop although delicious, seem more suited for autumn and winter than the sweltering summers London enjoys.

The brisket roll with gouchang was excellent, the duck in spring rolls was lovely with a tasty Peking sauce that was like a more sophisticated satay. The burnt leeks were delicious and light compared to the other two.
As stated before the short rib and Barnsley chop were meet with nods of approval. The chop was served blue and John almost asked for it to be cooked a bit more but ate it anyway and declared it delicious. 
My mackeral was disappointing. It came head and tail on, which is not a problem but it also came with all the bones, which is, a bit of a faff especially in a place with dim lighting. It was just too much effort in that lighting for me to eat it so Liz Lemon made sure it didn't go to waste. I also have to say compared to the other dishes the way it was present wasn't the prettiest, in fact it was ugly. Ugly fish.
The Asian style coleslaw that came with was very tasty as was the side of pulled pork and grilled romaine. The other disappointment was the side of green salad, which was a small bowl of shredded iceberg, no dressing no nothing. 
Now I know the Smokehouse is a smoker/ meatcentric place but that doesn't mean that it can't do light or vegetable dishes well. I would suggest they need to focus on this aspect of the menu particularly coming I to the summer months when interesting salads a la ottolenghi could be the perfect foil for some smoked/ grilled meats when heavy mash or cauliflower cheese would just be too much.
A surprise standout was the double d. To say it is an incarnation of a double decker is to do it an injustice. It had a great combination of textures and flavours. A really good way to end a fun meal.

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