Back in 2013 I wrote about my visit impromptu visit to The Smokehouse; romance and red meat it ended up being a real winner! It was/is also home to head chef Neil Rankin who used work his magic for the Pitt Cue Co., now a teeny tiny restaurant on a corner off Carnaby street after sellout success as a street food truck on Southbank.
Having enjoyed the meaty medley at the Smokehouse and already having heard many amazing things about the Pitt Cue Co. I knew it was a solid suggestion when my friend and I made last minute plans to meat, I mean, meet for dinner last Thursday.
Said friend and I had attempted to eat here before, during our hour long lunchbreaks…but their minimal munching space (just 30 seats in total!) means that they don’t take reservations and with such popularity among the foodies you can expect at least a 45 minute wait. Pretty sure that’s not a valid enough excuse for my boss as to why more lunch break stretched to two hours, so unfortunately we missed out. This time with work out the way and nowhere to be for the foreseeable (well even if I had, had somewhere to be thanks to tube strikes I wouldn’t be going there for at least a good few hours) we popped our names on the wait list and ordered a round of Cider Sours followed by a port bourbon concoction and got a bit giddy over our quirky tab card for the evening.
I know I’ve mentioned it already, twice in fact, but the Pitt Cue Co. really is small. It’s two storeys with a bar upstairs and seating downstairs. You literally don’t have enough room to swing a toy cow (see above pics) let alone a cat. I’d say you can uncomfortably get about 15 people in the upstairs bar and we were squished in by the door which was fine (at least we were inside, others were queuing in the rain!) but meant that every new arrival that came to add their names to list had to manoeuvre past us in assault course style fashion.
Two cocktails down and an hour later we were finally lead down the staircase of winners to our table – side note: how the reservations dude maintains order in this minuscule microcosm is beyond me…up there with one of the hardest jobs in London – anyway, we were sandwiched in between some suited/hipster guys and a cute little couple. If you’re tall and larger than your average Joe then I’m sure you’d feel a little bit ‘bull in a china shop’ so cosy are the surroundings however once you get a waft from the kitchen you lose all interest in how close for comfort your other diners are. It just doesn’t matter.
The smoky scents emitting from the kitchen are mouthwatering. We practically ripped the menus out of the waiters hand and immediately began selecting from the mains, sides and extras. Absolutely ravenous from the wait we decided to order as much as possible and share it between us. That meant we had: Pulled pork (obvs), the house sausages, parmesan topped leeks, bone marrow mash, chilli slaw and caramel ribs.
The ribs came first and I must apologise for the terrible, blurry image but I couldn’t wait to snap a proper one before tucking in. They were divine. The marinade was delicious and there was a nice healthy amount of meat on the bones. I hate it when ribs come and they’re all bone no meat. My pal particularly enjoyed them and resembled some kind of cartoon kyote devouring the ribs in one.
Next came our ‘mains’ – I can’t say I was head over heels for the trough like plates they were served in but again…this doesn’t matter!!! What matters is the food. The mash creamy, smooth and defuckinglicious… the pulled pork…everything I could have wanted and more…the parmesan leeks a superb accompaniment…the house sausage, not exactly what I was expecting? I was hoping for a massive farmhouse style sausage but instead it was almost like a patty. Still it tasted nice and combined with gherkins and garnish it was all eventually eaten.
Feeling well and truly satisfied we toyed with the idea of dessert and when our server told us it was Bourbon & Coke Sticky toffee pudding we couldn’t say no. Although I have to admit my favourite part was the sauce and nuts.
Although the Pitt Cue was a long time coming, for me, it fully lived up to the hype. I would definitely go back. The cocktails are amazing, the food is incredible and although it’s small and you have to wait it’s all worth it in the end. What’s more there’s even a cook book out now so you can have a go at creating some of the deliciousness from the Pitt Cue at home.