The awful weather seems to be going on forever at the moment! It may be pouring outside, but that’s just even more of an excuse to find shelter somewhere and gorge on some decent comfort food – and a couple of friends and I did just that last week when we paid a visit to Smoke Stack.
I’d never been before, but I had heard some pretty good things about Smoke Stack. They have a great menu full of juicy cuts for carnivores, but with a good selection of “lighter” options too, like veggie burgers and salads.
Even though the interior had a bit of a gritty feel to it, it was lighter and airier than I expected. There were bare lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, naked stone walls and chalkboard tables, but this was balanced out with white tiling and bright details like the coffee machine and yellow chairs.
Smoke Stack proudly state that they are members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and are evangelical about things like recycling, energy conservation and sourcing local produce wherever possible. You can even see in the decor where they have tried to reuse old bits and bobs, to imaginative effect. That was a big tick from me before we had even started – I like places that have an environmental consciousness, and thankfully they are becoming more and more common nowadays. Here’s hoping that one day it will be the norm, not a novelty.
Anyway, my friends and I decided to dive straight in to our main course. One of my dining companions chose her meal off the express menu, which offers two or three courses for a reasonable set price (two courses was £11.95). She chose the scampi to start off, and demolished it quickly enough. It looked pretty tasty from where I was sitting!
Meanwhile, my other dining chum had a gorgeous looking grilled halloumi and asparagus salad. It was a huge portion, and she was still eating long after my other friend and I had polished off our plates. However, she really enjoyed it, and said the dressing was lovely and light which complemented the salad perfectly.
I decided to be a bit naughty and go for the veggie burger with an extra topping of guacamole. I am quite glad I had the foresight to order the guacamole, as I fear the bun and burger on its own would have been quite dry without it. Still, the patty was really nice, and came together well with the bun once I added the extra stodge from the guacamole!
The chips were also really good, cut lovely and thick but with a good simplicity too them. You could tell that they were made fresh and not the pre-packaged stuff you find in some places.
For the second course from the express menu my pal chose the sticky toffee pudding. It looked really tempting on the plate and once again she had no problem in devouring it all. She said that it was fairly light, which was good as she found the scampi main course fairy hefty!
Meanwhile, I had three scoops of the fruits of the forest sorbet, which was shipped in from Mackie’s. I thought it would be a nice light end to the meal, but I found that the three scoops were actually pretty big! It took me a while to get through it all, but the lovely flavours and the light texture carried me through.
The sorbet itself was lovely. It was quite sweet, but it had a lovely fruity taste and there were seeds from the fruits laced right through it. I know that may put some people off, but I really dig it as it gives me the impression I’m eating real food, as opposed to the usual synthetic stuff!
Overall my friends and I had a great time at Smoke Stack. This steakhouse has a lot of substance and I really like their ethos. With a varied menu and a dedication to quality food, this is going to tick the boxes for most folk who visit. I’ll definitely be back for round two with that veggie burger!
You can find Smoke Stack at 53-55 Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ. It’s a stone’s throw from the last tram stop on the line at York Place.