Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Getting Dirty with Smoke Barbecue

When the email subject titled - 'Chelsea do you want to get dirty?' popped up in my inbox, it most definitely caught my attention! On opening the email, I was pleasantly surprised to find an invitation to Smoke Barbecue's blogger event in Leeds for myself and a guest. I had heard lots about our local Smoke Barbecue in Sheffield and had been wanting to try it out for a while, so this was as good a chance as any to see what Smoke was all about.
After a 45 min blast down the motorway after work, we arrived in Leeds city centre. Thankfully, Smoke Leeds is situated below a multi storey car park, which eased my stresses about finding parking in the city. On walking in, we were quickly greeted by Sean - who I would later come to know is a co founder of Smoke Barbecue, on finding my name on the list led us to our seats and gave us a brief run down on how the evening would carry out. Shortly after, three beers were brought to our table for us to sample - American Saviour, Freedom and Smoke Red. Now I am not a beer fan, at all, however Smoke Red I found so smooth, easy and enjoyable to drink. It had a subtle taste and not so much of the sharp bitter taste that I hate so much in beer. In fact I enjoyed it so much, I finished off the lot.

On waiting for food to be served, Duka (also cofounder of Smoke), came over to ask if we would like to order a drink - pointing us in the direction of the beers on the menu. Not expecting for drinks to be included in what was on offer and not being a huge beer fan, I asked if I could order a cocktail -  which after a moment of embarrassment and feeling super cheeky for asking, realised our drinks (beers) were included. Duka then kindly offered me a cocktail included in the evening. Ash stuck to the soft drinks and ordered a Cherry Coke as he would be driving us home. Our drinks came served in super cute jars, which made my yummy Long Island Iced Tea even more fun to drink and lets face it makes even the most boring of drinks more exciting, got to love a good jar!

At around 7:30pm food began being served up to all us eagerly awaiting bloggers and I was definitely not prepared for what we were about to be faced with! A huge platter of meat was presented to us - literally a little bit of everything from their menu, a mammoth portion definitely not for the faint hearted. I don't think I have ever been so excited to tuck into a meal than I did right in that very moment, whilst also wondering how the two of us were to possibly eat all of this. The platter included a savoury muffin and a variety of meats, such as pulled pork, sausage, spicy chicken, a burger, and a huge leg! I can not compliment Smokes chefs enough. Everything was cooked to perfection - super tender and soooo soo tasty! Everything at Smoke is cooked on real wood fires - no gas used whatsoever and the amazing flavour of the food definitley reflects this. 

When our desserts arrived (again one of each from the menu) for us to share, amazingly we had a tiny bit of room to spare. The desserts were every bit as amazing as our main. Chocolate Brownie, Smores and cheesecake were featured on our plates - the chocolate brownie being my obvious favourite, cocoa addict that I am!

Everything on Smoke's menu is, I feel incredibly well priced, for the quality and quantity you receive (why should you have to have one or the other, when you can have both?) it's well worth a visit and you will most definitely NOT leave hungry!

Sean and Duka have been best friends for years and together cofounded Smoke Barbecue after Sean saw an episode of Man vs Food and the two of them took a trip to the U.S to try out one of the restaurants themselves and loved it. There is a clear influence of this in the huge portions, the rustic theme of the restaurant, cooking style and open kitchen - however Sean and Duka made a conscious effort to tailor more to the British tastes - and god knows us Brits love a good barbecue!

The whole evening was just so enjoyable, Sean and Duka are the nicest and most approachable people ever! You can really sense their passion for what they do and their friendship behind the business. I love how hands on the two of them were, serving food, drinks and spending time with all of the bloggers chatting away and answering any questions we had. We were also kindly gifted with goodie bags on leaving - with a copy of their menu, boxes of smoke popcorn and a bottle of their very own smoke sauce. 

After the success they have had with Smoke Sheffield, they have branched out to Leeds and also mentioned plans for a Smoke in Glasgow - so keep an eye out for a Smoke near you. 

You can check out their menu and book a table on their website here if you fancy getting dirty yourself. 

Have you been to Smoke Barbecue? What did you think?

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