Restuarant: Pitt Cue Co
Location: The corner of Ganton / Newburgh street, Soho
On Monday evening Ben and myself were privileged to be invited to a preopening night at Pitt Cue Co’s new home (and its not a van under a bridge). On first impressions, let me just say, Barbecoa, Bodeans, best to pack your bags and ship out, there's a new BBQ Sheriff in town and its called Pitt Cue Co…. bang bang.
On entering the restaurant we were greeted to a polished concrete floor and a tricked out bar with all the Rye and Bourbon a man could ever want. The selection of ales and whiskey could lead to some seriously long and dangerous evenings propping up the counter. While sipping on our ales, the allure of sweet smoke beckoned down the stairs to the basement restaurant below. We couldn't resist and plunged downstairs to be seated in a compact, but comfortable restaurant.
We quickly jumped into some sides whilst making our decision, and sampled some smoked crispy chicken wings that were tasty and drenched in a fine home-made tomato-based wing sauce. The wings needed a tad more crispiness and could have done with a bit more time in the smoker to become more tender, but were dispatched shortly. The little surprise was the pickled celery, something of a flavour sensation. The other side was the crispy shiitake mushrooms. These bad boys were pickled, bread-crumbed, then deep fried and served piping hot… and were incredible, frankly.
After reviewing the menu (well laid out with nothing over £9), we decided to go for one of each of the meats. The menu dictates you can choose one meat and one side, but for additional sheets you can get additional meats and sides. Great concept, more meat. On the back of this we decided to go for a taste of all the meats (St Louis Ribs, Pulled Pork, Brisket and Beef Ribs). In addition we sampled the Burnt Ends Mash, Beans and Slaw. The food was quickly served, delicately laid out on plain white platters. What took us by surprise was the quality of the presentation, which was stylish (BBQ restaurants of London, time to sit up and take note….). This was short lived, the food was too good to stare at, it needed to be devoured.
St Louis Ribs – The ribs were tasty, had a good bite through and were sweety and sticky. The kicker for me was the slightly seared skin married to the beautiful glaze. However, the ribs were let down by too little smoke flavour. But as the team pointed out they are still working on the recipe and getting to grips with the new kitchen. For the majority of BBQ Punters, these will be better than anything they have tasted.
Pulled Pork – The pulled pork was well pulled and drenched in a beautiful glossy sauce that really brought the flavours to the forefront. We would have loved some bark, and the pork lacked texture, but it tasted beautiful and definitely hit the mark; it's the best we've tasted at any BBQ restaurant this side of the pond
Brisket – The brisket was classy, had a great smoke ring and the flavour was excellent. Not competition brisket in that it was too tender, but on the tongue it was moist, flavoursome and we will definitely be back to sample this on a bun with 'slaw
Beef Ribs – The best I've had, full stop. These were the highlight of the evening for us. If they were being served in the Midwest, there would have been a queue down the street and all the way up Carnaby street. Rich, sassy, bold and melt in your mouth ribs… Quality meat, cooked perfectly with just the right amount of smoke. Double order next time please…
Tom, Neil and the rest of the team also served up some quality accompaniments to the BBQ which was a bit of a revelation to the taste buds. These guys are stars at pickling, and the pickles absolutely popped. The flavours marry so well with the BBQ and the rest of the sides. The beans lacked flavour and were a tad on the dry side, we prefer our BBQ Beans struggling to stay afloat, swimming in a decadent bath of brown sugar, BBQ Sauce and burnt ends. However, the lads had another trick up their sleeve. The BBQ Burnt End Mash was something that created the perfect matrimony of both side of the Atlantic (ie a George Clooney and Keira Knightley kind of marriage), dirtyliscious crispy burnt ends, sweet, tender, delicately placed on a cloud of the velvety mash laced with Montgomery's Cheddar. Yes – we will be back for you!
We finished off with the Snickers Mess dessert, an amalgamation of snickers bar, cream, toffee, chocolate, peanut butter and meringue (and it seemd like a whole lot more!) that creates a dessert explosion with every mouthful. First class… how can you go wrong.
Rating – 4 out of 5, the only thing holding it back from a perfect score was a stronger kiss of smoke. To be fair it was the teams first serving and we are being a bit harsh. Would we go back again? Hell Yes. Real Q’ with great portion sizes and good prices. Go go go!
Value – Excellent, no dish over £10. Expect to pay £20-£30.
Comment – We will be back, very very soon. The best BBQ restaurant in London! Tom, Neil and his team are BBQ heroes!