Sunday, 22 July 2012

Pitt Cue - Barbecue Heaven

Pulled Pork Perfection
So once upon a time a metallic ‘burger van’ style BBQ eaterie, Pitt Cue, sat splendid over by the Southbank, ran by Tom Adams and serving ribs and pulled pork in as magnificent a way as is possible and so the ‘street food’ explosion began and continues.

Now Pitt Cue resides in a small little corner just off of Carnaby St in a restaurant, not so much street food, more diner-style in a very popular Soho location. As with so many venues in the ‘trendy’ food scene at the moment, reservations cannot be made to eat here, one must simply turn up and wait their turn - in a restaurant with only 30 covers this can be a lengthy process. Queues out of the door are a regular sight and I guess as with other similarly no-booking-policy venues, this only adds to the allure and makes the wannabe diner wonder what is so good to make people queue out of the door - and often for quite some time too.

I finally visited recently for the first time since the Newburgh St restaurant opened with my brother Dan, and a tip for not waiting too long is to go after the lunchtime rush and before the early evening stampede. We turned up around 3pm and waited just long enough to down a couple of drinks each, and eat a portion of the fantastic pork scratchings, which were lovely salty, crunchy and delicious things of culinary beauty (see attached image). Obviously pork scratchings are not to be eaten on a regular basis as they are certainly not the healthiest of things, and I’d dread to think of the fat-content, but my word as an occasional treat these were just phenomenal.

The place really is tiny, and when waiting in the bar area I particularly noticed the oddly old-fashioned net curtains, that adorn the windows and that I haven’t seen the like of for about twenty years, I guess this feeds into the Western theme but I can’t see it taking off too much on the London food scene (well I hope not anyway).

The bar serves an array of cocktails, but having been Pisco’d at Ceviche the weekend before, Dan and I opted for a beer and a ginger beer which were both: tasty, reasonable and refreshing.

Once seated in the downstairs area we quickly decided on our meal. You can either choose to have one of the Bun meals which includes the meat of your choice in some bread with pickles, which is the cheaper way to enjoy the food, but we opted for the Meat & a Side option which is also pretty reasonable.

We decided to get two different meals and share so we could try a bit of everything so we had the Pulled Pork and the Beef Rib mains with Bone Marrow Mash and Spicy Slaw as well as the pickles that come with each dish.
Beef Rib & Bone Marrow Mash
I literally don’t know where to start with detailing this food, it was mouth-wateringly delicious, all of it! I literally couldn’t find one single gripe or moan about the place. The pulled-pork, was tender, flavoursome and fell apart at the touch of the fork. The bone marrow mashed potato was creamy, earthy and a little bit on the greasy side, naughty but very, very nice and the spicy slaw was the perfect accompaniment to all as it had that gorgeous crunch with a slightly acidic, vinegary flavour and the beef ribs were just to-die-for. They fell off of the bone and had that charred, BBQ flavouring on the crispy coat, but had clearly been cooked over time to ensure tender, delicate meat. A chunky piece of crusty bread, also charred, came with both and was perfect for soaking up the meat juices.

The meals are served in metallic tins, not unlike the kind you’d imagine a grandparent preparing their roast joint in as a child, well for me anyway.
Pork Scratchings
Pitt Cue is a must for anyone who likes their meat, BBQ style food or just to stay ahead of the foodie pack and ensure you’ve been to all of the latest ‘on-trend’ places. The meal was a treat from my brother and came in at around the £50 mark, with a few drinks each. With the Bun meal options priced at only £6.50 this is a really affordable place to eat, particularly if you’re not drinking, and don’t mind a bit of a wait, although frankly if our meal was anything to go by, the wait, however long, will be worth it.

Pitt Cue Co on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

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