London: smoked BBQ treats and a hip vibe at Smokestak
If you’re an East London regular then you surely won’t have missed the distinct aroma of smoked meat around Brick Lane’s streets, where David Carter had initially launched his US-style BBQ stall in 2013. Ever since the hype picked up though, he teamed up with David Barbadian, who formerly worked front of the house at Gordon Ramsay, and created Smokestak minutes away from the original birthplace of smoked briskets, ribs and so much more!
The word spreads out fast if you’re looking for such cues, so I followed a lead from one of our TFP contributors when I was last in East London for lunch and went to check out what’s dubbed as brisket heaven. Opening the unmarked door was enough to create a sense of something hidden amidst this rustic and full-on industrial interiors. Lots of wood and metal throughout and a giant smoker furnace front, right and center as you walk in with several kilos of meat resting on the big wooden tabletop - what’s for a better intro for meat-lovers?
Service staff comes with a smile and asks for drinks - beer? Sure!
We go through the menu and quickly realize that brisket is the way to go! Nonetheless, my eyes start rolling when I see the brisket slider as an option so I play along and order it as a starter to share. The bun was super soft, softly smeared with clear butter to make it softer, sweeter, better, the brisket was also very tender with blackened edges and enough fat to melt in one bite and the sauce was light enough with just about enough red pickled chillies.
The charred kale salad we got was a nice fresh break from the stark contrast of meat with pomegranate making it even fresher! Another side we loved was the grilled miso aubergine with crushed peanuts , spring onions and cheese chunks that melted softly… divine! The brisket (no bun) was also very good with just about the right amount of fat, served with their magic sauce and some red chillies on the side.
For main, I enjoyed a 30-day dry aged prime rib that broke into small pieces as soon as you laid the fork (or fingers) on it. Such a good piece of meat, perfectly glazed, smoked and cooked! An utter love for meat.
All, at a reasonable price tag and with great service.