Where on earth do I take the friend who first ignited my love for meaty barbecue food?! It took some serious pondering, but I can now say with confidence: Blacklock.
Another of those Soho basement establishments, Blacklock is housed in an ex-brothel (let the ‘meat market‘ jokes begin…). It may look closed from the outside but don’t be fooled – once through the outer door, the hubbub from downstairs lets you know you’re on the right track.
Low lit with a rocking soundtrack set at just the right volume, simple décor and the chops of the day scrawled in chalk on the iron pillars, the basement space is cosy and atmospheric.
Blacklock serves up a pure chop menu, cooked over charcoal, “with a little help from an old iron“. There is actually nothing for vegetarians on offer, so don’t even bother trying! With little deliberation, we settled on the ‘All In‘ deal – £20 for one of each chop (four per person, covering beef, lamb and pork x2), plus starters and a side. Bargain.
Drinks are very reasonably priced cocktails – an Old Fashioned for a fiver? Yes please. Pre-mixed it may have been, but it was served in a crystal glass and tasted damn good.
Starters are small crackers with various toppings – scrambled egg and anchovy was the winning combo for us, and they were light enough to leave plenty of space for the main event.
Because you’ll need it – if Blacklock is on the itinerary, ensure you go hungry. A single plate piled high with chops was set in the middle, and our server explained each piece in detail, with instructions on which order to eat them in too. Beef short rib, pork belly, pork loin, T-bone and lamb cutlet, with slices of garlic flat bread soaking up all the juices at the bottom! Sweet potato and kale with parmesan made great accompaniments, without detracting from the meat feast.
This is not first date fare – it’s carnivorous and eat-with-your-fingers messy, but it’s really really good – wonderfully cooked and super juicy, though perhaps a little on the salty side. No reservations, but we walked straight in on a Tuesday evening just after 7pm. I, for one, will be going back soon.
24 Great Windmill Street, Soho, London, W1D 7LG