Published on May 3rd, 2016 | by Ben Southwood1
Shotgun Saturday Smokeout, Soho
The website Tabl is a sort of noticeboard advertising different supper clubs and food events: usually these are one-offs, idiosyncracies, or dinners in the privacy of people’s homes. However, Shotgun, a nearly peerless BBQ restaurant on Kingly Street in Soho (between Carnaby and Regent Streets), has begun offering set-price dinners on there too. For £40, you can get your hands on three little courses of snacks, some quite special, a gigantic plate of expertly-smoked meat (with seconds if you can manage them), dessert, and a cocktail. A killer deal.
Shotgun is the sister restaurant of the excellent Lockhart, in Marylebone, and it’s sort of an upgrade: where the Lockhart is pleasant and casual, Shotgun is upmarket, classy and refined. Where the Lockhart serves very good versions of homely American foods, Shotgun serves what for my money is the best southern barbecue in London (Caveat: I had been multiple times to the wonderful Soho version of Pitt Cue, before it closed, but I haven’t been to the Spitalfields version yet). This lunch is a good way of trying a lot of their menu without breaking the bank.
The fun begins with snacks. The first round is a simple devilled egg on a bed of greens. I had to ask what the precise definition of ‘devilled’ was—apparently to devil something is just to make it spicier—here it involved removing the yolk, whipping it with cayenne pepper, and returning it to the cavity inside the hard-boiled white. It was good but unexceptional.
The second round was shredded pimento cheese: smoky and sweet and spicy, on gourmet mini cheddar style biscuits. They gave us a generous amount, although we polished it off incredibly quickly. The third and final snack was a little doughnut-like round pretzel-bagel, filled with pulled pork (deeply smoky, no cloying sweet BBQ sauce to be found) and bacon jam. The bread was crispy and shiny on the outside, chewy, dense and satisfying: as good as any Jewish-style bread you’ve ever had.
The main event is very impressive. They troop you down into the kitchen and you are faced with pulled suckling pig, brisket (you can choose wet (fatty), lean, or both), pork ribs and lamb breast, all smoked to blackened bark on the outside, and pink inside perfection. Your plate is a lovely pile of meat, even before you get to the salads, pickles, and excellent barbecue beans. And you can go down for seconds!
The brisket in particular is the best I’ve had, incredibly tender and good enough to stand alone on its beefy smokiness, if not had with the three barbecue sauces (sweet Kansas City, spicy KC hot, and vinegar-based Carolina). And then there’s dessert: Banana Pudding—a glorious mush of sorghum biscuit, caramelised banana pastry cream and honeycomb.
Finally, I’ll mention the cocktails at Shotgun, which are again among the best in London. You get one with your meal, but we bought three each more on top of that because we were having such a great time drinking them. Each is finely balanced between sweet, sour, bitter and alcoholic punch, none of them tasting sickly but equally none tasting like jet fuel.
I’d recommend Shotgun on any day anyway, but the new Saturday boozy lunch deal means you should get along as soon as possible.
To find more from Shotgun’s BBQ Saturday Smokeout, visit their Tabl Page
Shotgun, 26 Kingly St, W1B 5QDShare This Post