Bringing all-American, meat-heavy barbecued classics with a nostalgic flavour, Smoke & Barrel is one of Hong Kong's top turning tables and it's the absolute best spot for Texan eats. Brought to us by the same team behind Kinship, Chris Grare and Arron Rhodes take the reigns on the fan favourite, luring in gourmands citywide simply by even the aroma of its hickory-scented entrance wafting through the doors. We checked out the new menu launched last month, one year following its opening.
Located between Central's party district Lan Kwai Fong and bustling Wyndham Street, Smoke & Barrel is tucked away leading to a red-lit neon stairway that takes you up to the restaurant, a sleek and cosy space.
The new menu comprises a mix of all-time elevated classics and signature dishes revamped using different slathers and spice rubs. Guests can dine indoors or outdoors on the al-fresco terrace.
Image courtesy of Adam Thompson | CSP Times (Swipe for more)
We began our experience with the smoked bone marrow (HK$148), a juicy meat dish served with onion marmalade, mushrooms and sourdough bread. The rich and spongy texture of the beef was elevated with the crispy toasted sourdough for an indulgent spread that would only kick start our evening with meats. Another recommended starter, the smoked chicken pot pie (HK$128) was a petite sharing dish of a traditional pie with an updated ingredient – the smoked truffle sauce.
From The Beast, we tried the sumptuous St Louis Spare Ribs (1/2 or whole; HK$208 or HK$368) a serious sharing dish that takes ribs to new highs with its marinated mustard and jalapeno slather and signature 'secret' spice rub. The flavourful rack is then slow-cooked in the smoker for a barbecued taste. Next up, the new pastrami (200g limited availability HK$238) was smoked and brined from the grill. On the side, we tried the delightful corn on the cobb HK$78), a cult classic here, smothered in decadent black garlic butter and sprinkled with herb breadcrumbs for a crispy exterior. Don't miss the fried okra (HK$68), in lieu of regular chips, this creative alternative comes with Alabama white sauce to trace back to its American roots.
As you can imagine, by now we had hit the bulk of our appetite but as the old saying goes – there's always room for dessert. And what's an American meal without dessert? We tucked into the creamy soft serve (HK$78), a banana-centric indulgence arriving with rum caramel and walnut crumble – a not-too-heavy finale to the meal. The pie, (HK$88; changes weekly) however, was slightly heavier, but a must for American bbq joints. It rotates weekly but we got to try the key lime pie variation, undoubtedly one of the highlights of an indulgent meal.
Smoke & Barrel, 1/F-2/F, Wyndham Mansion, 32 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2866 2120