Secret Diner Review: The Smokehouse, Leicester

Published on July 21, 2014

By Toby Elkington (a Great Food Club Secret Diner)

The Smokehouse is a US-style barbecue-themed restaurant upstairs at the Obar on Braunstone Gate in Leicester. I ordered St Louis-cut barbecue pork ribs with a fennel and jalapeño ‘slaw as I’m a sucker for a big chunk of meat on the bone. These were big and meaty (due to the hard-to-get ‘St Louis Cut’), crispy on the outside and subtly smoked with a heavy barbecue spice flavour. The fennel ‘slaw worked perfectly with the pork and the jalapeño added a nice chilli spice kick. My wife tried the pulled pork and this was incredibly, meltingly tender, delicately spiced and smoky, complemented by a tasty vegetable-rich chilli and smooth, buttery mash.

Somehow we found space for dessert and shared a sticky toffee pudding with a salted caramel sauce spiked with bourbon. This was a revelation and we fought over the last mouthful – enough said.

I think that the American barbecue theme works perfectly here, the concept is a very good one and the food tasted wonderful. I was glad to see that there was no option for the ubiquitous ‘fries’ on the menu as they really aren’t required when there are so many interesting, tasty alternatives. Fries would do the rest of the menu a disservice. As you’d expect from somewhere that is primarily a bar, there is
a great American craft beer list to go with the food.

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The Smokehouse is recommended by Great Food Club and currently runs an exclusive offer to members.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.