24 August 2013

Smokehouse & Bubble Chairs

Caroline                    Mary

The Smokehouse is a transformation of a rather unloved Islington pub into a cured, smoked and grilled meat lover's paradise - all courtesy of chef Neil Rankin. You may know him from his work at Pitt Cue Co and John Salt. It opened it's doors earlier this week so Mary and I popped along Friday night to check it out.

Inside it's cosy and relaxed with a bit of a countryside pub vibe.

We were seated at a table right next to the kitchen. Great for having a beak on what's going on but a little on the warm side!

Whilst polishing off some some extremely tasty green olives, we considered the menu. 

Brisket, lobster, brisket, squid and....foie gras with apple pie and a duck egg? That was basically my perfect idea of a starter but as difficult as it was, I decided to stick with my 'no foie gras' rule!

Feeling quite proud of myself, I ordered the duck confit and Mary went for the squid.

Mine was a sort of duck pate with toast. I wasn't massively keen on it. I liked the combination of the duck and the blue cheese but it was served cold which I didn't realise when I ordered it. Mary's squid, however, was really tasty and didn't fall into that squiddy dilemma of being too chewy.

I was in a fish mood this particular day so I went for the monkfish served with heritage tomatoes and fennel. Strangely, there wasn't a potato or chip side dish available! I'm eating out; this is the only time I eat carbs! Give me carbs! The friendly waitress offered to ask the chef if he could rustle me up a mashed potato side dish and the answer was 'yes'! Good. I also ordered the corn on the cob with bone marrow butter.

My only criticism of the dish was the slightly over-seasoned potato (that'll serve me right for causing potato trouble), the rest was very nice indeed.  Not mind-blowing, but very nice.

Mary enjoyed her sirloin steak although her medium rare request came out rare and she had to send it back. The waiters and waitresses couldn't have been friendlier, I have to say. Kudos for that.

All came good at the end with the desserts. Banoffee pan perdu (basically banana and toffee French toast...yum yum!) and the Friday Pie (a chocolate tart).

Both were quite delicious but the banoffee won it hands down. The caramel ice cream was good too.

Smokehouse is a nice little place and I think it could be something really good when it's got going. The atmosphere is nice and relaxed, perfect for a catch up with friends. I'm not sure the food really suited my tastes particularly but the regularly-changing menu certainly has the imagination and flair to keep things interesting.

Smokehouse Islington
Bar Service
Waiter Service
Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Afterwards it was back to mine to chill out and watch some Celebrity Big Brother.  Followers of mine on Twitter might know that I've recently had many builders wandering around my house over the past couple of weeks. We're having the living room and kitchen done up as well as the house re-painted and a few other odd jobs done.

Most excitingly of all, I finally have my long-desired bubble chair!

This was my living room at the start:

Here it is during...

And here is the - almost - final result! (our new curtains are going up next week)

Bubble chair fun! 

So Jimmy isn't very keen but I love it!

Sitting in it is actually quite therapeutic and thankfully didn't crash to the floor when I first got in.

Perhaps I should have a bubble chair party...

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  1. The food looks incredible, your photos of it are stunning!

    And I'm so jealous of your new living room, especially the bubble chair :)

    Hmm maybe...

    1. Thanks Emma! I'm very happy with my new chair :)

  2. Haha - Bubble chair like the Sanderson!!!! Love it. So jealous Caroline!

    Hey let me know when youre free for a cocktail or two. This place in Richmond is rather nice if I remember. Cute and cosy down one of the lanes...

    Lotti X

    1. Yep! The Sanderson SO stole my idea!

      Have tweeted you about cocktails - well up for that!


  3. Caroline, that chair is amazing!

    Lucy x

  4. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god!
    I was loving this post enough as it is... And then bam! I saw the bubble chair!! Incredibly jealous that you actually got one, plus Jimmy certainly seems to be a big fan too!
    Emily xx
    My Ginger Bread Journey

    1. At last, I have my chair after getting SO excited over the one at The Sanderson! I'm a very lucky girly :)


  5. The chair is soooo cool!!!
    You've made me really really want some calamari, it's not even 11!
    Lottie xxx

  6. Hmm will maybe give that place a try when it's more settled on it's feet. The menu sounds great though!
    and algo.. that bubble chair is.. amazing!!! making me so jealous right now!!

    Teffy { Teffys Perks Blog }


  7. Caroline it looks amazing!!! So pleased for you to get your bubble chair too! I really love it, who designed it?

    Katie <3

  8. Holy motherrrrr, this looks fab. And hello, cute chair!

  9. Caroline, I totally love your brick wall!! Did you do that yourself? I'm so impressed!

    1. No we had builders in to do it - I could never do that! ;)


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