Blacklock Soho

BRITISH TWIST ON BARBECUE: Blacklock Soho in London has excellent pork, beef & lamb chops, beef dripping fries & more. Photo: Courtesy of Blacklock Soho

Print Friendly

 

BLACKLOCK SOHO
24 Great Windmill Street, Soho
London W1D 7LG
United Kingdom
44 20 3441 6996, http://theblacklock.com/soho/

By Scott Harrah

 

LONDON–Blacklock Soho offers a British twist on an American classic, barbecue. The Soho institution, in walking distance to all West End theatres, is a carnivore’s paradise.

Located in a basement in Soho on Great Windmill Street, Blacklock has a casual, pub-style vibe. We popped in during our London visit between shows for a quick pre-theatre bite. A friendly Canadian waiter greeted us and explained the menu.

Blacklock has an extensive drink menu with “cocktails for a fiver,” including Grandma’s Spiked Lemonade (Madeira, sloe gin, lemon, Earl Grey), Pink Lady (cider brandy, cider syrup, lemon, prosecco), a variety of beers, and both red and white wine on tap and by the glass. We opted for a lovely glass of Black Sheep, Merlot from France. There are many more wines and cocktails; just ask when you visit.

Blacklock features pre-chop bites served on crackers, including Colston basset blue cheese and pickle, slow-cooked pig’s head and Kimchee (we dare you to try it), and egg and anchovy with kewpie mayo, egg and Spanish anchovy. We weren’t sure just exactly what all the pre-chop bites were, but we devoured them with delight regardless.

 

Pre-chop bites at Blacklock Soho. Photo: Scott Harrah

The meat selection includes “Skinny Chops,” consisting of beef rump, lamb cutlet, lamb T-bone, pork loin, pork rib and pork belly. “Big Chops” feature beef (Porterhouse, prime rib, 8/10g), bone-in sirloin (7/100g); lamb (Barnsley, 5.5/100g); and pork (Tomahawk, 5/100g).  One can see the daily specials scribbled on giant blackboards throughout the place. We got a bit overwhelmed and opted for the “All in,” with pre-chop bites, all of the daily Skinny Chops on the chargrilled flatbread for sharing (minimum of two people or more), served with a side each for 20 pounds per person.

Sides include the outstanding beef dripping chips (fries); the 10-hour ash-roasted sweet potato; a delicious kale and Parmesan salad; and a summer salad. One may also choose the heritage tomato salad; BBQ baby gems with anchovy dripping; and charred couchettes with chicory and Stilton.  Good kale is not something one looks for in London, but the kale and Parmesan salad at Blacklock was truly phenomenal.

 

(Top left to right): Beef dripping fries, summer salad, kale & Parmesan salad; (bottom left) Blacklock’s fabulous sweet potato. Photo: Scott Harrah

The beef dripping chips were crispy and light. We were especially impressed with the ash-roasted sweet potato. As Americans, we were apprehensive about just how sweet potatoes–in many ways a staple of the U.S. diet (especially in the South)–would be prepared in Britain. We’ve never had a sweet potato like the one served at Blacklock. It was gloriously roasted and charred to perfection, bringing out the flavor of the sweet potato without the need for all the brown sugar and marshmallows we use in the USA. Wouldn’t it be nice if the chefs at Blacklock would share their secret for us so we could prepare 10-hour ash-roasted sweet potatoes for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner?

The main attraction at Blacklock, of course, is the meat. We hear the folks who worked with the famous Hawksmoor chain in Britain are behind Blacklock, so we knew the meat would be awesome. We have not seen a place abroad that serves up beef, pork and lamb in such a down-home, American-style. In the USA, barbecue joints from Seattle to San Diego, Kansas City to Houston, Dallas to Detroit to Memphis and Manhattan boast about their special “rubs” and sauces. Barbecue is almost a cult to some, as endless “Top 10 Best Barbecue Joints” shows on American cable TV attest. So call good barbecue-style meat a novelty in the United Kingdom if you must. The fact that Blacklock doesn’t have any signature sauce for its chops is what makes it totally unlike North American barbecue joints.

We relished the smoky, succulent pork loin, pork belly and pork rib, as well as the tender beef rump. Although we are not normally big on lamb, Blacklock’s lamb cutlet and lamb T-bone were full, moist and sumptuous, with no gamey aftertaste. The meat is piled on flatbread underneath, to soak up all the savory juices. Sauces include green sauce, chili hollandaise, béarnaise, garlic marrow spread and onions and gravy. All go great with the meat.

Blacklock Soho’s decadent white chocolate cheesecake, served with berry sauce. Photo: Scott Harrah

For dessert, we chose a seriously decadent white chocolate cheesecake that came with a sauce of divine strawberries, blueberries and sugar, served with a smile by a bubbly woman named Kelly. It was simply heavenly and a nice topper to a spectacular meal.

What’s also amazing is the fast service at Blacklock. Staff are all courteous and give helpful suggestions. For a pre-theatre carnivore’s bacchanal in a hip setting, one cannot go wrong with this place.

 

 

Edited by Scott Harrah
Published June 29, 2017
Reviewed on June 22, 2017 in London

 

CHOP TILL YOU DROP: Located in a basement in London’s Soho, near all West End theatres, Blacklock has great steaks & chops. Photo: Courtesy of Blacklock Soho

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.