For my impending 35th Birthday hubby treated me to a meal at Smokehouse in Islington. I love meat and smoked meat is even better!
We had a reservation for 6pm on a Saturday, just a short walk from Highbury & Islington station and we were promptly seated in an empty restaurant, evening sittings start from 6pm.
Our waitress was very friendly, talked us through the specials and made recommendations which we followed. The menu had a Korean infusion twist, and we chose the following…
Chopped Brisket Roll + Gochujang
This was amazing. I got very giddy when it was placed in front of me as it looked like my second favourite food – croquette potatoes! Sorry, I know, but I can’t help it – I love them!
This was not a croquette potato, it was just a deep fried brisket roll, but it was delicious. Before I ordered I checked what gochujang was, and it is a spice Korean mayonnaise. It complimented the roll well, and was very tasty. I was reluctant to share this dish with hubby, but I knew I just had to try what he had.
Thai Chicken Livers, Toast & Duck Hearts
I only had a little taste of this, but it did include a duck heart. This was the first time I have ever tried one, it was a little chewy! The chicken liver pate was tasty but looked like it the dish would have benefitted from having more on the toast.
Hubby & I chose these together to we could share half & half.
Smoked Duck, Kimchi & Potato Cake
This was delicious, the duck looks like it is mainly cooked through the smoking process. (I was initially worried it was raw!). I had tried Kimchi when I was in China once, and this version was far superior giving the dish a nice little kick. The egg was a nice touch on the top. I was reluctant to share the other half of this.
“The Sphere” Smoked Hame Hock, Pigs Cheek & Cuttlefish Romesco
The Sphere looked like a giant arancini, it came on a bed of pasta, and was extremely tasty. By the time I moved onto my half I was getting stuffed. This dish was quite rich, and the smoked pig cheek lardons were to die for.
This dish was recommended by our waitress and we heard a few of the other servers recommending to tables around us. I’d never had goat before, so was game to try it.
The goat was slow cooked and was so soft and stringy it melted in the mouth. It tasted quite similar to lamb (in my opinion), and I really liked this dish. Again it was quite rich, and this would have been nice as a meal on it’s own. Perhaps with the Lamb Stovies, another side that I lusted after, but was glad we didn’t succumb as I was almost beat by the end of the main course…
However, I just had to try a desert!
Double D Tart
Similar to a Double Decker (but for legal reasons abbreviated to Double D) this had a rice crispie base, nougat middle, peanut butter(?) and a chocolate top. Accompanied by pistachio ice cream. I was a little disappointed with this as it didn’t really taste of anything, and was troublesome to get through the crispy base without catapulting a piece across the table.
Hubby loves a good craft beer, so he sampled at least 3 different beers all served in 2/3 pints, including the Redhook Longhammer & Rogue Dead Guy Ale. He finished his evening with an aperitif of Express Coffee Liqueur, which he discovered was basically Tia Maria – oh how I laughed!
I had a couple of glasses of the Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2008, which was lovely, and an Aperol Spritz.
The meal for two came to around £120 including a 12.5% service charge. The staff were very friendly, knowledgable and helpful that I had no qualm with the level of the service charge. The restaurant is small and intimate and a nice atmosphere. It has a bar area, and with over 20 craft beers definitely worth a revisit for hubby to try a few more. Plenty of other dishes on the menu to try on a future visit too. Can’t wait!