Fire and Smoke
If you’ve seen the movie Chef and remember the Franklin BBQ brisket scene, you will understand my desire to have a good, authentic bbq experience – halal, of course. If you haven’t, make a date of it this weekend with the missus, trust me, its good. The way that brisket just slices and oozes with smoky juices is something I will always salivate over, and it instantly got me on a hunt for good, halal brisket in London.
Unfortunately, my search stopped short when I had a terrible experience at a halal restaurant in London a couple of years ago. The brisket was grey, overcooked, and had been doused in a sickly sauce. Was this how my BBQ dream was supposed to taste? Thankfully, I had my hopes revived when I found out about the Fire and Smoke supper club.
Run by the Gajia siblings, Amirah (Evering Cake) and Feroz, both of Bake Street, and Haloodiefoodie, this trio of foodies put their culinary skills together for an evening of slow smoked goods and tasty desserts, with the promise of giving their guests a taste of a real Texan BBQ.
First up, a tray arrived with a generous portion of smoked chicken wings and green salad to, you know, add some greens into our evening. The wings (NOT double-jointed – thank goodness!) had been soaked in buttermilk for a few hours, smoked over plum-wood, and smothered in a sweet, tangy barbecue sauce. Although the soft, creamy texture was enjoyable, I felt that the smokey flavour had not permeated the chicken, and the wings needed to be crispier.
The 28-day aged Aberdeen Angus brisket was smoked for a good 18 hours, wrapped, and then sliced into two parts: the point (the fattier and tastier part) and flat (leaner and meatier). After a long wait, the brisket finally arrived with a delectable layer of fat, a fantastic smoke ring, and a rich, dark caramelised bark. It was super juicy, melted in your mouth, and just burst with smoky flavour in each bite.
This brisket was very, very good, but I have to say, I did miss the slight chewiness that the bark usually gives. Thankfully, Haloodiefoodie snuck over some of the “burnt ends” over to us; dark little nuggets of the brisket’s point-end that envelope the soft beef fat and meat.
The lightly toasted sourdough bread was of great quality and ideal for piling those sexy burnt ends on top, with a drizzle of sweet barbecue sauce. Unfortunately, the let down was the beef butter which needed more beef drippings for the flavour to stand out, but was, nevertheless, still incredibly light and creamy.
Soft shreds of lamb neck, an underrated yet super tender cut of meat, were smoked and mixed in with spiced beans. This was definitely substantial and something deliciously different to what we’re used to, especially when paired with that buttery herby sourdough crumb adding a crunchy contrast to the beans. Although, I would have liked the meaty flavour of the lamb to be more prominent.
A deliciously gooey (yes, liquid cheese-style!) mac and cheese that had been topped with a lovely, chewy crust of parmesan and panko. A dash of mustard would have been nice to cut through the richness of the cheese, but this mac and cheese was everything I had imagined it to be.
The slaw was a nice, light addition but was a tad salty.
And finally, my favourite part of the evening: the desserts!
These cute little pecan pies still has dessert-avoider BW raving about it almost four months later! It packed a kick of chocolate upon biting in, and was so gooey and rich, that I was grateful for the accompanying fluffy vanilla chantilly cream.
A super soft and spongy red velvet cake with sweet and velvety cream cheese piped in between. I made sure to savour every last bite of this and even managed to pack a portion home for Mum to enjoy too.
This entire dinner would come to £70 for two, including drinks, so £35 each. It does seem a little pricey when you compare this to the average restaurant meal, but the abundance and quality of the food really makes it worth while. Plus, how many times can you say you’ve had a halal Texan BBQ meal with all the trimmings this good before?
Although supper clubs do tend to last for a few hours, I did find the waiting time between the courses at Fire and Smoke to be a little long, but as this was the first supper club of their series, a few hiccups were expected. I have been informed that a few of the menu items have slightly changed, but will not make a drastic impact on your meal if you do decide to go.
If you’re interested in attending, shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bake St and Evering Cake: http://bakestreet.co.uk/