Tag Archives: ribs

White Hart, Witley

The White Hart is a 16th century pub found in Witley, a small village in Surrey for those of you, who like me, hadn’t heard of the place before and had no idea of where it was. Despite its age this pub’s definitely pushing the boat out and made the bold choice of veering off the tried and tested route of typical pub fare. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m always up for a decent fish and chips or Sunday roast, but if you’re expecting classic pub grub you’ll be disappointed.

We were pointed in the direction of the White Hart by my brother in-law and I can see why, a few years ago the menu became focused around burgers, barbecue, whisky and beer – enlisting BBQ Whisky Beer, winners of Ribstock in 2013 to devise a menu. A number of cultural influences including North American, North African and Korean to name a few have been taken on board, making the menu and interesting read and it doesn’t disappoint. So much so we revisited a few weeks after our first! Not only have they revamped the food menu, the drinks menu causes a bit of a stir too – expect craft beers, flights of whisky and unusually named cocktails, such as Hard Knocks & Slut Drops and Yuzu Nikka. Miso Horny?!

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Our two visits came at different times of the day – our first was a Saturday evening and the second a late Sunday lunch, so I think it gave me a good overview of what goes on at the White Hart. Now in a culinary age where burgers and barbecue have virtually been done to death, the menu pushes the boundaries making what could be a standard burger and barbecue menu into something a bit different from the norm. Diners will find a selection of starters, burgers, barbecue including their award winning Jacobs Ladder beef rib, sides including slaw, salads, mac and cheese. There’s always smoked ribs, 3 ways a B.O.T.M (burger of the month) and a special on offer too.
Here’s a summary of some of the dishes we had from both visits:

Scallops with crispy pork – a popular combination done well. The surf and turf elements were spot on – it’s hard to fault plump, soft scallops, cooked till barely translucent paired with salty, crispy bacon.

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Scallops, crisp pork, Thai garnish

Stunning Iberico pork ribs, juicy and tender with enough charring to add a smokiness to meat that fell off the bone. The pickle on the side working well bringing a little acidity to the plate. They were so tasty, in hindsight I wish I’d ordered the bigger portion!

Iberico pork baby back ribs w/ house pickles 
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Chicken wings, hot sauce, blue cheese and celery
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Crab cocktail, charred gem, fried avocado and nduja aioli

Spot on beef royale burger; perfectly pink, juicy patty cooked as stated by the waitress on ordering, topped with beef short rib slices which brought incredible smoky flavour and meatiness, a neutral cheese and a pickle to help cut through the richness. For me, burgers need to juggle a balancing act of flavours, juiciness and enough hold so it doesn’t fall apart and make a big mess. There was just the right amount of mess and give in the burger, where you could hold it intact to the last bite.

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Beef Royale burger – classic burger, short rib and portobello mushroom

B.O.T.M – Chinese burns on the beach; a fusion of asian and scottish by all accounts. May sound odd and even read odd on paper, but by all accounts made for a great burger – a classic burger topped with a haggis and black pudding fritter, hoi sin shredded duck, and bunny and fosters cheese. Unlike mine, the burger was a really messy one and definitely needed a knife and fork to tackle the beast.

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B.O.T.M – Chinese burns on the beach

Chicken shawarma – so much meat, seemed like half a chicken was on my plate, sat on top of a cucumber salsa, smear of hummus and a flatbread. The meat itself was juicy and delicately spiced, my favourite pieces are always the wings, thighs and legs rather than the breast and this was reinforced here. It was a large plate and I couldn’t eat it all, it didn’t go to waste though as the other half was happy to finish it off for me. If I was to fault it, it would be the flatbread, I found it a bit thick and would’ve preferred it on the side with the accompaniments, rather than on the plate where it became soggy from the hummus. 

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Chicken Shawarma

As much as the burgers and shawarma had gone down a treat, I reckon the stars of the show were the beef short ribs, which happen to be winners of Ribstock in 2013. The ribs cooked in a wood smoker were sublime, producing beautifully flavoursome meat where a subtle smokiness allowed the beef’s innate meatiness to come through. All that remained on the plate were two clean bones!

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Coal roasted sweet potato w/  dill aioli, black garlic 

The White Hart’s a great pub and definitely worth travelling to, with its relaxed coach house feel, friendly service and stand out food! I’ll be looking in the diary for our 3rd visit! 

The White Hart

Petworth Road

Witley

Godalming

GU8 5PH

http://whitehartwitley.co.uk

Smoke Barbecue Grand Opening, Sheffield

Only since starting the blog has Sheffield come onto my radar as somewhere to go out for a decent feed. Even though my best mate lives there, I didn’t really know much about their food scene until I started reading other bloggers reviews. So when I was invited to visit a new restaurant called Smoke Barbecue in Sheffield city centre, I was quite excited. The owner Sean Gregory was so inspired after watching Man v Food, he hopped on a plane to Texas and hasn’t looked back since, opening Smoke Barbecue in December 2013. They say they specialise in authentic BBQ pit meats using a unique smoke for cooking. 

From what I’d researched, Sheffield has been waiting a long time for a restaurant like this and well here it is in all its glory. Smoke Barbecue is found beneath the striking, but aptly named ‘Cheesegrater’ car park on Charles Street in the heart of Sheffield city centre. I was a little worried on the way there that I’d have trouble finding the place, but luckily the old sat nav did the trick! We stepped out of the car park to find the restaurant with its signage showing us the way. Tempting smells wafted over, giving us a hit of smokiness which immediately caught us in our stride and drew us in.

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Smoke Barbecue initially opened its doors in December with a soft launch, with the aim of gradually honing their craft over the last month or so. I was intrigued by this venture as living in Leeds, the last year or so has seen a major increase in the American barbecue scene, especially with the likes of Reds True Barbecue amongst others making such an massive impact.

On entering the building we found it to be a pretty sizeable space, there’s an open plan industrial/warehouse feel with metal ducting, bare concrete and exposed brick walls on show. There was a strange mix of furniture, with some diners eating at proper dining tables, while others were sat at tables made out of pretend pallets. I’m all for being a little quirky, but I found it a little bit odd.

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We were greeted by a lovely lady who seated us at a booth. It did take a number of minutes for us to get served though, and as the restaurant had been informed that one of us was gluten intolerant, our server seemed to have no idea what this was, when I mentioned it!! This is where inconsistencies started to show up, for example I could see diners being given popcorn while they looked at their menus, but neither we, or some others tables received any.

On perusal of their menu it’s definitely for the carnivore, very protein heavy with only a small selection of options for non-meat eaters.

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We were told by our server we’d be given a Smoke Sharer Plate to sample between us, which costs £30. Included in the plate were beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey leg, links sausage, baby back ribs, chips and a side of our choice, I also selected the smokey pit beans to accompany this feast. All sounded great on paper, if not a little meat heavy. We also ordered two glasses of wine which arrived strangely in glass tumblers, is this what they do in Texas?

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The food did take a little while to arrive, and on first glance I think I was a little scared by the massive turkey leg so we decided to leave it till last. The food was also served warm, part from the sides which was disappointing. 

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From this sample there were definitely positive and negatives. In terms of the meat the best bit on our plate was the brisket, which had a lovely smokey flavour and was well cooked leaving it juicy and moist. It worked well with the accompanying sauce. The Texas link sausages were meaty and had a nice smokey flavour to them, nicely charred from the grill. The sides were excellent! Our chips were great – a good size, crisp and fluffy, the smokey pit beans were exactly that, they had an amazing smokey sauce, very delicious. I’d love those beans on a big slice of toast. These were the best bits.

The pulled pork was a real disappointment and it didn’t really do it for me. The meat itself was quite bland compared to pulled pork I’ve had from other places. The turkey leg was something I’d would never normally choose, as I’m not a fan anyway, but we both found it dry and sadly lacking flavour. The baby back ribs were small in size as you’d expect and even though the sticky sauce that had been brushed on them was nice, the ribs themselves were just ok.

In terms of service we were seated so we could see the bar as well as the kitchen, after a month of opening I felt the service was friendly but could be a more efficient. There were times when sharer plates were ready on the pass at the same time, but there was no one to take them. The staff did seem happy to get receive feedback and were very pleasant during the evening though. Service is a bug bear with me, but as Smoke Barbecue is still in its infancy I’m sure the team will endeavour to iron out these niggles. 

Their slogan is ‘Put the fork down, it’s time to get dirty!’ which we happily did, but then when wiping your hands after eating lots of food covered in sauce, a napkin doesn’t really do the trick sufficiently. A supply of moist hand wipes to clean up the mess would have been ideal. 

If I’m completely honest I would say that the food here is definitely a work in progress, more consistency in quality of flavour is required. This is where the phrase ‘quality not quantity’ rings true, more thought and attention to detail to get the meat really juicy, moist and full of flavour across the whole menu is needed here. More choice is needed too, especially for non-meat eaters.

Food: Carnivore friendly, food hit and miss, more consistency needed in terms of flavour and temperature!! Lacks choice for non-meat eater.

Service: Friendly but need to improve efficiency and consistency.

Atmosphere: It was a busy evening so the place did have a buzz about it.

Value for money: We were invited, so our meal was complimentary,  but we felt the plate was quite expensive for the quality of the food.

Smoke Barbecue

1 St Pauls Place

Arundel Gate

Sheffield

S1 2PN

Smoke Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Reds True Barbecue

Reds True Barbecue opened at the top of Call Lane in Leeds city centre in September 2012 and has been busy ever since. I’d been 3 times before but had never written a review on it, so thought a visit with meat loving friends could also coincide with a little blog on the side.

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We’d already built up the reputation of the place to our eating companions and so there was a certain level of anticipation. They have a first come first serve policy on the weekends, so from previous experience had a feeling it would be very busy when we arrived. It was, the man on the door said the next free table would be available at 8:30pm, at the time it was 6pm so we put our name on the list and went for drinks while waiting for the call.

For those of you who haven’t eaten at Reds, the restaurant work with the philosophy of ‘Low ‘n slow BBQ’, cooking at low temperatures over many hours producing tender, melt in the mouth cuts of meat, e.g. beef brisket, pork ribs and shoulder. With an open plan kitchen you can see food into their Oklahoma smokers (which are on virtually all the time unless being cleaned) and the food being prepared. The team at Reds have done extensive homework on this style of cooking food, having travelled around parts of the United States, e.g. Memphis and South Carolina researching all matters BBQ, such as different meat rubs, sauces, cuts of meat and cooking equipment.

Their extensive menu consists of Little plates, e.g. rib tips, Ribs, e.g. baby back ribs, Big Plates, e.g. North Carolina Pork ‘n Slaw, Feasting Plates for larger groups, Steaks and burgers, e.g. Pit burger, and Salads and sandwiches, e.g. New York Reuben and sides, e.g. corn bread. I remember the first time I came it took ages to read through the menu and choose something.

We decided to share little plates of homestyle nachos, cracklings, jalapeños poppers, rib tips and house made beef jerky. After being informed that the rib tips and beef jerky had run out we chose the BBQ rib taster and jumbo BBQ wings instead. For the main course we decided on Pulled Meat Nachos, Texas Beef Brisket, Combo 4 – Texas Beef Brisket and Pulled Pork and Pulled Pork Sandwich.

For drinks they have a large menu of wines, cocktails, growlers, boilermakers, lagers, craft beers, ales, even milk shakes, floats and the usual soft drinks. We ordered a root beer, red wine, Long island Iced tea and Reds Iced Tea.

Four Roses Bourbon, Diplomatico Anejo Rum, Orange Liqueur, lemon and honey topped with Yorkshire tea.
Reds Iced Tea – Four Roses Bourbon, Diplomatico Anejo Rum, Orange Liqueur, lemon and honey topped with Yorkshire tea.

Our starters arrived a few minutes later. Everything looked fantastic and the smell alone just made you want to wolf the whole lot down really quickly, but knowing that my main course was large I had to air on the side of caution.

Homestyle nachos -hand cut corn tortillas, fresh red onion, tomatoes, jalapeños, homemade chilli can queso, guacamole, sour cream and unholy BBQ sauce.
Homestyle nachos -hand cut corn tortillas, fresh red onion, tomatoes, jalapeños, homemade chilli can queso, guacamole, sour cream and unholy BBQ sauce.
Cracklings - crispy housemade pork cracklings scattered with spice dust.
Cracklings – crispy housemade pork cracklings scattered with spice dust.
Smoked pork ribs.
Smoked pork ribs.
Jalapeño poppers - crispy coated spicy peppers filled with Jack and cream cheese.
Jalapeño poppers – crispy coated spicy peppers filled with Jack and cream cheese.
Jumbo BBQ wings - hickory smoked jumbo wings (served mild or hot) with a celery stick and blue cheese dip.
Jumbo BBQ wings – hickory smoked jumbo wings (served mild or hot) with a celery stick and blue cheese dip.

The nachos are great, the warm tortillas crisp are really tasty on their own, the accompaniments are a match made in heaven with great, thick guacamole, with enough chilli to give it a real kick but a good dollop of sour cream to have just enough of a cooling effect. It would have been nice if the cheese was melted on the top to give it a lovely stringy texture, but apart from that it couldn’t be faulted. The cracklings are always yummy and didn’t disappoint, lovely a crisp with the pork fat cooked to perfection. They should be bagged up and sold everywhere they are so good. The ribs were tender, not too smokey which was good for me and the meat came off the bone so easily. Jalapeño poppers were great, lovely and crispy, with melted cheese inside and a gentle kick of the Jalapeño made them a real winner in my eyes. Last but not least – the Jumbo BBQ wings were tender and juicy and coated in their fantastic BBQ sauce.

Our main courses arrived not long after our starters were cleared.

Pulled meat nachos - home-style nachos covered in pulled pork, brisket and pulled chicken topped with fresh red onion, jalapeños, housemade chilli con queso, sour cream and unholy BBQ sauce.
Pulled meat nachos – home-style nachos covered in pulled pork, brisket and pulled chicken topped with fresh red onion, jalapeños, housemade chilli con queso, sour cream and unholy BBQ sauce.
Pulled pork sandwich - North Carolina pulled pork in a glazed bun covered in apple sauce, slaw and unholy BBQ sauce.
Pulled pork sandwich – North Carolina pulled pork in a glazed bun covered in apple sauce, slaw and unholy BBQ sauce.
Texas beef brisket - 21 hour smoked beef brisket in a tangy BBQ gravy, served with fries and slaw.
Texas beef brisket – 21 hour smoked beef brisket in a tangy BBQ gravy, served with fries and slaw.
Combo 4 - Texas beef brisket and pulled pork - 21 hour smoked Texas brisket and north carolina pulled pork with fries and mac n cheese.
Combo 4 – Texas beef brisket and pulled pork – 21 hour smoked Texas brisket and north carolina pulled pork with fries and mac n cheese.

Once again the food smelled amazing and I could not believe the size of my pulled pork sandwich, it was huge! I wasn’t sure how to tackle it so I picked it up and bit into what was really yummy, the pulled pork tasted fantastic and the slaw works well with the meat, cutting through the richness. The bread bun is so soft and very tasty. The fries were crisp and the BBQ smoked beans really deep in flavour making it a good accompaniment to the sandwich. My fellow diners also enjoyed tucking into their dishes too, I was told the beef brisket was lovely and soft and had a deep meaty flavour. The BBQ gravy was very tasty, that and the slaw working well with the brisket. One of the condiments added was their North Carolina BBQ sauce (a vinegar based pepper sauce), which added another layer of flavour to the whole meal. The pulled meat nachos is something that I have tried to tackle before and knowing from experience it is a very satisfying eat, the nachos warm and crisp, the guacamole, sour cream, chilli con queso and unholy BBQ sauce in plentiful supply adding tonnes of flavour and the jalapeño peppers adding the extra kick, bringing the whole dish alive. Finally the Combo 4 – the beef brisket cooked to perfection and the pulled meat lovely and soft, topped with crispy crackling and gherkins. The chosen side of mac-n-cheese working well with its Jack cheese sauce. All in all a winner of a dish.

In terms of service and atmosphere, their staff are knowledgable on the food, quite happy to recommend dishes and obviously show passion for the philosophy of the restaurant. The atmosphere is always good with music of the American south playing in the background.

The cost of dishes can range from £2.95 – £9.45 for little plates, £8.50 – £21.95 for ribs depending on quantity, £8.50 – £17.95 for big plates, £8.95 – £19.95 for steaks and burgers and £5.95 – £9.95 for sandwich plates.

Our total bill for 4 people was £99.85, not including tips. Definitely worth the wait and value for money. We walked out of there completely satisfied and very full!!

Reds True Barbecue
Cloth Hall Street
Leeds
LS1 2HD
0113 834 5835