Pitt Cue Co. (Soho)

10th February 2013

Pitt Cue Co. started life as a trailer parked under the Hungerford Bridge on London’s South Bank, serving their now famous pulled pork buns amongst other things. You can still find the van there during the summer, but it is the restaurant in Soho that I will be writing about today.

Located on a side street just off of Carnaby street, the restaurant is absolutely tiny, seating about 30 covers. They have a no-reservations policy, saying on their website that there is no fairer system than ‘First come, first served’. I’ve read that the queues can often snake down the road and when TBH and I arrived at around 1pm, I fully expected a lengthy wait. It was a pretty miserable day and it seemed that it had kept most sensible people at home, so we were fortunate enough to walk straight in. The bar was crammed full of people and we were told we could wait up to 45 minutes to be seated.
Initially, I thought the staff seemed a little harassed and I didn’t hold high hopes for what was to come. It was for this reason that I only ordered a diet coke. I didn’t recognise any of the cocktails and I didn’t want to take up any of the bar lady’s time by asking what each cocktail comprised of. It seems silly when I am paying. Saying that though, I was proved wrong and actually when we engaged the staff they couldn’t have been more helpful and the all-round service was great! TBH ordered the house lager – ‘Whatever’. Called this because the house lager is ‘whatever they have in at the time’. Usually it’s Meantime, as it was in this case, but it means that they are not committed to one brewery. How clever!
As I’ve said, the restaurant is absolutely tiny and this could create the buzz that is in the atmosphere. The net curtains on the windows softens it all and the Johnny Cash soundtrack reminds you that you are in a very cool place indeed. I haven’t written about toilets in previous reviews, but I thought this little toilet was so pretty (if that’s even possible?) with its floral wallpaper and fresh flowers. Another small touch to soften the cramped space.
Fifteen minutes later, we were seated at a counter by the window in the bar. As this was our first visit we asked the waitress to make recommendations. We went with every single one of those recommendations and every single one of them was wonderful! First up, we had Chicken Oysters (£5.50). Little nuggets of deliciousness! They were made with chicken thigh meat, coated in a slightly smoky batter, deep fried and topped with a hot sauce. The meat was moist and the batter seasoned perfectly. They were ever so slightly greasy, but tasted so good that I didn’t mind too much.
I chose the special of brisket bun meal (£12.50) and a side dish of bone marrow mash. To. Die. For. The beef had been slow cooked for 28 hours, so it was melt-in-the-mouth tender.  The sweet brioche bun soaked up all the sauce and stayed firm. The slaw in the bun was tangy and cut through the rich meat. The side dish of mash topped with bone marrow gravy was smooth and really buttery and up there with one of the best mashed potatoes I’ve had. It looked like a huge portion, but I got through it easily and didn’t feel overly full afterwards. At the time of ordering, I was seriously contemplating getting the ribs too which is another really well known dish of theirs, but when I saw the mammoth portion that the guys next to us got I was glad I didn’t. Next time though!
TBH had the famous pulled pork bun with a side of beans (£9.75). Famous for a reason. As with my meal, the meat was tender and the bun held firm. The beans were a mixed variety in a BBQ sauce and big chunks of meat in it, so much nicer than the tinned variety!
We shared a dessert and it was another recommendation from the waitress. Sticky toffee pudding with a salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream (£5.00). It was comforting and perfect for such a grey day. Like getting a sweet kiss at the end of a very enjoyable first date!
For the chicken oysters, 2 bun meals, dessert, 2 diet cokes and 2 beers the bill came to £50.34 including service.

There isn’t a lot of competition for proper American BBQ food in London, but 12 months after opening, Pitt Cue Co. still have people queuing out the door for their offering, so they’re clearly doing something right!  The food isn’t pretty or elegant but it is ‘dang good!

Off to the gym now to work off this spectacular meat feast!


Until we eat again!
  Square Meal    Pitt Cue Co on Urbanspoon

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