I always knew I was a meat lover but until visiting The Original Smokehouse I didn’t realise how much of a carnivore I was. The Original Smokehouse is a modern smokehouse eatery which serves a whole host of BBQ smoked meats slathered in a special BBQ rub, so when an email popped up inviting me along to try it out I did a little squeal and quickly accepted. Fast forward a few weeks and I was walking towards Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush with a rumbly stomach and dreams of meat.
The restaurant itself is just outside the main shopping centre – opposite the outdoor entrance to House of Fraser if you know it – so the location is perfect for a pre or post-shopping treat, especially as you have to walk past it to get to the train stations. The restaurant has that really cool Southern American Style which fits perfectly with the style of food that they serve and I’m always partial to some pretty awesome decor.
After being seated pretty quickly me and Luke (the boyfriend) decided to start with making a drinks choice. Now Sunday- Thursday it’s happy hour(s) between 5 and 8 pm so a number of cocktails are just £5, a deal even I couldn’t refuse so I had the Passion Blast which was a really refreshing blend and Luke stuck with the tried and tested Gin & Tonic.
Seeing as we were pretty hungry and couldn’t narrow down two starters we went for three which is totally acceptable. To begin with was the Truffle fried mac and cheese arancini (£3.50) which were delicious, the outside coating was the perfect crispiness and the mac and cheese inside was really creamy, although I would have liked them a little cheesier, but then again I am a cheese obsessive. Next up was Burnt End Bits (£5.50) which were chunks of smoked Beef Brisket coated in a cajun rub and these were just chunks of pure joy. I had fully expected them to be really crunchy due to the name but they were succulent and fell apart in my mouth.
The final starter was the Delicious Salt and Pepper Squid (£6)which we loved, the batter was light and crispy and I prefer thinner squid so these ticked that box. Although I did read afterwards that they also had fried red peppers with them but I didn’t notice at all so either they didn’t come alongside the squid or they were cooked so similar I didn’t notice the difference. Thinking about the speed we ate I’d say it was the later.
For our mains, we settled on the Butchers Board Sharing Platter (£44) as we felt it gave the best representation of the complete BBQ affair as it came with 12 hour BBQ brisket with pepper berry rub, spitfire bacon, pork ribs, beef back ribs, chipotle rub free-range chicken, smoked chorizo, BBQ beans, corn on the cob, pickles & cornbread, with your choice of 2 sauces. We received chips with our platter but I’m not sure if this is normal as they aren’t shown on the menu so don’t be disappointed if you order and don’t get them.
This was the course that we were looking forward to the most and we weren’t disappointed as there was so much flavour in all of the meat, especially the pork ribs and spitfire bacon which were my two favourites. The meat was so succulent and nothing felt too tough or overcooked which is something I find can be quite a fine line with smoked meats. I’ve never actually eaten ribs out before so I was a bit worried about the mess and while there was some sauce on the face and all over the fingers I don’t think anyone other than Luke noticed. Now this platter is designed for 2-3 people so we didn’t quite manage to finish it thus the BBQ beans didn’t get eaten but I’m not a massive beans fan anyway, the meat was the most important.
Now I’m of the firm belief that there’s a separate stomach for dessert so ordered the Peanut Cheesecake Brownie (£6) but Luke just couldn’t manage one (plus there were only three choices) so he opted for a chocolate milkshake instead. The dessert was nice but probably not my favourite as while the brownie texture was nice and soft I would have liked more of a peanut butter creamy texture to the brownies as opposed to the nut variety, but it was a nice way to finish the meal. The chocolate milkshake though was pretty amazing and we’re kind of picky about milkshakes. It wasn’t too thick and hard to drink, but it also wasn’t too runny and milky, as baby bear would say it was just right.
We may have had to roll ourselves out of the restaurant but it was well and truly worth it. I’m definitely going to be going back as I know my brother and his girlfriend are meat fiends like us, but next time I might skip dessert and leave feeling a little less stuffed.