Where there's smoke
by Vandana Verma
10 October 2012
Smoke House BBQ, The Crescent at the Qutab mall, third floor, Lado Sarai, Mehrauli, New Delhi.
Ph: +91. 88007.77074.
Meal for two approximately Rs 2,000.
Combining ‘cue classics with an airy rooftop, Smoke House BBQ brings together an upscale view (the Qutub Minar) with down home cookin’.
It’s the little things, a hefty napkin that’d gladly double as a bib and solid blocks of orange in lieu of wispy placemats that tip you off: Smoke House BBQ isn’t for dainty dining. Put down your pinkie finger, because at this new rooftop eatery, portions are hefty and table manners are optional.
It might sit right above its sister concern, molecular dining destination Smoke House Room, but these siblings are nothing alike. You won’t see the dehydrated beet sheets and olive soil at Smoke House BBQ. Instead you’ll find messy barbecue, with juices that’ll dribble down your chin and sticky glazes that you should unapologetically suck off your fingers.
This is real barbecue. As in, American-style, not to be confused with what masquerades as barbecue in our gardens, where you fling some marinated meat on the grill and voila! No this stuff is serious. American-style ’cue requires smoke, and lots of it. It requires low, indirect heat. Depending on where you try it, you'll find secret-recipe sauces and marinades and spice rubs. And the cooking times? Oh my. This meat is lovingly, slowly prepared. And the crew at Smoke House BBQ aren’t pulling any punches, they’ve even built their own smoking pit up on that rooftop.
But what do these down-home cooking techniques mean for you and me? I’ll tell you. It means that the chipotle-rubbed tenderloin burger is ridiculously juicy, topped with cheese, crisp rashers of bacon and a fried egg. A barbecue-smoked spatchcock chicken, served with roast potatoes and a salad is honest, unfussy food, a wee poussin with a treacly glaze, a lightly dressed salad and ’taters. Less traditional, but no less fun are the 3 cheese-stuffed jalapeños that arrive four to a plate, on a bed of smoked bbq tomato sauce with a little bit of a kick. Corn on the cob isn’t the bhutta you’re used to; no, this version is baked with Parmesan, lemon crumb and served with a squiggle of spiced aioli.
Still on our to-try list are the pulled pork and sweet mango pickle burger with bbq mayo, the grilled salmon with whiskey maple soy glaze, and the melting mud pie with salted caramel ice cream. And with rapidly changing weather, and evenings that are increasingly pleasant, there’ll be plenty of evenings to work our way through that wishlist.